If fall and winter have been donned "cuffing season," we should just label spring and summer "benching season." Though some relationships have fizzled or have been ghosted out, I think it might not be such a bad idea to sit someone on the bench and take a break from your relationship before it turns into one of those messy "situationships."
I have two clear reasons why I have no problem benching guys, or otherwise:
1. Give them time to get their "ish" together.
We live in the age of fuckboys. Yet, one reason I typically put guys on the bench is out of unrequited kindness. I'm a Midwestern girl, so I sort of have that nice thing going for me. Call me naïve, but I hold on to the belief that there is some ounce of goodness in every person I meet. Unless it's absolutely necessary (like meeting an anti-feminist) I'd rather put someone on the bench than completely wipe them out of my life.
I'm a firm believer that people can change and know for a fact that relationships are going to take effort from both parties. No one you meet will be a perfect match, but benching is a good way to invest instead of giving up. Again, that is unless they are blatantly anti-feminist. I personally, don't have that particular type of patience.
However, sometimes our judgment about a particular person is clouded when we're being guided by our emotions, or our hormones. Putting a guy on the bench gives you and the other person time to think a little more rationally about whether or not you're in it for the long haul, or if it was just a cuffing phase.
Also, placing a guy who hasn't quite hit the mark of boyfriend material (that's my nice way of saying "fuckboy") on the bench may give him time to grow without the commitment and pressure of a relationship.
This gives you time to focus on building a better friendship until he's either ready to get back in the game, or you come to terms with the reality that he'll never be commitment ready. Either way, emotions are safer and you don't have to block yet another number from your phone. Benching a guy who isn't ready gives you time to continue focusing on you or other potentials.
2. Give myself time to get my "ish" together.
The second reason I'd put someone on the bench is because I may or may not have all my stuff together. I have lived in three and a half states in the past three years — the .5 being my current location in Washington DC this summer. I'm not the type of person who will pretend as though I have all my ducks in a row. Although, when I started college Ne-Yo had just released "Miss Independent," and I surely thought I'd be a boss like Gabrielle Union in the music video by now. Yeah, well these things take time and music videos are a fantasy world.
Sometimes guys are put on the bench, not because they've done something wrong, but because I just need "some time to see where I wanna be." Nothing is worse than putting time into a relationship, only to have that person turn around and move halfway across the country for a new adventure. OK, maybe I shouldn't tell on myself so much.
However, if you know you're not in a position, city, career, etc. to fully commit to a relationship, why continue to keep yourself in the game? Sometimes you need to bench yourself and spare the time and feelings of the other person.
Benching may sound like another selfish move from our generation (way more selfish than taking endless selfies), but it may be much more beneficial to a friendship, in the least, than straight up ghosting. It gives one or both parties time to regroup and figure out what they want while keeping the line of communication open.
If you think about it, benching the city of Cleveland for a few years was a good move for Lebron. He came back, and then last weekend happened. So, there's hope. Unlike ghosting, I view benching as a temporary friend zone. We're free to date others, free to figure out what region we'd rather live in and free to make sure we're not just making impulsive decisions about a new relationship based on feelings of loneliness or the expectations of others.