You’ve met this handsome, intelligent, man of your dreams. The two of you become really good friends and started dating. You’ve been on several dates for a few months. He calls you every day. You text each other constantly. Feels like he’s your boyfriend. The only problem is… He’s not. You’re in an Almost Relationship. And we know, almost doesn’t count.
At this point, you’re feeling confused and not sure how you should act since you’re not in a committed relationship with him. Should you make plans with him? Should you bring him around your friends and family? Should you have any expectations? He’s not mentioning anything about a relationship. So, should you keep hope alive?
My answer is NO.
Most of us have been through this same scenario of an Almost Relationship when the guy doesn’t really communicate about what direction you’re heading with regards to a serious, committed relationship. It’s sort of difficult to get a guy to express his feelings, but if he’s serious about you, he will say it and make his claim. Men are more doers than talkers. So, if he’s ready for a relationship with you, he’ll show it in his actions first. Then, follow it up and confirm with what he says.
Recently, I came across a blog post about “Almost Relationships”. When I read it, I immediately had a flashback and felt like choking a few brothers. It’s ok though, I’m over it! I fully agreed with the article; however, I noticed that the post didn’t give any pointers about how to identify a staller aka time waster aka dud… If you have any other names that apply, feel free to add to the list.
Since I’ve been through this scenario PLENTY of times, please allow me to offer some tips to avoid to the confusion, heart break, and pain that I’ve been through. Please don’t learn the hard way. Stay out of the Almost Relationship abyss! Here’s how…
While you’re dating this new and wonderful person, make sure your infatuation isn’t clouding your vision or your judgement. Remember to take a step back to closely observe and evaluate the man you’re dating. To avoid getting caught up in an “Almost Relationship”, here are three signs to look for during the initial stages of dating him:
1. Lack of Satisfaction
Does he seem dissatisfied with his current life, especially with his career and finances? If so, he’s not mentally ready for a relationship and is subconsciously planning to use you only for sex and to fill the empty timeslots whenever it’s convenient for him. Most guys don’t want to enter into a serious relationship until they are stable in their career, finances, and life in general. Note…College relationships don’t count because everyone is struggling and those relationships usually don’t last anyway.
2. Not Fully Established
If he’s aggressively working towards something such as starting a new business or landing a prized position or promotion within his career, beware. Men tend to hold their career and/or financial status at a higher priority than a relationship. However, women are wired differently. We are frequently on a search for a love interest because we’re told that we need to be in a serious relationship to be fully successful. Also, as women, we are nurturers. We want to be able to care for someone. I confess, an ambitious man is a wonderful thing. However, if he’s not fully established and still in the process of getting there, do not anticipate entering into a relationship with him anytime soon. He’s focused on grinding right now.
3. Recent Break-Up or Divorce
Don’t fall into the Rebound category. PLEASE! If he’s recently out of a relationship or marriage, he’s not really ready for another serious relationship. When I say “recently”, I mean less than 6 months after a breakup from a serious relationship. If he hasn’t been divorced for longer than a year, he’s not ready. It takes a while to heal after a break-up, especially a divorce. Don’t get caught up by becoming a rebound. You’ll most likely become a booty call while you’re thinking that you’re headed to Girlfriend status. No, sweetie. Snap back into reality.
Red Flags Signaling an Almost Relationship
Beware of the Red Flags! If these three things are happening, don’t take him seriously. He’s wasting your time. There are exceptions, but I’m speaking to the commonalities.
1. Pressuring You for Sex
Do not. I repeat… Do NOT have sex with that dude. Keep your booty to yourself. Or if you insist on having some sexual healing, wait at least 3-4 months before doing so. By then you’ll be able to see his true intentions. Most men will not hang around longer than 3 months if they only want sex because they can get it from anywhere. If he keeps asking to come to your place to chill or trying to have sex….you know what’s up. Red flag! Start distancing yourself.
2. Not Pursuing You
If he’s not pursuing you, trust and believe, he’s pursuing someone else or even something else such as his career. Either way, he’s not concerned about you and don’t have time to devote to you in a serious relationship.
3. Unclear Relationship Status
After 3-4 months, if he’s not trying to move to a serious status by actually talking about where you both stand and how he feels, he’s not ready for a relationship with you. Stop waiting, wondering, and guessing. He may be ready for a serious relationship, but he just doesn’t want to choose you as the “girlfriend”. I know it sounds harsh, but that’s reality and it’s perfectly OK. Know your worth! Don’t waste your time by waiting on someone that doesn’t realize your value. He’s not the one.
Red Flag Honorable Mentions include:
- Only spending time with you when it’s convenient for him.
- Always placing his cell phone face down. Clearly he’s trying the hide the other person he’s entertaining.
- You haven’t met any of his friends or spent a substantial amount of time around them.
- He doesn’t make plans for events in the future. For example: There’s a concert happening a month from now, but he refuses to make plans for that concert. That means he’s not sure if you’ll still be in the picture by then.
- He doesn’t acknowledge you on social media. Doesn’t mention you or tag you in Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. He doesn’t have to change his relationship status, but if he was serious about you, he would at least have a pic of you or comment on your statuses or pics.
How to Avoid Falling into the “Almost Relationship” Matrix
- If he hasn’t officially given you a title, continue to date other people. Do not focus all of your attention on Him. There are other eligible, attractive, and emotionally available men out there. Make that dude earn your attention.
- Have no expectations of him until you’ve clearly established where you stand in a committed relationship.
- No girlfriend duties until you actually become the Girlfriend.
- No text-only conversations. When texting, use mushy emojis (as kissy faces) at a minimum. Inserting mushy, lovey-dovey emojis all the time makes him assume that you’re really into him. No…he needs to know that he’s still an option.
- Stop always being available. If you genuinely don’t have anything to do… Fine, go out with him, but don’t ditch your girls or your plans for a last minute date because he didn’t have anything to do.
- Stop answering every single phone call. He doesn’t need that much access to you until he’s ready to invest in you. Investing means time, attention, commitment.
Fading Away – Time to Get Out of the Cycle
Here’s another situation. You’ve been dating for a few months. You feel as if you’re heading towards a committed relationship, but something feels weird. He’s starting to distance himself. He’s not calling as often. Calls are reduced to just texting. Response times to texts are longer. Dates are becoming fewer and farther between.
When he does this, it’s called the Fade Away. Plenty of men do it because their minds are focused on someone else and it’s not you. He’s keeping you on standby in case his other, more important option (aka another chick) doesn’t work out.
When this happens, start to distance yourself as well. Start to erase him from your mind by:
- Not contacting him. Do not initiate any phone calls or texts.
- Stop being fully accessible. You don’t have to answer every phone call or text from him. Mirror what he does to you.
- Take what he says with a grain of salt. Meaning…don’t believe everything he says to you! Look at his actions instead. Does his actions match what he says?
- Do NOT see him unless he’s taking you OUT on a PLANNED date. He must make arrangements with you in advance. No, he shouldn’t come to your house to chill.
- No long text conversations. Cut it short! He doesn’t deserve that much attention.
- Don’t talk about him to your friends. They’ll just keep things going and make you doubt yourself.
It hurts right now because you’ve become attached to him and communicating with him has become a habit.. Trust me, you’ll forget all about him in a month. Be strong and remember…no contact!
Final Points to Remember
Know Your Worth – You are good enough to be loved in a good, quality relationship without anxiety and guessing whether he really likes you and wants to be with you.
Actions Speaks Loudest – Don’t pay attention to all the sweet nothings he’s saying in your ear. It’s exactly that… Sweet NOTHING! Instead, pay close attention to what he does. His actions mean everything! If he does something that causes you to feel disrespected, let him know. Demand respect. In return, he’ll highly regard you even if it doesn’t work out. Remember that you are the cream of the crop!
Brush Your Shoulder Off – Don’t be upset when he has chosen someone over you. Simply, he just wasn’t the one. There are plenty of other men out there that would love to be in your good graces. Keep hope alive and no settling. Don’t give up. There’s someone especially for you!
Have you ever been in an “Almost Relationship”? How did you know that he wasn’t trying to go forward with a relationship? What did you do about it? Leave a comment and share.