6 Signs Your Almost-Relationship Is Going Nowhere And You Need To Get Out
"To be, or not to be," may be the question, but there is a definite third option when it comes to relationships: "to sort of be."
The almost-relationship is (sadly) totes normal these days. I have spent as long as a year (er, maybe two) in half-relationships that were somewhere between a hookup and a romantic, serious relationship.
This is partially due to my fear of intimacy and inability to commit, and partially due to the men I choose to spend time with (probably also due to my fear of intimacy). Someone I spent far too long with once actually told me, "It was just really nice to pretend to be in a long-term relationship for a while" at the end of our time well (terribly) spent. Woof.
I've tried to explain to my dad that "I'm not looking for a relationship" is a normal thing people who are actively dating say nowadays. My dad's response? "Then why are they going on dates?"
We live in strange times, and if you're not sure if your almost-relationship is going anywhere, here are some signs that you need to get out, according to matchmaker and dating coach Lori Salkin:
1. You Only Hang Out Once A Week
If you have been seeing your almost-S.O. for six weeks, and they are still only putting aside one night a week for you, buyer beware. I don't care how busy they are; if things were going to progress, you'd be hanging more than once a week.
If you "find that he doesn't save weekends for you but only schedules a once a week date on a Tuesday night, he's likely not that committed to the relationship," explains Salkin.
It can feel like a big step to start hanging out multiple days in a row, but that's pretty much exactly what a relationship is. Ask your boo to hang twice in one week and see what their response is. If there is any waffling, move along.
2. They Don't Text You In Between Hang Outs
Maybe you're both traveling all of the time for work, or even living in separate cities. No excuses. Texting takes two thumbs and is possible internationally, so you should be getting a steady stream of texts in between rendezvous if this person is into you.
"I had a couple where the girl came back from a week-long trip and left the following weekend open for the guy she had been dating for the last month, and he waited until the Monday after that to reach [out] to her to see her trip went," says Salkin.
Needless to say, they broke up weeks later.
Not everyone loves text banter, but if whatever you've got going on is moving towards relationship land, you should both miss each other when you are apart. If your almost-relationship's not sending you sweet nothings, or even checking in to see if you're alive, they're just not that into you.
3. You Keep Hearing The Excuse "I'm Busy"
"I'm busy" is my least favorite excuse in the book. We are all busy. We are all trying to juggle our schedules. You are not special.
"When the guy you are dating has time for his friends on the weekend, his colleagues at happy hour during the week, but when you ask how his week is going he says he's slammed and so busy, it's a definite red flag that the relationship is going nowhere," explains Salkin.
Don't go crazy stalker mode, but pay attention. If the person you have been dating is constantly saying, "I'm sorry, I can't hang it's been a super busy week," and then 'gramming pictures with his college buddies at happy hour, think twice about his intentions in keeping you around.
4. They Dodge Invites To Meet Your Friends
If you are going on two months of dating and you haven't met your semi-significant other's friends, you might consider what's going on.
I'm not suggesting he's embarrassed of you, or that he's dating someone else — though both could be true because love hurts — it's still v bizarre that you don't know more about each other's lives.
"If you invite the guy you're dating to attend a casual work event or a friend's birthday party and he always dodges the invitation, it's also likely a sign," says Salkin. "If [he doesn't attend] something that is important enough for you to invite him to, he doesn't feel strongly enough about you to do things for you that matter to you."
Have you made an excuse for your "halfsie" one too many times when he's ditched on a happy hour with your people other than just you? Onto the next one.
5. They're Still On The Apps
This should be an easy "peace out and see you never" moment.
"If you see him still active on a dating app where the two of you met, he's likely still using it, not just looking at your profile again," says Salkin.
Call semi-bae out on it and ask them how many other people they are dating. It doesn't make you uncool, it makes you a person with self-respect. Don't torture yourself by "waiting to see what happens."
6. You Haven't Had "The Talk"
According to Salkin, around six or so weeks into dating, you should have the "what are we?" talk. "In a relationship that shows promise, the guy should be starting to hint towards being exclusive or calling you his girlfriend by that time in the relationship," says Salkin.
If at this point there's been no mention of exclusivity, bring it up. As one who has spent years in purgatory because it felt easier than saying how I truly felt, don't make my mistake.
If he's not into it, it will hurt, but you'll get the pain over with now rather than later when you have invested even more time in the half-relationship.
Dating is complicated, and timing is definitely a factor. If the signs above sound familiar to you, and you realize it's time to get out of your almost-relationship, be proud of yourself for recognizing that fact. Don't beat yourself up; there's usually nothing you could have done differently.
It's better to get out now, and maybe hear from him a few months or years down the road if it's meant to be, rather than waste more time texting him when you could be meeting people who are on the same page as you.
Your almost-relationship might feel half-full or it might feel half-empty, but wouldn't you prefer a full one?
Tip the scales one way or the other and you'll be much happier — relationship or not.