Here's What To Do If You're Casually Dating But Not Sure If You Want A Relationship
The best part about dating is not knowing what the other person is feeling. Just kidding, that's definitely not fun, and not something I rack my brain thinking over with whomever I'm dating. Those early days of getting to know someone are tough: you have to figure out if you like them, how much you like them, and what you want with them — if anything. What should you do if you're dating but not sure if you want a relationship?
"Simply being on an app doesn't mean you're relationship-minded," dating coach Laurie Davis tells Elite Daily. "There is no need to specifically call out your intentions before you meet, but if you're unsure, what's important is to make sure you're not saying anything in your profile or messages that may lead someone to believe you're hoping for exclusivity."
If you don't know what you want, just go with the flow. Talk to the person, see if you share a connection.
"To some extent, all relationships are exploratory — you're feeling each other out and creating a connection that is unique to you both," Davis says. While you may be just as curious about whether or not your date likes you, check in on your own feelings. Do you like them? Is it worth exploring further to you?
She explains that you're not tricking someone or being malicious by not being sure in the beginning of the dating process with that person. Unless, of course, it's something you know for sure that you don't want – and it's something you know for sure that they do want.
"If you see signs that they are hoping for a lifetime love and you're unsure, let them know where you're at in your thought process," Davis says.
They'll be sure to appreciate your honesty, even if it's not exactly what they want to hear. And hey, maybe the person you're dating is actually on the same page as you in terms of relationships.
"Often when people are unsure of what they want, they date without purpose," Davis says. "You can have a purpose even if it's not a relationship. Maybe your purpose is to explore different types of connections. Or to flirt and have fun. Or to learn more about how you relate to others. Whatever it is, consider your purpose your focus. What will you uncover?"
Try to determine what it is exactly you're looking for when you begin dating in general, and remember that it is OK to be open-minded about your dating outcomes. So don't immediately send a first message on a dating app saying, "I'm not looking for a relationship right now," because yes, that's a tad presumptuous on what the other person may be looking for.
After several dates, if you two keep hanging out, and you are still unsure, then it may be time to vocalize where you see the future for the two of you. Do you just want to hook up? Do you want to be friends? Do you actually want a relationship with that person? Eventually, you should discuss what it is you see between you and that person. And if you at first just want to hook up, but then get the Dreaded Feelings, you should probably share that information too. This way, you'll avoid any unnecessary hurt that continuing a physical-only relationship, if you want a romantic one too, could cause.