Interview with journalist Aruna Rathod

Not everyone wants their relationship to end in marriage, but if you feel you are in love limbo, read the signs.

In January this year, 27-year-old American champion swimmer and Olympian Michael Phelps ended his one-year-long affair with aspiring model and girlfriend Megan Rossee because he reportedly felt the relationship wasnt going anywhere and split to pursue other options. Ending a dead-end relationship is smart move, couple counsellors will tell you, except, not everyone is as prudent or brave (or lucky) as Phelps. It’s not uncommon, say psychiatrists, to come across individuals who develop suicidal tendencies when they realise their expectations from a love are moons away from that of their partner.Jiah Khan would know. Dating someone and not knowing if there is a future, seems to be a fact most modern lovers are grappling with. The Ill-take-it-as-itcomes lot are happy being in limbo. Its those looking for direction whod do good making a note of signs that indicate your relationship is going nowhere. 

No references to future:

Discussing the future neednt freak partners out. It indicates a mutual interest in wanting to take things forward,and doing things together, assuming you havent known each other for just a month.The attraction may be strong; there might even be respect and affection involved, but to see someone in the guise of a life partner takes something more. “Being attracted and wanting to develop a committed relationship are two different things. It’s possible that one of the partners may have no desire to focus on one person,” says New Yorkbased relationship expert Susan Winter. “It lets you know if your partner sees you in their bigger picture of life, leaving you with a sense of belonging and assurance. In the absence of planning,” Winter says, “it’s not about you. It’s about him/her. And this is not a reflection of your worth. Its reflective of someone whos still sampling the buffet table of life, and hasn’t made up his/her mind.”

Only sex or no sex: 

Passions role in a successful relationship can hardly be denied. But its about finding the balance. “You don’t just want to be booty call for your partner,” Winter warns. In the utter absence of intimacy (although you may argue that the equation is high on affection, protectiveness and respect) on the other hand, you are no better off than mere friends. 

One or both of you act like you are single when in public:

“It’s a sign. If you are not allowed to let the world know you are dating, it’s a decision that must be questioned. If someone is reluctant to show his/ her affection in public, it’s not a bad idea to reassess your feelings and ask why are you with him/her,” advises Winter. This should not be confused with giving the partner space and having an independent social life off and on. It’s a problem if its the norm rather than the exception. 

You dont make the time:

Not having enough time is an excuse. No professional priority can be big enough to repeatedly spring up as a hurdle in spending time together. Winter suggests “You ask why you are willing to repeatedly make time for someone who’s not making time for you? When a man chooses to be in a partnership with a woman, he is aware of her value, and will make the effort. And so must women.”