It seems that one of the most difficult parts of navigating the dating world is knowing someone’s intentions. It can be extremely confusing to know if what they’re communicating is accurate to what they really feel and where they see the relationship going. There are many reasons why people might be avoiding committing to a relationship, but the usual underlying reasons are that they don’t want one. For one reason or another, they are not in a place to offer themselves in a romantic way. It could be because they’re not ready, but the root of all of these reasons is because they don’t want it. They simply do not want to commit to a relationship.
The following five excuses are so frequently used, that they can slip their way into any relationship. If someone says any of the following to you, you should probably consider what their underlying message is to you.
1. “The timing isn’t right for me right now.”
The “timing” of life is a difficult thing to navigate, and it frequently does take us by surprise. Life has a way of flowing through seasons, and it doesn’t necessarily mean that your time won’t come. However, this message is more or less conveying that because of how their life is at the moment, you do not fit in it. It’s hard to ever know when the timing would be right for us to date someone. If we wait for everything to align, we are going to be waiting for an extremely long time. Give someone the ability to have their own timeline, but don’t wait around for their timing. If they were really into it, they would pursue you. Trust me.
2. “I don’t want to lose what we have.”
Although one of the scariest parts of entering into a relationship is the fact that you might lose what you currently have going. This excuse is often a way of saying, “I am content with what we have now, and I don’t want to risk anything more.” Unfortunately, with love comes risk. One of the most beautiful parts about love is that it causes us to let go of fear and jump into a partnership with both feet in. This risk could involve pure vulnerability in knowing that you might get hurt at the end of this, but if it is someone you love, the risk is simply worth it. Someone can date you casually for years with this story. If they want you, they’ll show it.
3. “I don’t want anything serious right now.”
The end of this saying, “right now,” can lend hope that maybe in the future something can change. However, it’s exhausting to bank on the fact that someone will change their expectations in the future. Let me make it clear that it’s perfectly acceptable for someone to not be looking for something serious. Yet, I find in so many relationships that this is often the decision barrier that leads to hurt feelings, ruined boundaries, and crossed lines. When someone tells you that they’re not looking for anything serious, you need to listen to them. They aren’t committing. They aren’t going to be your significant other. It’s important to make that distinction clear so that neither of you ends up in a situation where you’re confused about what your relationship status is. I encourage everyone who is looking for something serious, to find those who are looking for the same so that you can be fulfilled by the same level of commitment. If you’re looking to not be tied down, find people who are in a similar boat as you. This is a commitment difference, and it can play a huge role in miscommunications in relationships.
4. “I’m busy with work and other things.”
For the love of all things that are good in the world, if I hear this excuse one more time, I am going to lose my shit. We’re all busy people. Even when we are sitting alone in our rooms, we are trying to navigate through mental tasks and setbacks. If you look at all of our lives, you would see that we are all busy. You make time for the things and the people that you love. It’s just a fact that if you want something or want to be around someone, you will make time for them. I don’t care if you have 80-hour work weeks, I don’t care if you’re writing a dissertation, if you wanted to make time for me, you could. The reality is that you don’t want to pursue me enough to make spending time with me a priority. This is another way of saying, “I’m just not that into you.”
5. “I’m afraid to hurt you.”
The old “I care for you too much, I could never hurt you” approach. When you’re entering a relationship with someone, you aren’t thinking, “Wow, I’m really going to hurt this person.” (If you are, then you need to stop reading this article and find help ASAP.) In those beginning stages of love and lust, all you can really think about is how great your future will be. Although there is definitely a balance between fantasizing about forever and being realistic about the fact that relationships can end, this is not a valid excuse to give someone when you’re dumping them. Breaking up with someone because you’re afraid you will hurt them, is telling them that you already know how this is going to end. It is predicting the future without even giving them an opportunity to try. I would rather be ghosted.
The truth is, we are so afraid of telling someone that they’re not for us that we think of every possible reason why they wouldn’t be. We come up with dishonest excuses and blame our life circumstances for simply not being willing to pursue someone. Why can’t we just tell them? I would much rather have someone just tell me that they’re not interested in me than go to all of this work to make me feel like I’m not worth their time or the risk.
If we get stuck in these excuses, we will pursue the same people our entire life, and they will trap us in these. They will keep us around, but only at arm’s length, because they aren’t looking to commit. So please, solemnly swear to me that you will never use one of these lines again and you will just tell the person, “I do not want a relationship with you right now.” I am begging you. Do it for you, and do it for all of the people who have spent their nights wondering if the right time will come or if their friends with benefits will finally give them a chance. Save yourself, and others the heartbreak. If you’re ready for a relationship, commit with both feet in. If you’re not, just say that you do not want one with that person.
No more excuses. No more lying.
You’ll give the person more clarity if you just tell them where you’re at, rather than making them wait around until you someday make up your mind.