I've always been a strong advocate for dating someone even if you don't see a future with them right away. If the "future" is in reference to marriage and/or "settling down," depending on where you are in life, that might not necessarily be on your radar. If the person makes you happy, why the heck shouldn't you date them? My family has always tried to convince me that you shouldn't date someone you don't see a future with because it's "waste of time," but I disagree. There's no need to rush into anything, and no predicting what the future holds.
Benjamin Ritter, relationship coach and founder of the The Breakup Supplement, agrees. "It's only wasting time if you feel like you're wasting time," he tells Elite Daily. "You gain something from each of your relationships, and if you're still gaining something and not making a 'mistake,' then you should do what serves you the most."
Ritter stresses, however, that doing what serves you the most doesn't mean you should lead your partner on. If they see a future with you, you might want to clear things up and explain where your head is. "Relationship decisions require two people, and if you're just making a decision for yourself without regard for someone else," you should consider cutting them loose, he says.
How long you date someone you don't see a future with can depend on what you both want. "If you want to get married or have a long-term relationship in the near future, it's obviously best not to stay with someone who you don't see a future with," matchmaker and CEO of Exclusive Matchmaking, Susan Trombetti, tells Elite Daily. The same goes for your partner. If they want someone who's in it for the long haul, and you don't, then they have every right to decide they want to find someone whose immediate goals align with theirs.
Nevertheless, you shouldn't have to limit yourself to only dating the people you see a future with if that's not what you're looking for at this point in your life. "You can be in a relationship for a variety of reasons, and only a portion of those involve a long-term, future relationship," Ritter says. "You just have to realize why you are in your relationship or are dating someone. If you aren't clear on that, then you won't make the best decisions." This great new person in in your life can very well be Mr. or Ms. Right Now, if that's what you want. If they're aware of that and they're OK with it, keep on doing your thing for as long as you and your partner are happy with the way things are.
And remember: "People come into our lives for different reasons," Trombetti says. "You aren't wasting your time if you want to be with someone, and you aren't looking for something more serious right now. It could just be companionship and fun." Date whoever you want for as long you enjoy their company, and as long as you're both on the same page. It's important they know where you stand.