Have you ever been in (or seen) a relationship and it just seems…off?
You can’t put your finger on it, but something doesn’t seem quite right. (Unless you’re just being a pessimist or a hater) There’s a good chance that you’ve peeped a fake relationship.
“Fake relationship??” you prob just said to yourself, “That’s dumb. Why would anyone do that?” I’m here to say that they happen more often than you may think.
Wait, let me backup…what the hell is a fake relationship?
A fake relationship happens when at least one person’s feelings/intentions are not in alignment with their words or behavior. They appear as happy and devoted as real and healthy couples on the outside, but the reality is that someone is pretending to be in love.
Though every situation is different, here’s the general idea of how one usually goes:
- Two people meet and start dating
- Initially, everything’s amazing; you’re both getting the attention and respect you’ve wanted all this time
- You decide to be exclusive
- Time passes; the “pretender’s” real character/personality starts to show
- The love, respect, and/or devotion you once felt is gone
- You try to make it work because of infatuation and time and feelings invested
- Pretender has no real interest in making the relationship work
There’s a few reasons why people would fake a relationship, intentionally or unintentionally. Whether someone is lonely, looking for a distraction, attention, wants bragging rights, succumbing to peer pressure, or just has a point to prove, all roads may lead to pursuing a fake relationship (as a pretender or the fool).
Fake relationships especially run rampant during the holiday season (something about warm bodies and cool gifts makes folks lose their damn minds). Since I love y’all so much, I want to put you on game; don’t [continue to] fall for the bullshit.
If you see at least one of these signs from your significant other, then you may be in a fake relationship:
Everything is moving so fast
So you found the love of your life in a flash and it’s so exciting. This person is saying and doing all of the right things and wants to take you out of these streets immediately, hardly any questions asked. I’ve seen (hell, starred in) this movie before, and I never liked the ending.
If it only takes somebody three to five business days to decide they want to be with you, then be wary–some fraudulent sh*t may be afoot.
Two of my unhealthiest relationships from my early 20s had two things in common: we moved too quickly and I was the one who ended it. There was some mistaking red flags for “six flags” on both sides, and I volunteered as tribute to put us out of our misery.
Please hear me out: If you think you’ve found the one, then what’s the rush? Taking more time to get to know someone will only inform your decision to commit to someone even more.
Yes, I know this goes against what the “wHeN yoU kNoW, yOu KnoW” cult says, but I have to ask: what exactly do you know? Because, the way I see it, it’s impossible to “know” so soon.
We can spend all the time in the world together, but it’s not realistic to know someone that well within the first few months of dating. If you deem it necessary to over-commit in the first few months of getting to know someone, step back and ask yourself (and your partner) why. Yes, life happens, but there’s a difference between life happening and making a decision to invest heavily into someone you haven’t vetted thoroughly.
Believe it or not, moving too fast in a relationship could be a sign that you’re compensating for something your relationship lacks.
They’re a little too into posting on social media
There it is: They love you so much, you’re amazing; Perfect, even. They’re #blessed to have you. Love didn’t exist this way before you came into their lives–all over Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, [insert other social medium here].
You have to post (and explain) every date. Every gift. Every cute couple selfie, conversation, or funny video. The world needs to witness your love!
Now don’t fight me (because I know you girls like to *tussle*), but we just don’t believe you.
The couples who are truly happy don’t need to convince others with long captions and full content productions; they’re too busy experiencing a genuine connection to worry about external validation.
The more you insist how “happy” you are in a relationship on social media, the less convincing it seems. In fact, it seems like you’re insecure and more concerned about being “relationship goals” than actually maintaining a healthy relationship.
Your Hiding Within Your Social Calendar
Speaking of “social”, the fake relationship-ers are always extravagantly booked and busy!
There’s constantly an event to go to, a fancy dinner to have or vacation to take. Something shiny and spectacular is always happening!
Simply put, you never just…be.
If you can’t enjoy a person as they normally exist everyday, then you shouldn’t be with them. Period. When the connection is real, you don’t need to fill every moment with a special experience.
Out of sight, out of mind
I think this one is self explanatory. (But I’ll give a brief example)
I saw a tweet from someone recently asking if your boyfriend or girlfriend has to talk to you while they’re on vacation. While the responses varied, I’ll tell you this:
If a person can go extended periods of time without talking to you, whether a brief check-in or at length, they are not the one for you. I don’t make the rules!
You want the relationship more than you want the person
Many people spend time thinking about what our future “forever” will look like–the type of person you want, what you’ll do, etc. But it’s definitely a red flag if you’re planning a wedding and babies with a person you haven’t been dating for that long.
Listen, this is a judgement-free zone; when your friends are marrying off, having kids, and everyone keeps asking questions, I know that the pressure to be coupled up can feel intense.
The fear of loneliness will make us do some questionable things, like faking how real or deep your feelings are for someone.
It’ll seem like you’re a prop or +1 in their lives. Everything is how they plan it and you’re just along for the ride and to keep up appearances. It’s not always done as maliciously as it sounds. When someone wants the relationship more than you, it’s more about getting rid of loneliness than taking advantage of you.
Think about it like this: would you be friends with this person if you weren’t romantically involved? If it wasn’t convenient to see them, like long distance for example, would you still date them? Do you even like to be around them?
If the answer to any of these questions is no, then you may want the relationship more than the person.
You’re changing to accommodate your partner
The thing is, whether we acknowledge it or not, we can feel it subconsciously when someone is showing us fake love. And it drives us crazy.
If we’re desperate to make it work then we may do some crazy things to feel their love, even if it means changing parts of ourselves in some areas just to please them.
If a person loves you, they will accept you for exactly who you are–it’s cliche, but true.
If a bond between two people is genuine, then they should both feel comfortable being their genuine selves and growing and evolving together.
Overall, these are some of the most flagrant signs that your relationship ain’t as real as you think it is. Once you confirm that a relationship is fake, my advice to you is to get out.
In order to get out, you gotta stop being delusional and face the facts. Be honest with yourself, your partner, and see the truth for what it is, despite how uncomfortable it may be.
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