There are millions of ways we meet friends or romantic partners, and often a passing shared interest will turn into something much more! But how do you know if your relationship is superficial and won’t withstand any pressure?
Here we’ll explore what a superficial relationship means, the pros and cons, and how to spot if this situation applies to you.
Superficial Relationship Definition
A relationship is superficial when it only exists on the surface and lacks a meaningful emotional connection. It is when the two people are not bonded by shared values and goals in life. In essence, they are together out of convenience and seek to satisfy superficial needs only.
Here is a perfect example of a superficial relationship. You have dated someone in school who you didn’t resonate with on a deeper level, but you looked good together in your prom photos.
The issue is that there is a substantial difference between a meaningful bond based on mutual love, compassion, respect and trust, and one that is purely convenient.
It’s, therefore, crucial to know whether your relationship has legs – be it a friendship or a romantic partnership! Superficial connections are usually very short-term, and the facade will crumble as soon as the going gets tough.
Is a Superficial Connection Always a Bad Thing?
Being in a superficial friendship or dating someone for vacuous reasons isn’t always a negative!
There are some great ways you can have fun, explore, and make the most of the moment without it needing to be a profoundly life-changing occasion. Here are a few examples of superficial connections that aren’t necessarily bad:
Meeting people when traveling tends to be superficial, but it can be a healthy way to enjoy the experience without misleading anybody into thinking you’re in it for the long term.
You might end up in a superficial partnership if you haven’t yet got to grips with your values or don’t know where you want to go next. There is nothing wrong with casual dating or networking while you figure out your next move.
Superficial might mean it isn’t deep and meaningful, but it doesn’t mean it can’t be light-hearted, enjoyable, and a way to find out more about what you want from something more committed!
In short, provided you both know it’s just a cursory connection and aren’t expecting anything more, a relationship based on cosmetic compatibility isn’t a problem.
Ten Signs of a Superficial Relationship
So, suppose you’re unsure whether you and your partner are in it for the long haul.
In that case, it’s essential to evaluate the dynamic and establish whether you are only together for perfunctory, practical, or frivolous reasons or not.
Here are the top ten signs that your relationship is superficial and not meant to last:
1. Lack of Communication
Superficial relationships lack emotional intimacy – it’s probably the most important indicator that your connection with the other person is shallow.
Say you don’t ever talk about feelings, turn to somebody else when you’re struggling, and wouldn’t expect to be a shoulder to cry on. Most likely, it’s not going to be the kind of relationship that will be a part of your life forever.
2. You Don’t Care about Each Other’s Needs
Say you aren’t fussed whether your friend or partner is having a good time and only hang out to get a reaction from your friends or fit in with social norms.
You don’t have a deep enough connection to build that foundation of trust and support essential for a long-term relationship to work.
3. Not Talking about the Future
You’re not planning for your lives in a decade because you don’t expect to be together that long in most casual relationships. If you never think about the future or don’t know what your partner wishes to do with their life, it’s not a committed partnership.
4. Out of Sight, Out of Mind
Real love and close friendships can be pivotal factors in how we think. Therefore, when you are emotionally bonded with someone, you’re likely to think about how they are and what they are doing when you’re apart.
If that doesn’t happen, and you don’t spare a second to think about somebody when you aren’t together, it shows a lack of emotional connection. It’s one of the most telling signs of a superficial relationship.
5. Lack of Shared Values
When you spend time with someone for fun, the conversation likely doesn’t go beyond where to go or what to eat. If you don’t know what a person values or their most treasured belief systems, you aren’t that intimate, even if you have fantastic sex!
6. Trivial Arguments
There has to be give and take in any successful relationship because no two people are on an identical page every time. Relationships, where there are constant rows about silly things or immature topics, mean you are engaging superficially and don’t gel.
7. Lies or Mistruths
Back to respect – if you love someone and value their presence in your life, you won’t lie to them, deceive, or tell fibs if you don’t feel like spending time with them.
Find yourself making lame excuses because you want to have an early night, and don’t just come clean? It’s probably a superficial friendship; real friends will always feel comfortable being honest and open!
8. It’s All about Sex
Again, there is nothing wrong with a sexual relationship between two consenting adults – and it can be a healthy way to satisfy your libido if you aren’t in an emotional place to offer more!
Don’t ever think that a relationship based solely on physical interactions is forever, though. Intimacy is about so much more than sex. It means opening your heart and all the vulnerabilities that go along with that.
9. You Date for Looks
Blame it on peer pressure, societal expectations, social media – whichever the cause, many people pick a date based only on looks and don’t care whether they have a rapport or shared interests that will sustain a relationship past the early honeymoon period.
10. Other People Are Fair Game
Finally, if you are often looking at other people or fantasizing about somebody else, it may well be that you are in a superficial relationship.
If you’re not committed to each other on a deeper level and are only together for convenience, it won’t be long before the greener grass pulls one of you away.
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