This summer I decided to take the plunge and end my two year dry spell with someone that I met off our dear old friend, Tinder. I had absolutely no idea what I had signed myself up for, but it taught me a thing or two about what it means to be in a not-relationship with someone.
1. It’s probably a good idea to talk about your true intentions before you initiate anything with anyone.
My initial stated intention was to “just find someone to hang out with and watch Netflix all day and maybe spoon.” Silly me. I mean, we can reference something that I learned in college here, which is that “coming over to hang out and watch a movie” does not actually mean going over to someone’s place of inhabitance to hang out and watch a movie. I would say that it probably means you’re going to fornicate. A lot. If you do talk about your intentions, you better say what you mean. If I was honest to him and myself, I would have said something like this “I just want to find someone to watch Netflix all day with me and maybe spoon and have sex and cuddle and play chess and also wants to hang out with me all the time okay.” If you want something just throw it out there. If the other person isn’t on board you can either compromise or just NEXT him like on that old MTV show.
2. There are no rules but it is a definitely a game.
When you take part in a casual relationship, there are no rules. While this may sound amazing, it’s actually the worst thing ever. Not knowing where you stand with someone is exhausting and complicated.
3. He is not your boyfriend.
This may seem obvious, but for me it was very hard to wrap my head around the fact that this guy did not want to go on dates with me after our first meeting. (Harsh, right?) It was an adjustment to know that he would probably never ask me to stay the night or that I couldn’t count on him to text me in the morning.
4. Know when to stop.
Word on the street from HBO GIRLS is that you stop having a casual relationship after 6 months or when someone isn’t having fun anymore. If you’re sitting at home wondering why he won’t text you back or crying and listening to “Burn” by Usher on repeat while looking out a window at the rain, you aren’t having fun. You’re having not-fun. You’re actually pretty miserable and lonely, which was not the point of putting yourself out there in the first place.
5. Terminating the relationship hurts just as much as terminating an actual relationship.
On those days that you never get a text, you consider that maybe that was the last you’d ever hear from him. You never know if you should move on or just keep trying unless one of the people in the relationship actually comes out and talks about their feelings. It’s a blow to your pride being broken up with in a relationship that was never a relationship in the first place.
6. You have to know what you want.
My fundamental problem is that I never know what I want. If you’re going to put yourself out there and have a not-relationship with someone, you have to be prepared to know that he or she might not have any feelings for you- at all. You need to step back and ask yourself if that’s what you want. Sometimes it’s worth taking a gamble because maybe it’ll help you realize what kind of a relationship you want, which is what it did for me.
You deserve the best kind of love out there. Don’t give up. You took part in something really raw and human and hopefully you learned so much from it. Never settle and never sell yourself short.