You’re waiting for the moment when it stops being exciting. You know it’ll come. You know that sooner rather than later you’ll find a flaw that takes the attraction from spell binding to ordinary and then down one more notch until you’re entirely disenchanted. The wait makes you restless, because once you know what’s coming, going through the motions with someone new starts to feel idle.
You’re waiting for the moment when you have to reveal something about yourself. You can stretch, but after a month or two, things start to come up. You can only get so far on surface level chatter before you get into the real stuff. You’re not ready yet. But that’s not why you back off too soon. You back off because you don’t know when you will be ready. You don’t know if you ever want to push passed the surface. And if you don’t, why keep them around waiting for you to make up your mind?
You don’t need to keep someone around just for the sake of knowing they’re there.
You don’t want people around for their attention. Their attention makes you uncomfortable. You don’t want someone following your life, learning what you do on a daily basis. You want to go about your daily life, keep following your routine and not feel like your choices are under scrutiny. You don’t want to feel selfish for doing your own thing, or prioritizing yourself instead of taking what they want into consideration.
You’re waiting for them to reveal their deal breaker. You’ve reached the point when you’re all too aware that everyone has a catch. Your enthusiasm for learning someone’s “catch” and making it work has waned because you’ve done that before and gotten hurt. Trying to fix people is exhausting.
You weigh the pros of letting someone in with the cons of opening yourself up— even after a first meeting. It’s an initial reaction as opposed to something you only begin to consider a few months in. You want any problem to be forewarned, and once you’re aware of the problem you’ll talk yourself out of the relationship completely. Others may chalk things up to minor flaws, but you play the tape through to the end and bluntly call the situation exactly what it is. If it isn’t going to work out, you’d rather know now.
You’re waiting for someone to be better. You are able to say no to the relationships that don’t have any potential for longevity because, at the end of the day, you don’t want to date for the sake of dating. You want to date someone who is worth keeping around. Someone you will want to let into your routine, and someone whose goals, values and plans have at least the potential to align with yours down the road.
It isn’t cynical to back out of dating someone because you can’t see it going anywhere. It’s protective and in some ways, it’s even a little romantic to hold out hope that there’s someone better. It isn’t overly optimistic to believe that there is someone who will break the monotony of the people who always end up making you disinterested. Nor is it a bad thing to pass over someone to keep yourself available to someone who might be more compatible with you. As defense mechanisms go, this isn’t a bad one to have.