Relationships can be as complicated as we make them out to be, but there are times when we form relationships with friends, acquaintances, or even potential partners that are nothing more than just a way to not be alone. These kinds of interactions can leave you questioning if you truly like this person.
Maybe it’s just the novelty of being in a new relationship or the idea of exploring a new friendship. But in the end, you’re left feeling that this relationship is nothing more than what it looks like. Such relationships can be described as superficial relationships or shallow relationships.
Superficial relationships don’t go beyond the surface and instead of feeling fulfilled and meaningful in a relationship, you feel nothing substantial. Now, if we talk about healthy and meaningful relationships, they are the ones where everyone involved truly cares about each other, understands the likes and dislikes, and enjoys being together (even if it’s doing nothing).
Now, if you feel like you’re in a superficial relationship or even a superficial friendship, then here are some signs you need to be aware of and tips to help you improve your surface-level relationships.
Signs You’re in a Superficial Relationship 1. Intimacy Goes Nowhere Beyond Physical
If your attraction to your partner does not go beyond physical attraction, then it could be one of the signs of being in a superficial relationship. Emotional intimacy is important in any meaningful relationship whether in a romantic relationship or friendship. Physical attraction is good but it shouldn’t be the only thing keeping you in the relationship.
Also Read: The Little Things That Matter In Every Relationship
2. You Don’t Talk About Meaningful Things
Do you know your friend’s favorite color? Or your partner’s favorite food? Well, if you don’t then it could be another sign of a superficial relationship. If there are no talks of each other’s hopes and dreams. A healthy relationship should be fulfilling and leave you feeling connected on a deeper level.
3. There Are Secrets In The Relationship
Shallow relationships carry a lot of secrets, and you might even be reluctant to share the truth with your partner. You may also lie about certain things such as who you’re hanging out with during the weekends or texting, etc. If you’re withholding information from your partner or friend then it could mean you’re in a superficial relationship. Healthy and meaningful relationships are based on honesty and open communication.
4. You Find Yourself Censoring Your Words
If you fear that you’re in a superficial relationship, then you may find that you’re censoring your words and being cautious about your actions. You’re also afraid to show your true self and feelings around your partner. In a healthy relationship, you let yourself show your true self and don’t fear criticism and judgment.
5. You Get Bored Easily In The Relationship
Do you get bored easily in the relationship and feel restless? Then it is also a sign of being in superficial relationships. You’re only focused on the surface level of things in the relationship and don’t bother to go deeper to form meaningful connections.
6. You’re Not On The Same Page
You keep asking yourself or your partner, “Where are we in the relationship?” or “What are we to each other?”. This question can be a great way before you’re getting serious with someone but if these questions surface even when you’ve been in a relationship for years, then it’s a sign of a superficial relationship.
7. There Are No Fights Or Arguments In The Relationship
Healthy relationships don’t shy away from arguments and fights but if a relationship lacks conflicts from time to time, then it could be another sign of a superficial relationship. Conflicts in relationships mean fighting and disagreeing over things but then making up for them. However, if you never fight or disagree on certain issues, then that means you’re not fully invested in the relationship.
8. You Don’t Care About Mutual Needs
We all have certain needs – emotional, mental, and physical. These could include affection, support, or physical intimacy. So, if your needs are unmet or if you do not care about mutual needs, then it could be a sign of being in a superficial relationship. Because you don’t feel genuinely concerned about the relationship, you also forgo the concern when it comes to unmet needs.
9. There’s A Lack Of Communication
Is there open communication in the relationship? Do you talk about what’s bothering you or does your loved one talk to you about theirs? If not, then it could be a sign that you’re in a shallow relationship. There has to be open communication with honest interactions in the relationship otherwise it’ll be not worthy.
10. There’s A Lack Of Understanding
Superficial relationships lack mutual understanding and there are no talks about feelings, fears, ideas, thoughts, etc. So, think about it; does your partner know your deepest feelings and fears? Do you? Do they understand you? Or do you understand them? If not, then it’s not a serious relationship.
11. There Are No Shared Interests
In superficial relationships, there are no shared interests and the partners or friends do not spend a lot of time with each other. So, if you’re not going and spending time together, talking about interests, hobbies, or passions, then it could be a superficial relationship.
Why Do People Have Superficial Relationships?
Many reasons could be behind why people have superficial relationships. Some of them could include;
1. Afraid of getting hurt by other people and keeping them away or keeping yourself safe from getting rejected. So as a defense mechanism, they keep others away and their relationships shallow or on a surface level.
2. They have low self-esteem which causes them to doubt their worthiness. They seem to believe that they don’t deserve a meaningful relationship.
3. They are afraid of commitment and are unwilling to invest time and effort in creating a meaningful relationship. This way they can also avoid being vulnerable and open with the other person.
4. Narcissists, more often than not, are the ones to enter superficial relationships because they’re only interested in people who stroke their superiority complex and feed them compliments, they believe they deserve.
5. People pleasers are also a group who find themselves in shallow or superficial relationships because they have a need to be liked and be accepted by others. This need may surpass the need for intimacy.
Tips To Improve Your Relationship
If you are in a superficial relationship and want to improve your surface-level relationship, then here are some tips to help you out;
1. Talk to your partner or friend about your concerns. If you fear that you have a superficial relationship, then you can talk to your partner about it. Talking about things may create an open conversation and make your relationship a two-way healthy communication.
2. Spend time with them and get to know them better. If you don’t know more than just the important things about your partner or friend, then you can spend some time with them to get to know them on an emotional level. Ask them about their fears, dreams, goals, and passions.
3. Seek professional intervention. If nothing you do seems to work, then you can connect with a professional and get them to help you and your partner/friend communicate properly. They could also help you work through your fears and issues related to relationships.
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Superficial relationships can be fun but are just on a surface level and never go deeper to form a meaningful connection. This type of relationship never lasts long so if you’re looking for a long-term relationship, then you need more than just a superficial relationship.
I hope the above signs of a superficial relationship will help you be on the lookout for shallow connections and the tips given will help you form better relationships.
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