When you are in your mid-to-late twenties, thirties, or older, a lot changes in your life from the time you were in high school. You have learned more, experienced life, and (hopefully) started paying your bills. But it seems that in some cases, the dating habits do not grow up, and somehow we stay stuck in the high school phase. The sad part is that people are ‘okay’ with it and they shouldn’t be, because it’s ridiculous. Most girls talk to their girlfriends about some or all of these norms and trust me, no girl likes it unless she is on the other side. Come on people, grow up a little. Here is a list of some ‘unacceptable’ yet commonly used dating phrases.
1. “Let’s hang out.”
You are no longer in high school. Adults make plans and follow through; they do not just “hang out.” Plus another annoying thing is no one chooses to hang out after 2AM. No one “hangs out” to watch a movie after a certain hour. You deserve more than a 2 AM text. If someone wants to hang out “inside of you,” they should also hang out “outside of you.”
2. “I’m busy.”
We all have a life and we all have things to do. If someone is too busy to spend time with you, it is a clear sign that s/he is neither invested nor interested. So hold on to your pride and let this busy body just go because it is not worth it. One of my favorite quotes is “no one is ever too busy, it is a matter of priorities.” If s/he likes you, s/he will make time even if they work 100 hours a week.
3. “Where is this headed?”
Honey, if you have to ask yourself or your significant this question after dating for some time, the answer is “nowhere.” So it’s smarter to end it and find a different path. Remember that the longer you stay with the “I don’t know where this is going” person, the fewer road options you will have to explore in life. If one of you wants it to go to one place, and the other has a different destination, just put an end to it. You will thank yourself later.
4. “I’m not looking for a relationship right now.”
This one is easy; it actually means: “I am not looking or ready to be in a relationship right now WITH YOU.” If someone does not want to be with you right now, it is doubtful they will be ready to be with you down the line. You are just wasting your time here. I know it hurts but your gut probably did yell this out to you over and over again, and you chose to ignore that tingling sensation of common sense.
5. “I need some space.”
Relationships take work and they’re definitely an investment, but if someone wants a “break” so early on, how can the two of you work on your problems later in life? I agree that at times, people need some time apart to figure things out. But most of the time when someone wants space, the honest translation is “I need a whole lot of space from you for an infinite amount of time.” It’s a nice way of saying, “I am done but I do not want to sound like a jerk/bitch.”
6. “I need to find myself first.”
If finding yourself is so important to you then you probably should not be dating and wasting someone else’s time. Life is full of questions and yes we need answers, but if “finding yourself” is affecting your supposed relationship, then there was probably never a relationship to begin with. This phrase may also be used as a lame excuse. Ok future Buddha, go get enlightened but do not get in someone else’s way.
7. “Why do we need a label?”
Honestly I do not think any relationship needs a label, but if it is important to you and the other person does not think the same way, then seriously, why are you still with this person? The truth is you CANNOT change another person, you will NOT be the reason someone changes. If they want to change, they just do. Having two separate expectations may take you far in life, but like two parallel lines, they will never intersect.
8. “I need to get to know you better.”
This one can be genuine, but if after months of dating you still need to get to know the other person better, I don’t know how much you want to know. This may sound like a cliché but it does not take that long to realize whether or not you like someone enough to invest your time and energy on them – you just know. Of course, if this is used after a couple of dates but then again, why is this being brought up? This phrase guarantees awkwardness and an eventual end.
9. “I want to take it slow.”
If two people have done almost everything an official couple has done except identified themselves as a couple, this should not come up. If it does come up, it’s not that the person is cautious and wants to take it slow – they have actually put their brakes on. They do not want to move further, so use your sixth sense. Clearly s/he wants to date someone else
10. “I am not sure if we are compatible.”
If someone did not think your compatibility was an issue the first night you stayed over at their house, and you both continued to hang out mostly just the two of you without really meeting each other’s friends….you know where this is going. It’s not because of their zodiac signs or the stars; it just means one of them does not like the other person as much. Using “compatible” just makes people feel like they sound mature, but it’s just a cop out. This can also be rephrased as “it’s not you, it’s me” translating to “it is actually you.”