I'm going to be totally up-front: I have been on both sides of the "I'm not looking for a relationship right now" breakup line.
Which is partly why I can tell you with confidence that it's the biggest cop-out excuse ever. It's used exclusively by the biggest cowards in the dating game.
I've said it because I don't want to hurt a guy's feelings by telling him exactly what I don't like about him. (“So you’re kind of boring, and your breath smells like dead people…”).
I have said it because I don't want to completely lose the option of dating said guy if I have a change of heart or he somehow develops a personality and invests in some breath mints.
Just a few months ago, I told a perfectly nice guy who was interested in me that the reason I wasn't being super-responsive was because "I'm not looking for anything serious."
Literally the night after I sent that text, I fell madly in love with a new guy with whom I would drop everything to be in a relationship.
Rude, I know.
Don't worry, karma got me back when a guy I liked then used the "not ready for a relationship right now" line on me. All of a sudden my own tried-and-true excuse sounded like the biggest f*cking load of bullshit I'd ever heard.
I know full well "I'm not looking for a relationship right now" is code for “I’m not looking for a relationship right now with YOU." But also, "Please don’t be alarmed if we flash forward three months, and I’m in a full-blown relationship with a girl I actually like."
Turns out it's pretty painful when some douche tells me he’s not looking for anything serious, so we keep “casually” hooking up, until suddenly, BAM! He’s in a serious relationship with someone who apparently offered something I couldn't.
Next thing you know, the douchebag is uploading nauseating couple selfie after nauseating couple selfie with captions like “BAE WATCHING <3” and “Love this girl." Of course, you only know this because you and your friends are stalking the sh*t out of said “BAE" and dissecting all her flaws.
I’m sure many of you, like me, have been this douche. It's a vicious cycle — while we're busy chasing douches who didn’t want anything “serious,” we become that douche to another perfectly nice person who is busy chasing us.
And that's why I'm vowing to stop accepting this as an excuse AND stop using it as one, and I'm encouraging you to do the same. Here's why.
If you're using this excuse, you don't like the person enough to be dating them.
The person for whom you reserve this excuse is a special person. You like him or her. You care about hurting his feelings. You don’t want to lose her COMPLETELY.
But if you're pushing them away with the "not looking for a relationship" excuse, it's time to face the fact that you just aren’t that into this person. At least, not enough to actually commit to them.
And who wants to be with someone who likes them just enough to keep them hanging around in dating limbo with no chance of a real future?
We all deserve to be more than someone's back burner.
It gives the person false hope.
The irony is that we use this excuse because we don't want to hurt anybody's feelings, but in the end, lying will only hurt the person more.
I know because I’ve been that person. I've waited around and tried to be “chill” in hopes that "not looking for a relationship" guy would one day change his mind and whisk me off into the sunset.
And you know where that got me? Alone, four Moscow Mules deep on a Tuesday night waiting for him to maybe call. In this case, it actually is cruel to be kind.
At the end of the day, if you want to date someone, you will.
I don’t care what the circumstances are. I don't care what's going on in my life or how "ready" for a relationship I think I am. The fact of the matter is: If I like you, I will date you.
When you meet the right person, you'll drop everything for them. You'll lose interest in anyone else. Your feelings will be so strong that you'll have no choice but to be with that person.
Real relationships find you whether you're looking or not.