I recently posted something on Instagram that a lot of you related to.
It said the following:
“Dating in 2015: Let’s be friends, just friends. I’m not ready for a relationship but I expect you to do things with me considered inappropriate in terms of a friendship. We’re not together, you can’t claim me, you can’t be with anyone but me. I need you to be loyal but I’ll do what I want and when you get mad, I’ll just tell you we’re not together. If you catch feelings, I’ll become distant. You knew what this was…I told you, I’m not ready for a relationship.”
We all relate to it because we’ve experienced it, and that’s sad.
I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve been in that predicament. I meet a guy, he tells me he doesn’t want anything serious right now, I begrudgingly agree and, understandably so, proceed with my guard up. But over time, his actions differ from his words. We pretty much act like a couple and you almost completely forget that initial conversation. So, I start to think maybe he changed his mind? But the second it starts catching up to us (him) that we’re practically in a relationship–boom. He suddenly gets “busy.”
You know me, I don’t waste two seconds to call people out on their shit. And the response is always the same, “I told you from the beginning I don’t want a relationship.”
OH REALLY? THAT’S INTERESTING.
Let me break this down for you guys who think that this little disclaimer you share is a Get Out of a Relationship Free Card.
If you say you’re not ready for a relationship, then don’t act like you’re in one. And more importantly, don’t get surprised when we throw caution to the wind and think your words were full of it.
Yes, it’s true. Sometimes we don’t take the whole “I don’t want anything serious right now” line seriously, because everyone says it. And you know why they say it? Yeah, sometimes because it’s the truth, but most of the time it’s because they’re afraid of commitment and don’t want to cut ties with the single life, so they try to have their cake and eat it, too. Sorry, bud, life doesn’t work that way.
If you truly don’t want anything serious, then don’t lead a girl on by making her feel special (yeah, you read that right) and don’t make her feel like your girlfriend, because she can give two you-know-whats about what you said. She’s focusing on what you do. And if what you’re doing is making her feel like you’re in a relationship, then how can you blame her for thinking that way? That’s your bad.
You can’t play with someone’s heart and emotions and then back up when things get too real. That’s some selfishness right there. Telling her “Oh well I told you this and that” isn’t going to magically make you any less liable for what went down.
But ladies, you’re not blame-free in this situation, either. Yeah, guys tend to flip-flop with the whole situation, but it takes two to tango. If he says he doesn’t want anything, then you gotta take his words seriously. You can’t hope he’s gonna change. You can’t hope you’re different. You can’t make excuses for his words and then get mad when it turns out, he meant it. And when you find out he means it, and that’s not what you want, walk away. I know, I’ve been there, too.
So this is what you do…
You’re an adult. Treat your relationships as such. If you meet someone and you’re not sure what you want yet, say that.
“I’m not sure what I want just yet, to be honest. I’m just seeing where things go.”
If at some point, you realize you don’t see yourself with this person, say that.
“I’m sorry, but this isn’t working out for me.” (Yeah, it’s ugly. Yeah, it’s uncomfortable, but guess what, IT’S THE RIGHT THING TO DO.)
And, now this is the big one, if you start finding yourself constantly hanging out with this person, calling them, talking to them, acting like you’re a couple without the title–face the freakin’ facts.
YOU WANT TO BE WITH THEM.
Having your heart broken is terrifying. Finding someone you start to really care about is terrifying. But it’s also a beautiful thing…if you give it the chance.
When I tell people the name of my blog, 99% of the time their first response is, “So what is the problem with dating?”
And my answer is always the same: “I think there are a lot of problems with dating today, but one of the biggest is options. People are so distracted by all the potential options out there, that they’re afraid to invest in one person.”
Guess what? Tip-toeing into a faux relationship with someone where you’re constantly half in and half out is the easiest way to miss out on what could potentially be everything you never knew you needed.
So don’t be the problem. Be the solution.