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Are You in Relationship Denial?

You’re in a brand new relationship and you want it to work more than anything in the world. But are you kidding yourself?

You’re in a new relationship and you want it to work more than anything in the world. But are you kidding yourself? Are you telling yourself things you want to believe—and ignoring red flags you wish weren’t there?

There’s something to be said for looking for the best in any given person or situation. But when you’re trying to make important decisions that will impact the rest of your life, looking only at the best — and overlooking the worst– is not the wisest course of action.
Here are four signs that you might be in denial about your current relationship:

1. You avoid introducing your partner to your friends because you’re pretty sure you already know what they’re going to say. If you suspect you can predict your friends’ doubts and objections, there’s a good chance you’ve got the same doubts and objections but can’t admit them to yourself. Avoiding your friends may be a way to sidestep your own misgivings about the relationship.

2. When you think about your relationship, your thoughts often include the words “If only…” Are you hoping for (or even counting on) a major change in personality or circumstances in order for this relationship to really fly? Hanging on to a romantic partnership that doesn’t work—while telling yourself that it might possibly work in the future—can be an indication of denial. Are you realistic about the likelihood of those changes actually happening? Or are you counting on a change that you realize, deep inside, probably isn’t going to occur?

3. You dread being alone so much that you would rather be in the wrong relationship than no relationship at all. If you have a history of staying too long in dead-end relationships just to avoid being alone, you’ll want to pay especially close attention to the relationship you’re in now. Your fear of remaining single may be driving you to ignore obvious red flags.

4. You don’t feel like you can be “completely yourself” with this person. Trying to change or conceal your true self is a sure sign this isn’t a good match for you. If this is the case, you’re not only denying warning signs about the relationship, you’re also denying yourself the opportunity to be loved for who you really are. This creates the environment for insecurities and even mistrust to run rampant. Feeling and being “known” by another person is the foundation of intimacy. If you have to be someone other than your genuine self, achieving real intimacy cannot occur.

By staying in denial about relationship problems and pitfalls, you may be setting yourself up for disaster. And while being honest with yourself about might result in a break-up, it could do just the opposite. Facing the truth might be the first step to resolving issues that are hindering you and your partner from making this relationship truly the love of a lifetime.