I Actually Like Almost Relationships

Girl in an almost relationship
Unsplash / Caique Silva

There is a sick part of me that actually enjoys almost relationships. I like the adrenaline that comes along with flirting in such a subtle way that no one else notices it. I like how every text is so unexpected that it brings my heart leaping through my chest. I like how I am never sure what the day is going to bring because there is always a chance that they will invite me over at the last second.

I like almost relationships because the extreme highs and lows bring a dash of excitement into my otherwise boring life. The days when I feel worthless because the person has gone MIA and won’t answer any of my messages suck — but the days when they call me out of the blue, sweep me into their passenger seat, and stare into my eyes in a way that screams they’re interested? Those days are like a drug. Those days are worth every tear.

I like almost relationships because, for a short while, I can pretend that I am desirable. I can act like I am on my way to a real relationship. I can daydream about bringing them home and buying a dog with them and spending the holidays together. I can convince myself that everything is going to be okay. I can live inside a fantasy world.

Maybe my take on almost relationships makes me a masochist. Or maybe it’s a product of being a self-destructive pessimist. At the end of the day, I don’t actually expect anyone to date me. I don’t expect them to decide that I am the Love Of Their Life and agree to settle down with me. So my disappointment is never unexpected. I try to enjoy the short amount of time that I get to spend with them. I try to enjoy it for what it’s worth.

Of course, that doesn’t mean I move on with any semblance of grace. After they walk away, I will still stalk their Instagram to see who they are dating now so I can compare pictures. I will still get that sinking feeling in my stomach whenever I see how happy they are with someone new. I will still think about them on late nights when my tipsy fingers want to type out an I-miss-you message. I will still struggle to forget about them because they made a mark on my heart.

When it’s all over, when they are finally out of my life, I am always hit with the reality of how badly almost relationships suck. It makes me remember how unhealthy one-sided feelings are for my self-esteem. It makes me remember that I should raise my standards and only accept people who are serious about the effort they put into me.

But there’s still a strange part of me likes almost relationships, because even though they never lead to a serious relationship, that doesn’t mean the feelings never existed. That doesn’t mean I never mattered to them. That doesn’t mean the happiness I felt at the time wasn’t real. TC mark

The truth is that you can be struggling and still be loved.

You don’t have to solve your whole life tonight. You just have to show up and try. Focus on the most immediate thing in front of you. You’ll figure out the rest along the way.

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