12 Lessons I Learned After Getting Stuck In Too Many Almost Relationships

There are more relationship statuses than just single or in a relationship these days— it’s no longer black or white. Now we have to deal with almost relationships, where you’re kind of together but not quite sure what the rules are. It’s frustrating, confusing, and just overall messy — I know because I’ve been in one too many of them and have vowed to never go there again. Here’s what I learned:

  1. You can’t fool yourself into thinking things are something they’re not. I wasted so much time thinking that things might change, that my almost relationships might turn into real ones, but that obviously never happened. Finally, I had to see things for what they were and nothing more. An almost relationship is basically just being with someone that you truly do have feelings for, but you know it’s not going anywhere. It’s a dead-end relationship that has an expiration date and you’re just riding it out until the time comes when one of you finally calls it quits.
  2. You have to trust your gut instincts early on. If you have a bad feeling from the beginning about where it’s headed and something is telling you to stop, then just listen to your gut. Don’t linger, don’t hang on, don’t wait it out. If you know it’s wrong, then don’t fight with yourself and try to convince yourself that it’s a good thing if it really isn’t. I’ve stayed too long in too many bad situations and it nearly destroyed me. Never again.
  3. If you know it’s heading nowhere, save yourself the trouble and end it sooner than later. The longer time you spend with the person you’re sorta kinda but not really dating, the more attached you’ll get, and the harder it’ll be to end it later down the road. It will take twice as long for you to get over them, so it’s better to get out now. The sooner you leave an almost relationship, the sooner you’ll find a real one with a guy who knows what he wants.
  4. If they told you from the beginning that they don’t want anything serious, that probably won’t change. If they tell you that they aren’t interested in anything serious, then don’t hold onto the glimmer of hope thinking that they may realize the error of their ways and all of a sudden want to be with you. They’re just being honest when they tell you that, which could actually save you a lot of trouble down the road.
  5. You have to be vocal about expressing exactly what you want. If a real relationship is what you want, then let them know and see how they react to that. Don’t be ashamed by the fact that you want something more. If they don’t want the same things that you want then they’re not the person for you. You deserve to have what you want. I’ve sacrificed my happiness too many times before and it was all for nothing. Don’t be me.
  6. You should never be afraid to ask to define the relationship. You’re in this just as much as they are, so you have just as much of a say as they do. After all, it’s your life too and if you want to know what the deal is between you two, then just ask. You have the right to know, and if they won’t tell you, then that means they probably don’t want the same thing.
  7. Waiting to have “The Talk” won’t help anyone. Too many of us wait for months and even years to define the relationship. After a certain amount of time, you realize that you’ve just been with the person without even knowing what’s going on or how they really feel about you. You should be able to talk openly and express how you feel. Communication is one of they key foundations in any relationship.
  8. Don’t waste your time waiting for the other person to change. Fantasizing about someone changing for you is a recipe for disaster. And you can never force someone to change. That’s not how it works. You have to either accept them or move on.
  9. Real relationships are all or nothing. If they’re almost with you, then that still means they’re not with you. You should never give you heart to someone who “almost” wants to be with you. They should want you 100%, all the time, in a full commitment. And if they don’t, then you are wasting your time with the wrong person.
  10. You deserve more than just settling for something half-assed. If they don’t want to fully commit, then there will be someone else out there who does. You shouldn’t settle for someone who won’t give you everything that you want and need in a real relationship.
  11. It always hurts you more than it helps you. By being with them, you’re just torturing yourself. You know it’s wrong, but you continue to foolishly go against your good judgment and put yourself through something that will end up being a huge heartbreak. As much as you enjoy spending time with them, you’re really just putting yourself through more pain later on.
  12. It never ends well. Once it finally comes down to it, you’ll have to go through the painful process of getting over them and weening yourself off of always wanting to talk to them or see them. It will eventually end at some point. And when that time comes, you’ll have underestimated how badly it affects you and how much it hurts to let them go.
Lindsey is a Digital Advertising Professional and Freelance Writer based in New York City. In her spare time, she enjoys running, traveling, and drinking ridiculous amounts of coffee. Follow her on Twitter @lindseyruns