Almost relationships – A new concept our generation is acquainted with. The place where the other person in the relationship is led to believe that a friendship is going somewhere in the direction of a solid committed relationship. But really it isn’t. It’s stuck in one place but it gives the illusion that it is headed towards a relationship.
It’s a mockery of feelings. It communicates promises, it suggests care and affection, it projects loyalty and then one fine day, POOF! It goes away. Sometimes it acts like a little trick game – the one who confesses their affection first, loses. It’s an all talk and no work kind of deal.
How it happens?
We let it happen. When it starts, on some level we instinctively recognize it. But it’s like when the common cold flu attacks our body. It introduces itself as a new distinctive ailment that we may not be familiar with. It fools us into believing that it’s different and we begin to understand its uniqueness.
Sometimes we become so big-hearted that we are willing to accept anything and anybody with a defect because we think that only we have the strength and the power to help initiate change. We think we can heal people. We think relationships are a process of major transformation and we are the primary positive catalyst.
By the time we recognize that this damaged person who came to us with a problem that we thought we were meant to solve because of our magical healing abilities is just a regular pain-in-the-ass guy next door, we are already taken over. We have learnt everything about them because we shared. We know their past, we understand their troubles, we have become too much of a friend.
1. Sometimes they tell us that they are not ready to date but we are okay with that. Why are we okay? Why should we be okay with something like that? Because we are all human. On some level, neither of us are completely ready and relationships happen. We don’t proactively look out for them(except if we join a dating app but that’s also just plainly for hook-ups)
2. Sometimes they tell us they are not looking for a serious relationship but give us the feeling that they are, in fact interested in us, that we hold a special place – texting all day, always initiating conversation, sharing their deepest darkest secrets with us, being protective about us, checking in on us at night to see if we got home safe, behaving jealous when we talk about people we hang out with. Basically doing things “friends” don’t do. That to someone who suddenly came into our lives and we became friends with, generally don’t do. Even our old friends don’t do.
3. Sometimes they tell us they are looking for somebody to share their life with, drop subtle hints and then expect us to come clean with how we feel about them.
4. Sometimes when we take the things that they say at face value, all of a sudden it’s GAME OVER!!
So why do we let this happen?
1. We fool ourselves and thereby let them fool us. We think, let’s see how this goes. We waste our time with people like that. Although some of them remain our friends, some don’t. We are able to confront some of them, and the others get away by ghosting us.
2. When they disappear on us after the almost-relationship that lasted for about 4-5 months, we don’t want them to win. We want to keep our shit together. We don’t want to show we care. In retrospect, they did win. They won at a game they began to play and were the only ones playing. We weren’t aware that this was a game. We thought this was real and that it was headed somewhere. We gave what we had and we confessed.
3. We ignore our gut-instincts. We know people like them. We recognize them and we still take the garbage.
4. We don’t have the patience to wait for somebody to tell us that they want the real deal. And they want it with us. Some of us even have these people in our lives but we’ve kept them as friends, or we aren’t attracted to them. Fair enough. You cannot force yourself to be attracted to or date someone you don’t like in that way.
But if somebody is toying with you and misleading you, and you recognize it, don’t allow it to continue. Call the person out on it. Confront them in the beginning. Ask questions. Irritate them till you get their real intentions out in the open. People recognize other more vulnerable people and know whom they can get away with fooling.
If you don’t mean this, why are you saying it? Is this a joke? Maybe it’s not really funny. Why do you keep repeating this joke? What is this supposed to mean?
Aren’t you commitment-phobic? Why would you say something like this to me if you feel this way about relationships in general? Do you feel differently about me?
Do you like me more than a friend? If you don’t, why would you say that? You think it’s fair that you say something like this when what you believe is the complete opposite?
What are we and where are we headed?
Ask what is necessary to be asked. Even if you think that this may affect your friendship (or what is going to come) in an adverse way. It’s not more important that getting your feelings hurt in the end. What does this friendship even mean if this person is going to hurt you in the end?
Some people will avoid these questions and some will answer honestly. Sometimes we hear what we want to hear and we read between the lines. But most other times we are led to believe something and then ultimately tossed out because we misunderstood and we continue to blame ourselves for misunderstanding. Don’t beat yourself up for it.
Somebody who knows what they want will never be so unclear about it. You will always know where you stand with the right people — the ones who know where they have placed you will make it known in the beginning. The rest will confuse you and leave you to your imagination. Don’t fall into the trap.
We don’t always know how we feel about people in the beginning either. We may be unclear, we may feel confused. But we don’t mislead them. We don’t give them hopes or lead them on. We know where they stand and we make it known to them, where they are placed.
Almost relationships have a lasting effect on us and all our future relationships. They shake us up and our belief system. They create trust issues. They make us feel that we don’t deserve real relationships and that we somehow always get stuck in the vicious cycle of the almosts because we are not good enough. We do this to ourselves by choosing people who are unsure about us. And then it doesn’t end because it creates self-doubt and self-loathing.
They aren’t just an unproductive, waste of time. They are a morale-depleting, precious-time consuming parasite that suck out the best of what we can give in relationships to the people who don’t deserve it. parasites who stick to us for a definite period of time for their own benefit at the cost of our personal time and drive out our motivation.
Use the three words.
DON’T ALLOW IT.