11 Signs You’re “Runging”

There are tons of nasty dating behaviors that people do to you (hello, ghosting), but here’s one that you might be guilty of doing: “runging.” It’s basically when you choose to date people you think you’re better than. Whether they’re less attractive, earn less money, or seem less intelligent than you, you’re dating down on purpose and it’s really crappy behavior.

  1. Your friends might know you do it. If your friends have ever asked you why you always date down or what you see in your partner, then chances are they can see that you’re “runging.” They just might not have had a term for it.
  2. You’re put off by attractive people on dating apps. A sign of “runging” is when you deliberately avoid potential matches on dating apps who you feel are more attractive/more educated/more ambitious than you, or you swipe left on them. Yikes.
  3. You’re overly competitive. You can’t help but want to be the one who always comes out on top, whether in friendships or relationships. In fact, you’ve been known to be the one who always wants the last word. When it comes to “runging,” it’s focused on wanting to be the best. This is why you do it. You want people to see you as being so much better than them.
  4. You’re settling. One of the worst consequences of “runging” is that by choosing partners you feel you can gain one up on, you’re essentially settling for less than what you really want and deserve. Sure, you might be kinder than your partner and pride yourself on being so, but this can actually make you miss out on being with someone who treats you with kindness. Or, you might be very ambitious only to end up with someone who’s lazy. How will that make you happy?
  5. Your self-esteem has taken a hit. Someone who’s confident isn’t going to go out of their way to choose partners who they consider to be less attractive/wealthy/successful than they are. There are clearly some insecurities at play. Maybe you feel that by dating someone who’s “less” than you, you can feel better about yourself.
  6. You’re loving your ego. Based on the above, when you feel better about yourself by choosing someone who’s not in your league, it can actually be an ego boost. For example, knowing that you’ve achieved more in your job than your partner has in theirs can stroke your ego and make you remember that you’re worthy. Um, did you need someone else to show you that?
  7. You’re cheating your partner out of happiness. Not only are you cheating yourself out of a happier relationship because you’re settling, but you’re also denying your partner the chance to find someone who really thinks they’re top class.
  8. You’re terrified of getting hurt. Basically, if you think you’re exceeding your partner’s expectations and they’ll be happy with you, this can make you feel less worried that they’ll go looking for someone else. There’s a big problem with this: anyone can get their heart broken even if they seem like the most amazing person in the world. Why play these games to try to protect yourself? It’s not going to do anything for you.
  9. You’re choosing out of fear. If you’re guilty of “runging,” you’re choosing people out of fear. You worry that if you don’t choose them, you’ll be with someone who’s out of your league and that could result in rejection and heartache. Ugh. But isn’t it better to go for what you want and believe in what you have to offer someone? Choosing the dating comfort zone is never worth it.
  10. You’re desperate to be loved. Based on the above, it’s easy to see that “runging” can make you feel desperate. You want to be loved for all your amazing traits, such as that you’re gorgeous, ambitious, have worked hard, and so on. So, you actively seek people who don’t match you in these categories in the hope that they’ll be in awe of you. You don’t have to work so hard to be worthy of love! Stop jumping through hoops and just be who you are.
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.