How to Deal When Intentions and Actions Don’t Align

Actions speak louder than words.

It’s a phrase we’re all familiar with, but too many of us have difficulty applying it to our lives. When you’re knee-deep in your feelings about a relationship, it can be difficult to step back and evaluate your significant other’s true intentions. If you find yourself wondering whether or not your S.O. is actually putting in the effort, these tips will help you decide whether their actions speak louder than words.

Think About the Moment in Question

Think back on a time you felt your S.O. didn’t live up to their word. What happened at that moment? What was said and what was done? How did you feel? What made you feel that way?

Sometimes, our emotions can get the better of us, and we can misconstrue a situation. Rather than lashing out in the heat of the moment, reflect on the situation and get to the bottom of why you’re feeling that way. This will help you bridge the gap between intentions and actions.

Open a Dialogue

The goal here isn’t to be combative—it’s to address things before they get out of hand. If you feel there is a difference between what your S.O. is saying and what they’re doing, they need to know about it.

A frank conversation will help you determine how committed your S.O. is to a relationship with you. They may become instantly dismissive or resort to gaslighting (making you question the validity of your feelings and putting the blame on you), in which case you have your answer. Hopefully, it will begin a larger conversation that will help you both grow together. Remember that everything in a relationship is a two-way street. It’s possible they have feelings to share with you as well.

Don’t Keep a Mental Tally

While you do want to think back on past situations, you don’t want to start keeping a mental tally of all the times your S.O. didn’t keep their word. This is a tactic that will drive conflict, leading you to war rather than a resolution.

Focus less on the details of the situation and more on the underlying cause of your feelings. Your feelings are valid, but it’s much easier to discuss them when you understand what’s causing them. Instead of building up an arsenal of accusations, gather thoughts and feelings that you can support with real-life situations.

Trust Your Gut

When it comes down to it, your gut is your best friend. Like a good friend, your gut has more perspective on your relationship than you do. Again, your feelings are valid, so rely on them when trying to assess your relationship.

If you have a nagging feeling that something isn’t lining up between your S.O.’s actions and their words, odds are you’re right. That’s a gut feeling that shouldn’t go unchecked.

Separating fact from fiction isn’t easy when you’re emotionally invested. Rather than allowing your emotions to lead your head, step back and think through these steps to make sure you’re with someone who is worth your time.

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