Thought Catalog

5 Types Of Almost-Relationships You Should Never Engage In

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Aaron Anderson
Aaron Anderson

Dating is hard enough for our generation without almost-relationships confusing the hell out of us. I always say, there’s no such thing as mixed signals and that if your almost-boyfriend is making you feel unsure of where you stand or you think the guy you’re dating is ghosting you, that’s a clear enough sign that it’s not heading in the right direction. If he doesn’t seem to want to progress the relationship into something more serious while you do, you need to walk away. Although every part of you is telling you that it would be a mistake to continue engaging, you’ll often keep participating in these pseudo-relationships because you think you’d rather have a piece of him than have nothing with him at all.

More women need to start demanding to have his all. When it comes to dating, you deserve to date someone who’s all in, otherwise you’ll keep needing validation and reassurance as you won’t feel confident in his feelings for you. If you really like the guy, you should have an “all or nothing” mentality so that you don’t get hurt. In that spirit, here are 7 types of almost-relationships you need to cut off immediately:

1. When you almost love him. Almost loving him and believing that he almost has the qualities you want in a significant other are both big problems in today’s dating world. For example, let’s say you’re dating a guy who makes you laugh all the time (and it’s really hard for people to make you laugh). This same guy seems to really connect with you, you feel comfortable around him and the sex is great. If he’s got all these awesome qualities but he’s a commitment-phobe, that means he’s missing the most important quality of all.

If you’ve got great chemistry with him and an amazing connection, but he in some strange way keeps you at arm’s length, it’s tough to fall in love. You’ll continue to almost love him as long as he won’t let you fall in love by continuing to keep you at a certain distance. Maybe he’s doesn’t think he deserves your love – and it’s tough because he does deserve love – everyone does. All you can do is move on, and fondly remember him as the one that got away, and the one who almost got your love.

2. When you’re almost sure you’re exclusive. It’s strange how difficult it is for some of us to find the guts to ask our guy to be exclusive. We can think he’s probably not seeing anyone else, but what’s so hard about confirming that with him? The main reason it’s difficult is because we’re putting ourselves in an extremely vulnerable situation by saying “I want more from you.” We’d prefer to wait for him to ask us first, and sometimes we simply get nervous and change our mind about asking him out of fear of rejection, or out of fear that we won’t get the answer we wanted.

It’s also common to be afraid that if you ask him to be exclusive, he might realize the two of you want different things and he’ll decide to break it off. You’d rather play it safe and keep things how they are rather than risk things ending if you ask for more. What kind of life is that, though? You’ll remain in this almost-relationship forever if you don’t set the record straight. If he’s not asking you to be exclusive, it’s probably because he doesn’t want to be – so it’s time to stop participating in this “relationship” and find someone who wants something more real.

3. When he almost acts like he’s your boyfriend. He’s introduced you to all of his friends, you’ve met his parents and he’s even told you that he loves you. He’s doing all the things a boyfriend would do, but he for some reason doesn’t want to call you his girlfriend.

It’s almost as though you’re an expensive leather jacket he’s put on layaway. He’s already paid for half, but he’s not sure if he wants to pay for the other half and own the jacket yet. Just knowing that he’s got the jacket if he wants it is good enough. He knows that if he decides to put down the other half of the deposit, it’s his – but he’s not ready to make that kind of commitment – which is strange, because he obviously liked the jacket a lot if he put down the initial 50% deposit in the first place. I guess what I’m trying to say is, sometimes men are really hard to understand, and if you feel as though you’re being mind-fucked, you need to cut your losses.

4. When you almost feel good enough for him. Batting out of your league is your prerogative, and sometimes when you think the guy you’re dating is out of your league, you’re dead wrong. The worst is when you date someone who makes you feel as though you’re not quite good enough for him – especially since you’re probably more than good enough for him.

If you’re suddenly consumed with ideas of how to impress him and buying expensive new outfits every time you have a date with him, that’s a sign that you don’t feel confident in the relationship. It’s not that treating yourself to a new outfit is a bad thing; it’s only an issue if you’re doing those things because you don’t feel secure in the almost-relationship you’re in. The right man will say and do things that make you feel certain that he’s very into you.

5. When you’re almost back together with him. The worst kind of almost-relationship is when two exes start seeing each other again, but they’re not officially back together. It’s one of those casual relationships that has no label, and yet it doesn’t feel casual because there’s too much history. You’ll torture yourself with this ultra-confusing situation for ages while one or both of you keep one foot out the door.

If you and your ex realize you still care about each other and decide to start seeing each other again, that’s not a bad thing. What’s bad is that you’re remaining in limbo instead of committing to give it another shot for real. It’s one thing to feel things out for a bit and make a decision to jump back in; it’s a whole different thing to be in the ‘feeling things out’ stage for an unnecessarily long time. TC mark

Erica Gordon is the author of Aren’t You Glad You Read This? The Complete How-To Guide for Singles with a History of Failed Relationships Who Want their Next Relationship to Succeed, available here.

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