11 Tell-Tale Signs You Are In A Superficial Relationship

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We all have that one person whom we just couldn’t stop thinking about. A person we were so attracted to we could barely think straight. And then, when things went south we just couldn’t figure out what happened. Until after a while, in the process of getting over them we realized that what we had was a superficial relationship. And now when we think about them, we realize we didn’t know them at all.

As you can see, if you have been through something like this then you are not alone. We are often too blinded by attraction or chemistry to really take a step back and understand the truth about the relationship. However, there are also times that a person ticks all the boxes of the checklist we have made. But then again, what we want in a relationship is not always what we need in a relationship.

In the beginning, most relationships are surface-level. This is the period when you are exploring each other. You have fun hanging out with each other and the chemistry is amazing. This initial phase is important, but if, after a considerable length of time you are still unable to form a deep connection or attachment, then chances are what you have is a shallow relationship. Still confused, here are some superficial relationship signs, that signify you are in one.

11 Tell-Tale Signs You Are In A Superficial Relationship

A superficial relationship is one where a couple knows each other on a very surface level. The thing about surface relations vs deep relationship is that, while surface relationships can be a whole lot of fun and look cool as well, it lacks a certain understanding and acceptance. On the other hand, a deep relationship is not only physical, there are also emotional and intellectual connections between the couple.

While shallow relationships don’t necessarily have to be negative, they are primarily a relationship that doesn’t last. So, if you are looking to build a healthy relationship that will last a long time if not forever, then you need to figure out if you are in a shallow relationship or not. Here are a few superficial relationship signs you need to be aware of.

1. Lack of communication

One of the prominent signs of a superficial relationship is that there is no communication. Communication doesn’t just involve talking about your favorite K-drama or your favorite flavor of ice cream. It is also about talking about why the sunset makes you sad. It is about discussing and expressing your views, opinions, and feelings, not only about a particular subject but about everything under the sun.

Communication is very important in a relationship, that being said not every conversation you ever have should be deep and meaning full. Light-hearted comedy and bantering are vital for a relationship to be healthy. But if you find that 90% of your conversation is about superficial things in a relationship, then it’s time for you to build a deeper connection with your partner.

Related Reading: 9 Signs You Have Serious Communication Issues In Your Relationship

2. Out of sight out of mind

It is normal to miss the person you love when you are away from them. After all, distance makes the heart grow fonder. And yet, in your relationship, if you hardly think about them, let alone text or miss one another when you are apart, then it might be a sign that you are in a surface relationship.

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A relationship is so much more than just being together and having fun, it is also about growing together as individuals and supporting your partner through thick and thin. For a relationship to last forever, both partners need to invest time, effort, and emotions. Living such fast-paced lives we sometimes forget the little things, like 10-month anniversaries and such. However, if forgetfulness is the crux of your relationship, then you might be in a superficial relationship and may need to re-think your relationship.

3. Purely sexual

Sex plays a very important role in a relationship. Problems in the bedroom tend to manifest themselves out of it too. Couples who are not compatible sexually, tend to have a lot of conflicts, projecting their frustrations onto their partners. This creates a huge rift in the relationship and sometimes this rift is beyond repair. On the other hand, a relationship that is primarily based on sex is a shallow relationship and will eventually disintegrate as well.

Don’t get me wrong, we all want a fiery relationship. An all-consuming passionate love. But this heat will eventually fizzle out. And all that will be left will be companionship. It happens a lot in fact. That two people are in a relationship for just the sex. However, when the passions dwindle, they realize that sex was just one of the superficial things in a relationship and that they have very little else in common.

shallow relationship- just for sex
A superficial relationship is often just about the sex

4. You are in it for the looks

Mindy and Omar seemed like the ideal couple. The extremely gorgeous couple had taken social media by the storm and gained a lot of popularity. Mindy and Omar had a travel blog and their pictures together went viral and they become couple goals. All was going well until the arrival of their first baby; that’s when things drastically changed.

Mindy was having trouble shedding the weight that she had gained during pregnancy and post-partum depression was not helping matters. On the other hand, Omar taunted her for not taking care of herself and started cheating on her. When she confronted him about it, Omar made no excuses and told her he wasn’t attracted to her anymore now that she had gained so much weight and that he would be sending the divorce papers by mail.

Mindy was devastated. But, eventually, she did come to terms with the fact that Omar was a superficial person and that their marriage was a surface relationship. Mindy signed the papers knowing being a single mother things were going to get tougher, but at least she was wiser about what she didn’t want in her future relationships. With a kid in the picture, she wasn’t going to indulge in a superficial relationship.

5. You are not talking about the future

A person who has recently come out of a bad relationship will use shallow relationships often for emotional support or validation. In such a relationship talking about a future will scare the person. Of course, given the circumstances, it is natural that they are not willing to jump into action right away as they need to take their time about it.

Nonetheless, if you have been dating for about 6 months and they are not willing to talk about vacation ideas or holidays plans, then chances are it’s because they are not really that invested in the relationship and might just be using you. They are not in it for the long term and when it strikes their fancy they will up and leave. This is one of the most obvious signs of a shallow relationship.

Related Reading: 22 Signs Of A Commitment-Phobe

6. You don’t spend quality time together

Date nights are supposed to be fun. Both of you take time out of your busy schedule to meet each other and maybe catch a movie or go bowling or just have dinner at the nice new restaurant. However, once at the date, you go ahead and start scrolling through Facebook and Instagram. Sounds familiar? Chances are you are in a superficial relationship.

There is nothing wrong with posting pictures of your food on Instagram and putting up selfies. But, when your relationship mostly comprises of this, then it is a cause for concern. A date is not just about hanging out together and whiling away time, it’s about spending quality moments together where you connect on a deeper level. Dating is that period of time when you get to understand your partner at a deeper level. If you are looking for a long-term relationship and if this is what is missing in your relationship, then it is a sign your partner might not be into you and it’s time to do some thinking.

7. You don’t really know them.

Ben and Ashley had been dating for 3 months and Benjamin was completely smitten by her. Thinking that Ashley was the one for him he decided to ask her to move in with him. Before approaching Ashley he ran the idea past his best friend Clive. When Clive heard that Ben was planning to move in with Ashley he was happy for them, but a little worried too.

Clive asked Ben to describe what kind of a person Ashley was. Ben burst out saying, “Oh she is amazing! She loves playing video games and loves anime. She is very creative and is an amazing artist. And she loves to read.” Clive smiled and said “These are just her hobbies and interests, those are the superficial things in a relationship. I meant, what is she like as a person?” That’s when Ben drew a blank.

Clive explained to Ben that even though the qualities he listed about Ashley were amazing, those were not the qualities that determine compatibility in a relationship. Ben realized that he was being a superficial person judging Ashley based on her talents and hobbies, but when it came to knowing her as a person, he knew nothing. It’s a good thing Ben was a fast study and didn’t take much time at all to make things right.

shallow relationship

8. Lack of concern for the partner’s well-being

One major difference between a surface relationship and deep relationship is the concern that one feels for their partner. In a superficial relationship the concern that your partner shows you will be very surface level which might make you feel neglected in your relationship. They will definitely ask after you when you are down with a cold. Or ask you what’s wrong when you are visibly upset. But that’s just about where it will end. They will never really put in the effort to make you feel better or make the situation any better for you.

A person who is invested in the relationship will go out of their way to make life a bit better for you. And it doesn’t have to be a grand gesture; more often than not, it’s those little acts of kindness that will take your breath away. Like them making you hot soup when you have a cold and sitting with you and watching Korean drama even though you know he would rather play Call of Duty back at his place.

9. Constantly fighting

Fights are inevitable, they happen in every relationship. When put in the right context, they can actually be quite beneficial. It helps a couple get to know each other better and helps them to figure out and establish their boundaries. Conflict resolution done properly can strengthen the bond. That being said, a relationship where there are constant disagreements and conflicts, hints at a broken relationship.

A shallow relationship is basically a relationship that is devoid of any real connection or understanding. And once the novelty of the relationship fades and real-life hits, the difference becomes very apparent which leads to constant tiffs and arguments.

Relate Reading: 15 Signs Your Relationship Is Beyond Repair

10. You are two very different people

Opposites attract. The differences between the couple add spice to the relationship and keep it interesting. If one is a bit timid and gets walked over by people, then having a partner who will stand up for them every once in a while, means so much to the person. Or, a relationship where one is a dreamer and the other is a realist, is a beautiful thing to have. The dreamer is like a kite soaring, touching the skies and the realist is the string that stops the kite from drifting away.

Your core values, your goals, your morals – these make you the person you are. If your partner’s and your core values and ideologies are not compatible, then there is a high probability that you are in a shallow relationship and there is going to be a lot of friction between you two. You can change the habits of a person to an extent, but you cannot and should not try to change a person’s being. Differences in your personality such as these, are not conducive to a long-lasting relationship.

surface relationship- too many conflicts
Too many differences can create conflicts

11. You haven’t met the family

A major sign that a relationship is superficial is when it’s been a while since you’ve been dating, but you haven’t met anyone of your partner’s family members. Meeting the family is a very important milestone in a relationship. It goes to prove that your partner is invested in the relationship and is thinking about a future with you.

A person will use shallow relationship often as a backup till they find someone better. If you and your partner have been dating for a decent amount of time and none of their family members are aware of you, and they also avoid the topic entirely, then it means he is not in the relationship for the long run, but might, in fact, be considering this relationship as a fling.

As enticing and intense as a superficial relationship can be, it rarely ever leads to anything more than a fling. To base a future on a shallow relationship, will create problems and hurt the people involved.
If you want to date casually or if you are merely exploring, then a shallow relationship is the best as it prevents any real attachment from happening. However, if you are looking to settle down or at least be in a committed, long-term relationship, then it’s imperative that you keep in mind these signs.


1. Are most relationships superficial?

In the beginning, most relationships are casual as a result of which the initial attachment might seem superficial. When you start dating a person, you take time to get to know the person better, which involves his preferences, likes, and dislikes. While you might be familiar with her favorite color and whether or not she wants to have kids, you will not know what kind of a mother she’d make. As time goes by these bonds strengthen as you begin to spend more time with each other. You begin to understand each other on a different and very intimate level.

However, sometimes people involved in the relationship are unable to move past the superficial level. The relationships are very fragile and tend to end as soon as the novelty of the relationship fades.

2. Why do all my relationships feel shallow?

If you are looking for a long-term relationship one is bound to find all relationships a bit shallow initially. And more so when you know exactly what you want from a relationship. You have a checklist and it is difficult to find a person who ticks all the boxes. As a result, you might stop yourself from making an attachment at a deeper level with the person you are currently seeing, and thus you feel your relationship is shallow.

Having a deep relationship requires a connection that is not easily found. While some people you just click with right away, with others, it sometimes takes a while to establish that connection. You must give quality time to your relationship for it to go beyond that surface-level connection.

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