Casual, Serious, Nothing At All — I Don’t Care, As Long As You’re Upfront About It

Nothing is more frustrating than being left in that purgatory between “hanging out” and “actual relationship.” At this point, I wouldn’t even be disappointed if you said you didn’t want anything serious. Either way is fine by me, I just need to know where we’re at so I can start living my life again.

  1. We’re adults, right? We’re both adults and we should both be able to tell each other how we feel. This isn’t my first relationship, nor is it yours. We don’t have to be afraid of hurting each other’s feelings over this. We’re grown-ups now. I think it’s safe to say we know how to communicate, so please, just tell me what’s happening here.
  2. I hate NOT knowing more than anything else. You know what’s worst than being in a casual relationship? Not knowing whether or not I’m in a casual relationship. That feeling of frustration I get when I’m getting mixed signals from you causes way more stress in my life than being rejected, because I want to know where I stand. When I’m being strung along blindly, I feel stagnant, and it’s 10 times worse than getting broken up with.
  3. I need to know whether I can date other people. I’m glad that you’re “comfortable” in this arrangement, but I actually have other people who are interested in me and I need to know whether it’s safe to respond. Otherwise, I could be missing out on a love connection that’s potentially stronger than ours. Seriously, all you have to do is say the word and I’ll be out of your hair.
  4. I don’t want to waste my time on a “maybe.” The most painful thing about this is all the time I’m wasting on you. I’m a woman, which means I have an actual time limit to finding “The One” — that is, if I want a family. It must be nice to not have to worry about that, but for me, it’s a very real concern. I can’t handle maybes anymore. Either we’re serious or not.
  5. I hate the awkwardness between us. Whenever we’re out with friends and the topic of relationships come up, it gets MEGA awkward between us and I’m tired of it. What good is dating someone if they can’t even speak honestly about their feelings? I don’t want to be with someone who would rather bow his head than having a discussion when serious questions like, “Are we exclusive?” come up.
  6. I don’t want you to get mad if you catch me swiping on Tinder. I’m currently swiping in secret, but I don’t want to because it makes me feel guilty AF. If we’re going to be casual, it would be nice if we could help each other out with our dating life, right? I get that you need more time to decide if you want something serious with me or not, but honestly, I can’t wait any longer. Hurry up, because Tinder is hot with matches right now.
  7. If you don’t know what this is, then I’m out. I get that relationships take time to grow, but if you don’t know what you want from me in less than two months, I’m going to assume you don’t want anything at all. Either you don’t feel the spark with me or you don’t want a real relationship right now and that’s FINE. I just need to know these things so I don’t waste my time.
  8. I don’t know what to tell my friends when they ask for updates. Every time I get together with my girlfriends, they’re always begging to know the new progressions with us. I wish I had something exciting for them, but it’s always, “We’re still just hanging out.” They’re getting fed up with it and so am I. I don’t want them to pity me anymore — I get enough of that from myself.
  9. I still feel as lonely as I did when I was single, maybe even worse. Not knowing what we are is even worse than the loneliness I felt when I was single. It’s that feeling of having to hold onto something tight before it gets taken away. I’m worried every day that you will just randomly not answer my texts or you’ll cancel on me to go on a date with someone else. I can’t live this way anymore, which is why I need an answer from you and soon.
  10. I’m going to move on if you don’t at least tell me how you feel about us. If you’re not going to tell me what you want relationship-wise, at least tell me how you feel. Do you like me? Do you like, like me? What do you think of us? I need to know at least that much. If you can’t be open about your feelings, then I’m going to assume you hate my guts. Oh, and don’t be surprised if I ghost you because I swear I will.
Jennifer is a playwright, dancer, and theatre nerd living in the big city of Toronto, Canada. She studied Creative Writing at Concordia University and works as a lifestyle writer who focuses on Health, B2B, Tech, Psychology, Science, Food Trends and Millennial Life. She's also a coreographer, playwright, and lyricist, with choreography credits for McMaster University’s “Spring Awakening,” “Roxanne” for the Guelph Contemporary Dance Festival, and “The Beaver Den” for The LOT, among others.

You can see more of her work on her Contently page and follow her on Instagram @jenniferenchin.