Almost everyone thinks, or at least hopes, that the person they are dating is “the one.” There is always a good chance, however, that your beau is not actually “the one.” If everyone managed to find their soulmate on the first try, there would be no need for dating at all. Unfortunately, most people take a while to find their “one.” Usually, they have to deal with several people who are not the right person first. How do you tell these people apart? How can you tell if someone is not the one for you, even if you love them?

You are worn down emotionally.

Relationships are hard work, but they should not be a source of constant arguments and frustration. The work should involve juggling schedules, dealing with the inevitable little irritants that everyone possesses, finding the energy to engage with your partner after an exhausting week and simply making time for date nights. A relationship should not leave you worn out, run down and exhausted emotionally. Your significant other should be someone you seek out when you need some emotional strength or you need someone to hold you while you cry. They should not be the person causing you emotional exhaustion in the first place. The exhaustion could be from something obvious, such as constant arguments, but it could also lack a clear cause. Either way, if you find that spending time with your significant other leaves you drained, you are currently dating the wrong person.

They don’t get along with your friends and family.

It is important to have more than one relationship in your life. Your significant other is your romantic relationship, but you should also have friendships, relationships with your family members and acquaintances in your life. As a general rule, you want the people in each of those relationships to get along with each other. Otherwise, it can be difficult to keep all parties involved in your life. So, what do you do when your family or friends do not get along with your significant other? 

You may be tempted to dig your heels in and refuse to listen to concerns from others. After all, you love this other person. You think they might be the one! That love, however, might have put rose-tinted glasses over your eyes. Your family and friends are distanced from the situation and so might notice things you missed. They might be able to see how your beau is actually a bad influence or that you are changing who you are for them. Your love might also have allowed you to dismiss the fact that your significant other is rude to your family or friends. 

Even if there is nothing wrong with anyone’s behavior, do think hard about whether the person you are dating is worth it. There is little more awkward than showing up to a party with someone that no one else wants to talk to or be around. Your friends will try to make it work, but you might have to choose between your friends and your beau. If nothing else, consider that if your significant other’s personality simply does not mesh well with your family’s, you are going to be in for a lot of extremely uncomfortable holidays.

You don’t feel comfortable with them.

Your significant other should be the person with whom you are most comfortable. They should be the one that you share your secrets with and the one you confide in about fears, hopes and dreams. If you feel like you need to put on a show, wear a persona or keep part of yourself hidden, then they are not the one for you. Even if you simply feel like you should always be happy around them or that you should make them laugh every time you are together, there is a problem. No one can be happy or funny all the time. You also need someone who can handle your tears, your rage and your fear. Someone who can help you calm down when you are ranting about how you are being blamed for a coworker’s mistake or hold you when you cry about how your uncle has cancer. If you feel like you need to be “on” all the time with your significant other, you are not dating “the one.”

You can’t picture a clear future with them.

“Where do you see this relationship going?” That is a question that is often brought up right before a breakup, and thus, it is a question everyone dreads. The unpleasant associations that surround the question, however, do not negate how important it is to have an answer. If your significant other really is “the one,” you need to be able to picture what your life will look like with this person. If you can only conjure up a vague image or you cannot see the relationship’s future, it is because there is not much of a future. Then, your choice is either to let this relationship play out or call it quits now.

They never focus on just you.

Most people are aware that the internet is a rabbit hole of time wasting. You go online to see if you can use cornstarch as a substitute for flour and look up two hours later to find yourself reading about the history of the spice trade in Constantinople. You planned to watch the latest trailer for a new movie and somehow ended up watching terrible exercise videos from the 90’s. Then, of course, there are social media quizzes, click bait articles and the general ridiculousness that inhabits the internet. Not to mention how easily trolls can trick even the most internet savvy into participating in an argument all but guaranteed to end in an aneurism. 

If they own a smartphone, all of that is contained in a their pocket at all times along with the ability to contact just about everyone they have ever met. As such, it is painfully easy for a person to be distracted by their cell phone. Your significant other, however, should not be spending date nights in an intimate relationship with Siri when they are supposed to be spending time with you. If your beau seems to have trouble giving you their complete focus, it is unlikely they are really the one. This is true if the distraction is their phone, a TV, friends, family or anything that keeps them from focusing on you. You do not have to be the center of attention every minute of every day, but if you never command their entire focus, the relationship is realistically already over.

They live on a totally different schedule from you.

Your significant other may have everything going for them. They get along well with your friends and family. You feel like you can tell them anything. You can envision a clear picture together. They treat you right, respect you and love you just as much as you love them. Everything seems perfect except for one thing: you are never sleepy until nearly midnight and they wake up at the crack of dawn. It may seem like such a small thing, but a couple’s natural schedules can make or break a relationship. You two may think you have a beautiful future together, but consider exactly how happy that future will be when you are both chronically sleep deprived. 

Consider more than just sleep schedules as well. Do you like to spend weekends curled up at home with a book while they prefer to go out every night? Do you want quiet weeknights and busy weekends but they prefer to pack all the errands into the hours after work so that they can enjoy commitment-free weekends? You and your significant other might have everything else going for you, but if you two live on different schedules, it might be time to say farewell.

Everyone hopes that they have found “the one,” but that does not mean that every relationship is the one that will last until “death do us part.” Sometimes, people’s lives simply do not mesh, no matter how much they both may wish they did. In those cases, it is best to accept the reality that you have not found your “one,” at least not yet.