10 Things I Learned From Too Many Miserable Almost Relationships

I’ve been in more than a few almost relationships so I’m very familiar with the confusion and sadness when these arrangements ended out of the blue. Deep down, I knew that nothing would happen but I still tried to convince myself that what I was feeling was love, and that’s what made it so much harder to let go. Despite it all, I’ve learned some important lessons that I’ll never forget.

If it feels wrong, it probably is.

It’s quite obvious from the start if someone is genuinely interested in you or if they’re just stringing you along. If someone is right for you, there will be no doubt in your mind. If you’re having doubts, that’s a clear indication that you’re wasting time on the wrong person. You should always trust your gut because the longer you hold on, the more attached you become and the harder it is to eventually move on.

Don’t be afraid to find out where you stand.

Having “The Talk” about defining the relationship isn’t always an easy one, especially when it’s still in the early stages, but it’s necessary if you want things to move forward. And that was my problem. I was so afraid of rejection that I would put off having the “what are we?” conversation with a guy I was really interested in and inevitably, it didn’t work out.

Actions will always speak louder than words.

If someone tells you that they really like you but they’re hesitant to commit to you then you already know where you stand. They’re clearly stringing you along until they know what they want. But if they wanted you that badly, nothing would hold them back from committing. In someone’s hesitation, you always get the answer you need.

You can’t expect them to wait around forever.

Rushing into a relationship isn’t a good idea but neither is taking things too slowly. I learned this lesson the hard way. I really liked this guy but I felt like I wasn’t ready for commitment at the time, so instead of telling him how I felt, I let him assume that I wasn’t that interested and things fell apart pretty quickly.

It’s not about timing, it’s about the person.

When an almost relationship doesn’t work out, it’s so easy to blame it on bad timing instead of accepting that the person simply wasn’t right for you. You’ll say that work commitments or family issues got in the way but the harsh truth is if you were truly compatible, you would’ve found a way to make it work.

You can’t hold on to someone who doesn’t want to be there.

At some stage in an almost relationship, the other person starts to pull away. I’ve been on the receiving end of this and it was hard to deal with. I felt confused and hurt because it happened out of the blue and I started thinking that I’d done something wrong. But it wasn’t my fault. He didn’t give me a reason, but I knew that he stopped having feelings for me. I had to let him go so he could find the right person.

Never settle for someone who won’t give you what you need.

If someone “almost” wants to be with you but they won’t take that next step then they’re not the right person for you. When you settle for someone who won’t define your relationship, you’re putting their needs before your own and that’s not fair.

You can’t expect someone to feel the same way you do.

In an almost relationship, there’s usually one person who is more invested than the other. But here’s the thing—you can’t change someone’s mind. If they’re not going to commit to you then don’t wait around for them because expecting someone to change will only bring disappointment.

Be clear about your feelings.

Sometimes, miscommunication destroys any chance of a real relationship. And I’m guilty of this. I half-expected the guy to know that I wanted a serious relationship without me having to tell him. Still, he wasn’t a mind reader so I shouldn’t have blamed him for not knowing what I wanted. It’s so important to be honest about your feelings and your intentions, otherwise, you could lose something that had so much potential.

You’re not a coward for walking away.

Ending an almost relationship doesn’t mean that you’re giving up or being selfish, it simply means that you’re letting go of something that clearly isn’t going anywhere. I wish I had realized that sooner.

Almost isn’t good enough.

In the end, if someone is refusing to be in a real, committed relationship with you then they’re not as interested as you think they are. Almost relationships happen when one, or both parties, realize that they’re not right for each other but neither one of them wants to let go. Inevitably, someone gets tired of waiting and that’s when things fall apart. It never ends well and that’s why it’s better to trust your gut and leave as soon as it’s obvious that it’s not going anywhere.

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