Purgatory, among other things, means the place in the afterlife between heaven and hell. In the dating world, heaven is where you and your crush are both extremely into each other and hell is where the object of your desire couldn’t be less interested.
Dating purgatory is something many men and women experience when their prospects aren’t super interested, but aren’t exactly disinterested, either. Perhaps there’s still a visible interest, but not enough to allow you to be sure of where you stand.
If you constantly find yourself in Dating Purgatory, it may be time to consider the five following rules:
1. If You’re Not First, You’re Last
In the words of Ricky Bobby’s dad, “If you’re not first, you’re last.” In other words, if you’re dating someone and the way you feel isn’t “F-CK YES, I like this person,” it should be an automatic “NO.” The opposite — how your prospect feels about you — should follow the same rule.
I have always truly believed in the rule of “F-ck Yes or NO”, and recently an article by Mark Manson reminded me of it’s relevance – especially in today’s casual dating culture. Some people prefer to give their prospects a certain shelf life before writing them off, but if you’ve been dating for over a month and you’re not feeling “F-ck Yes!” it’s likely a good time to move on.
If your crush were speaking about you to his or her friends, would he or she say, “F-ck Yes!,” or “Yeah, I’m pretty into it” followed by a shoulder shrug? If you think it’s the shrug, walk away. Why would you want your dating life to feel mediocre at best?
Instead of putting ourselves through days, months or even years of Dating Purgatory, we must move on unless we feel certain that there’s a serious level of mutual interest. Otherwise, we are just letting someone who is clearly not “the one” block the right person from getting to us.
It doesn’t matter if you are “sort of” into the person because that’s simply not good enough! You wouldn’t waste calories on a huge slice of cake just because it tasted “fine,” right? But, if it was the best damn cake you’ve ever tasted, damn right you’d eat it – and you wouldn’t consider it a waste of calories, either.
2. Watch For Signs Of Dating Purgatory
Another form of Dating Purgatory is when you haven’t yet had the “are you seeing other people?” talk. Without the talk, the relationship is undefined and you can’t be sure of where you stand. If you have to ask yourself where you stand with your romantic interest, there’s your answer.
You must walk away, because if you have to question where you stand you’re clearly not in a “f-ck yes” relationship. If you were, you would both want to lock it down.
3. If You Don’t Tell Me How You Feel, You’ll Lose Me
Instead of leaving the person you’re dating still wondering about where you stand, verbalize how you feel. If you are extremely into the person, say so!
Dating Purgatory is occurring because everyone is evading the necessary questions. If someone you’re dating is happy staying in this awkward stage of limbo, and you’re not happy, it’s a sign that you should walk away.
4. Don’t Fall Into A Trap
It’s easy to fall into a trap and end up in Dating Purgatory. For example, let’s say you really want your ex back. You therefore attempt to convince your ex to give it another try and finally, your ex concedes and will try again.
Unless the answer was, “F-ck yes I want to try again because I miss you so much!,” don’t do it. You should not “give it another try” if you had to convince someone to be with you. Again, the reverse is true. Perhaps you can be easily convinced to try again with an ex you were never so crazy about from the start. Alas, Dating Purgatory continues because you did not follow the rule of “f-ck yes or no.”
5. Find the Courage To Free Yourself From Purgatory
It’s not easy, but once you come to the realization that this person is just not that into you, you need to free yourself from Dating Purgatory. This isn’t always as simple as it sounds, though, especially when someone is stringing you along.
If someone is giving you an inch, don’t take a mile. Take everything at face value; if you get an inch of someone’s time, you’ll likely continue to get an inch of attention and an inch of affection.
I will leave you with one of my favorite anonymous quotes:
Don’t be someone’s down-time, spare-time, part-time or sometime. If they can’t be there for you all of the time, then they’re not even worth your time.