Warning: This post is one person’s opinion about the signs of superficial relationships: An opinion piece made up by the author. It’s not clinical, scientific, or based on research. It’s opinion, informed only by experience.
There is nothing wrong with superficial relationships. Not every connection in life can be deep and emotionally engaging. Superficial relationships have their place.
Some relationships are superficial for practical purposes. You don’t spend enough time together – and don’t have the goal of going deeper.
Other superficial relationships leave you wanting something more because you have an expectation of something deeper and are not being satisfied. This is where it gets interesting.
Are you in superficial relationships that you wish were more substantive?
You’ll need to be the judge of that. This post mentions 27 signs of superficial relationships that might help to understand.
But first, why does it matter?
Well, if you’re genuinely wondering whether or not your relationship is superficial, and especially if you’re willing to read up on the topic, chances are that you are not a superficial person.
Being a deeper person, however, doesn’t protect you from superficial relationships. It takes two to tango. Your relationship might be as shallow and superficial as a relationship can get if both of you aren’t engaged at a deeper level.
A deeper person in superficial relationships may not be very happy. Of course, being “deep” doesn’t mean you are a healthy person. Yet, communicating with people who understand you on a deeper level is probably more fulfilling in general.
So, if you’re a deeper person in a superficial relationship…
You need to adjust your expectations if your partner is not capable of – or interested in – going deeper with you. Some people don’t want to go deep with you. Some people lack the ability to go deep with you. Others are capable of going deep, just not in the way you go deep – in your specific area of interest.
If you’re lucky, the person you’re with wants to go deeper with you and can do just that, in the area of interest that suits you. If this is the case, you don’t need to hang out in a superficial relationship.
Here are the promised 27 signs of superficial relationships:
- You don’t know what the other person wants out of life or is really interest in.
- You don’t understand how your life-values compare.
- You don’t know where you’re compatible vs. incompatible as people.
- You can’t or don’t put yourself in the other person’s shoes.
- You don’t communicate feelings.
- There are lots of controlling/control issues in the relationship.
- You don’t think about what the other person needs from you.
- You don’t know what you need from the other person.
- You argue on a regular basis about trivial things.
- Your relationship centers around having fun (or just one thing).
- You gossip behind each other’s back.
- You don’t spend much time together.
- You’re not invested in each other’s goals or behavior.
- You fantasize about being with someone else, regularly.
- You lie to each other.
- You can’t disagree respectfully.
- You’ve never had a discussion about boundaries.
- Your sex is mechanical.
- Your sex is one-sided.
- Your sex life isn’t happening.
- You don’t talk about sex.
- You don’t know each other’s personal history.
- You avoid eye contact.
- You don’t touch each other.
- You don’t think about the other person when he or she is absent.
- You can’t connect about your life dreams.
- There is a lot of manipulation in the relationship.
As I mentioned, this is a non-scientific list. If one or more of the above is going on in your relationship, that does not automatically mean it’s superficial. However, in deep and deeply respectful relationships where both parties are recognized and independent and emotional beings, the items on this list would be less common, in my opinion. And, yes, I may have left out many commonly accepted signs of superficial relationships.
Remember, superficial relationships are not bad or wrong. And deeper relationships develop in stages, often years in the making.