Is Your Partner Scared To Define The Relationship? Experts Reveal How To Tell
Cultivating a new relationship can go from really fun to really stressful quickly AF. More often than not, things begin to get intense right around the same time you realize you actually like the person you're seeing enough to want a label. As the weeks go by and you continue to date each other without talking about where things are going, at some point you're bound to wonder — is your partner scared to define the relationship? However, the "what are we"-induced panic that so many of us go through at the start of a new relationship is totally normal, so chill!
When trying to navigate the grey areas in relationships, it's so important to realize that you simply don't know what you don't know. You can obsessively replay every interaction you've ever had and analyze to your heart's content, all in search of proof that they are or are not interested in a committed relationship, or you can just... ask. I know, I know, talking about your feelings for someone when you're not sure if they're mutual is scary, but if the relationship has any potential for the future, then communication is key. I spoke with matchmaker Michal Naisteter of Three Day Rule to get her take on how to tell if the person you're dating might be apprehensive about moving forward.
1. They avoid having an honest conversation about the relationship.
If you've tried to talk about the status of your relationship with a new partner, only to be met with resistance or avoidance, then this is definitely something to take note of.
"When you bring up the conversation, someone who skirts around the topic is probably apprehensive about the 'what are we' talk and might not be ready to define things," Naisteter tells Elite Daily.
Now, this doesn't necessarily mean that there is no hope for the relationship to become more serious in the future. It just means that if you can't have an open and honest dialogue, then the relationship probably isn't ready to progress to the next level right now.
2. They aren't excited to find out that you aren't seeing other people.
According to Naisteter, if you're not sure whether or not you and your almost-partner are on the same page, there are some ways to gauge how they're feeling without being direct and asking.
"Bring up the fact that you shut down your online dating profile or put a pause on swiping," says Naisteter. "If they respond with confusion or shock, then that is a good sign that they might not be ready."
Again, this doesn't mean the relationship is doomed, but rather that the other person may need more time to let their feelings grow and evolve.
3. They lack consistency.
In hindsight, I could have avoided so much unnecessary pain by putting an emphasis on one not-so-little thing: consistency. IMHO, when it comes to developing meaningful relationships, consistency is almost always a sure-fire way to tell if someone is interested in more than a hookup.
Chances are, if they are consistently eager to make plans and keep up regular communication, then this definitely says something positive about their interest level.
On the other hand, if you only hear from them sporadically when they want to schedule a last-minute hookup, and they rarely make an effort to stay in touch, then this lack of consistency can also be very telling.
4. Your gut tells you they don't want a relationship.
"It’s okay to have expectations of someone," says Naisteter. "[However,] if they are letting you down or you find yourself questioning their motives, then you need to listen to your instincts."
Our gut feelings are an important part of making decisions that promote our well-being. If you feel an overwhelming sense of anxiety in the pit of your stomach when you think about a person or relationship, then this probably isn't a good thing. It could be that your body is trying to tell you something about a person or situation.
"You have to listen to what your gut is telling you," urges Naisteter.
If you suspect that someone you are dating is scared to define your relationship, then it may help to ask yourself if you are OK with this. If you're not actively looking for a relationship, then there's nothing wrong with letting things continue without focusing on the title. If, however, your feelings are strong and you know what you want, then you owe it to yourself to make your feelings known. The worst-case scenario is that they don't feel the same way and you can move on knowing that you put yourself out there.
Check out the “Best of Elite Daily” stream in the Bustle App for more stories just like this!