The 9 Unhealthy Flings We Know Are Wrong But Keep in Our Lives Anyway
I have recently come to the conclusion that life isn't quite as black-and-white as I expected it to be. I was raised to believe that there were good things and bad things, and being an adult meant being smart enough to know the difference.
But now I'm an adult, and I'm here to report back: Frankly, it's just not that easy. Some things are good, but they feel bad. Some things are bad, but they feel so f*cking good that I convince myself that they just must be good.
And a lot of the time, the bad-things-that-feel-good are relationships. But they're never real relationships. They're always those ones that sort of fall in the in-between. They're pseudo-relationships that we know are wrong for us but we keep in our lives anyway. Because, well, they just feel right.
These unhealthy relationships leave us so f*cking confused. They send our brains into overdrive. We question our choices late into the night. We wonder if we're going to keep on hurting. We wonder if we should end a relationship that isn't something we can properly even call a relationship.
So I've fit these "relationships" -- for lack of a better word -- into 9 categories. Keep reading, and rejoice in the fact that you're not the only one who keeps making the same bad choices over and over again.
The ex you're still in love with
Maybe it's your first breakup; maybe it's your 37th. The point is that this person was a very real, very huge part of your life, and now suddenly it's over. OF COURSE you are going to slip up. How can anyone expect you to completely cut out someone who played such a giant role in your life? He was your best friend!
And I'm not talking about a platonic best friend who was in love with you. No, this person was your best friend, your lover and maybe even your soulmate.
Talking to him is wrong. At least for now, there's part of you that still clings to the fantasy that you'll get back together. But that doesn't mean it's going to stop you from texting him after you walk by the restaurant where you ate that massive burrito together.
The one who's not looking for anything serious
You guys have been hooking up for a while and, whether you want to admit it or not, you want something more. The casual hookups and once-a-week dates were fun at first, but a few months have gone by and they just aren't enough anymore. You want more — heck, you DESERVE more. And he's made it clear that "more" is not something he's willing to give you. So this leaves you two at a little bit of a standstill.
He doesn't want to lose you, but he also can't give you what you want. You don't want to lose him, either. But you know what you want, and you can't be with someone who won't give it to you.
The obvious, healthy answer here is that you need to stop talking to each other. You can't give him the casual fling he wants, and he can't give you the legitimate relationship you crave. But this is easier said done, since the only thing you two see eye-to-eye on is that you both want to keep hanging out.
The one you're not even remotely attracted to
Simply put, you're never going to f*ck this guy. You're not just indifferent about him; your attraction to him is negative. I mean, he's nice, and maybe he's even a really good time! But that doesn't change the fact that the thought of doing anything even remotely sexual with him makes you want to throw up in tinfoil and eat your vomit.
The fun text banter suckers you into yet another date with him. But you'll bail after you leave the restaurant because you have a "super early meeting" the next day or a "friend's birthday party" that night.
This relationship sucks. It sucks because you really do genuinely like him. He's a great, fun guy. And if he weren't quite so physically repulsive to you, maybe it could work. And maybe that's why you keep going on more dates. Maybe you are hoping that he'll grow on you one day.
But physical attraction is unfortunately a big part of any relationship, and if it's not there, it's just not there. So you keep tormenting yourself with guilt while you lead him on and don't hook up with him. Coincidentally, that just makes him love the chase. Ugh, life.
The one who always hits you up late at night
Sober, he is MIA. But when Friday night rolls around, you are suddenly the love of his life. He MUST have you. And he's willing to say whatever he thinks you want to hear in order to get you there. But that's not the part that f*cks with you. What gets you the most is the mornings.
You guys have great mornings, and it almost feels like this could be something real -- until you leave his place and endure radio silence until the next Friday night.
You're not an idiot; this relationship obviously isn't healthy. But it's not like you're madly in love with him or anything. He's kind of just like a mildly bad habit you can't quite shake.
The one you keep around for the attention
We all know this guy. Sometimes he's very much in your life; sometimes he's not. But he's ultimately always available. And that's the beauty of it. He'll always text you back, he'll always invite you to do things, and he'll always just be into you.
So when you're feeling a little lonely or down, what are you going to do? You're going to call him. You'll call and listen as he tells you things you wish you were hearing from someone else.
Hanging on isn't fair to him or to you. The comfort you get from him is temporary. It's not real. You're high when he calls and low when you realize that you wish the call had been from someone else. But a high's a high. And when you're feeling low, you can't help but take a hit.
The "safe" one
He's perfect on paper. He's a really nice, good-looking guy, and he has a great job. He's also in your social circle, and he likes you. He makes sense. He's the smart choice. Mom and Dad fawn over him. But something's missing.
He doesn't give you butterflies. You don't squeal with excitement at the sight of his name on your phone, he doesn't make you burst into laughter, and — when it comes down to it — you just don't love him.
But that's the best part of this, right? He doesn't have your heart, so he can never really break it. You wonder if you should stick with it. Maybe you were hurt recently, and this is just what you need right now. But is your fear of being hurt really worth settling for a love that's short of spectacular?
The convenient hookup
The convenient hookup is a slippery slope. It starts off casual and fun. You don't ACTUALLY like him, and he doesn't ACTUALLY like you. You guys are perfect for each other simply because you are both present and willing to hook up after one too many shots. It's all really great and convenient and honestly ideal until it's just ... not.
Because we all know how this story ends. After a certain amount of time, somebody gets a little too comfortable. And unfortunately, that comfort gets confused for feelings. And that's when things get REALLY complicated.
But he's responding now, and you'll keep going, because it's easy.
The "bad texter"
Simply put, this guy never responds to your texts. Sure, he might be GREAT -- an absolute catch --when the two of you are together. But the fact of the matter is that he has absolutely never texted you first, and you would be lucky to get just one text back from him.
Just a simple scroll through your messages shows how off your texting ratio is. But that in-person connection is so strong that it keeps you trying again and again.
He's told you he's a "bad texter," and there's part of you that really wants to believe him. Then there's deep-down part of you that knows this is bullsh*t. It knows that a guy who really liked you would be excited to see your name pop up on his screen. He'd be so excited that he'd just have to respond -- no matter how "bad" he is at texting. And that part of you gets a little bruised every time you send another unanswered text.
For now, you'll keep hoping that you'll text your way to another in-person encounter.
The on-again, off-again "thing"
You guys are constantly meeting up to have "talks" that never seem to come to any conclusion. One minute, you're trying to cleanse him from your life. Another, you're making out at the bar. You're not in a relationship, but you're never free from each other.
There's just something about him that you can't let disappear. By the same token, there's also just something that you can't totally accept. Simply put, it's complicated.
There's probably a reason the two of you can't get your sh*t together and just be with each other. And somewhere, deep down inside, you know you should accept that reason and move on. But you also know that moving on is HARD. So you'll opt for another "talk" and hope that this one will be different from the rest.