I’ve genuinely loved many people in my short life, but I can’t say that many people genuinely loved me. Being a writer for a major media outlet and hosting events in a major city has folks attempting to piece together who you are as a person, only knowing very little about, well …who you are as a person.

Perception, unfortunately, outweighs reality.

There are some people who will fall in love with their perception of who you are before getting to know the real you. You don’t need those people. Here’s why:

1. They will constantly make you feel bad about who you are.

Have you ever dated someone who fell in love with your professional accomplishments, your persona, or your temperament, and/or how you are in public, but the minute you’re alone and they realize how “regular” you are, they’re “over it”? Well, I have. Anyone who cannot do everything and nothing with you isn’t interested in the real you. If you always feel the need to “perform” with your mate then guess what? You should be questioning whether their “love” for you is real.

2. They simply accept you for who you are and do not challenge you to do better.  

I was listening to a conversation between a coach and a player recently. The coach talked about how as a child he was on the track team, and his coach would ride his back for hours. He didn’t understand why the coach was giving him such a hard time then, but now he did. It was because the coach cared. The man stressed the point that had his coach not cared, he wouldn’t have said anything. Because he did, the coach credited him with becoming a better player. The one who tells you about yourself and who is still willing to love you through the storm is emotionally invested in you. Otherwise, they wouldn’t give a damn about you messing up. In other words, people who genuinely love you want you to DO BETTER and are not afraid to tell you.

3. They are more concerned with appearances than your actual relationship.

I’m not saying that you should post all of your troubles on social media for the world to consume, but if the images your mate portrays about your relationship online drastically conflict with how your union really is, then there’s trouble in paradise. Understand that your mate is more interested in how things look than what they really are. Someone who is genuinely invested in you and your union will be more concerned with making you happy and figuring out solutions.

Shantell E. Jamison is EBONY’s senior editor of Love and Relationships. Her book, Drive Yourself in the Right Direction, is available on Amazon. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter @Shantell_em and Instagram @Shantell_em.