I Confused Our Fling For A Relationship—Here Are The 11 Mistakes I Made

It’s not always easy to know if you’re “just having fun” or heading towards a bonafide relationship. You try to read the signs, but those can be seriously misleading. Here are some things that made me think I was on my way to being coupled up when the guy wanted nothing more than a fling. Awkward.

  1. I thought lust meant love. We had an amazing attraction to each other and loads of chemistry, but I think I overestimated it. I thought it meant that our physical connection would lead to a deeper soul connection. It didn’t.
  2. I thought his eagerness meant he wanted me to be his girlfriend ASAP. He was so keen to see me and he was always calling or texting me to tell me that he couldn’t wait to be with me again. It was addictive, and it made me think he was eager because he wanted to be in a relationship with me. Meanwhile, the guy was just making the most of our fling. That’s really all there was to it.
  3. I read too much into his flirtations. We flirted a lot, but who’s to say it meant something more? That was silly on my part. Anyone can flirt and it doesn’t have to be a sign that the person wants a relationship. Maybe he was just trying to get me in the mood as a prelude to our hooking up.
  4. I thought living in the moment was a good thing. He was so passionate and wanted to make the most of our time together—he was even romantic!—but in hindsight, I can see that he was just living in the moment and enjoying himself immensely. He wasn’t thinking about anything other than making the most of what we had going. It didn’t mean he was thinking about the future, because he definitely wasn’t.
  5. He said all the right things. He thought I was amazing and intelligent and we were so in sync… Yeah, the guy said all the right things, but interestingly, he was always saying them when he wanted to meet for a hookup. He wasn’t saying those things during a “let’s make our relationship official” talk because guess what—we never had that talk.
  6. We had so much in common. Just because I wanted to scream “Yes!” when he said he loved The Smashing Pumpkins and was a huge introvert like me didn’t mean we had some magical connection or that he was seeing the things we had in common as being stepping stones to an official relationship. I saw them as signs we were meant to be together and hoped he did too. Meanwhile, he just saw them as things we had in common. FYI: having shared interests and likes doesn’t really mean anything.
  7. I thought the uncertainty was relationship foreplay. Sometimes people overthink the early dating stage. With this guy, I didn’t want to do that by putting labels on what we were too fast. I tried to enjoy the uncertainty, thinking it was anticipation and relationship foreplay. The problem is that it didn’t go anywhere.
  8. We spoke long into the early hours. That’s really romantic, huh? I thought it had to mean that he really enjoyed chatting with me and we had more going for us than great sex. But when I analyzed what we talked about, I saw that it wasn’t really anything deep or meaningful. I mean, most of the time we were just having a laugh, and sometimes a drunken laugh. That’s certainly not a good reason to think the guy’s going to want to be Facebook official next week.
  9. I thought I loved him. I really believed that I’d fallen in love with this guy and only later did I realize that I hadn’t. I’d only thought I loved him because he’d seemed to tick all my superficial dating boxes. For example, he was attractive, had a good sense of humor, and had a lust for life. But did I really know him? Hell no! I learned that you really can’t love someone unless you know them down deep. Besides, “but I love him” is one of the worst reasons to stay with someone and waste your time. Fact!
  10. I mistook his presence for investment. We spent a lot of time together and had lots of fun. I started to think this meant that he was getting serious feelings for me but he wasn’t. I realized that he wasn’t really there for me during bad times, and he never let me in to support him during his. Instead, he was always there when the party was going down. Ugh. We were seriously in fling territory here.
  11. I thought being comfortable was a good thing. I liked that he felt comfortable around me. He’d turn up to visit me in a tracksuit or sweaty after playing soccer with the boys and plonk himself onto the sofa, stuffing chips into his mouth. The problem is that sometimes people can become so comfy around each other that they treat each other like friends, not romantic partners. This guy wasn’t making any effort to impress me or make me see him as BF potential. We were nothing more than a fun hookup with a fast-approaching expiration date.
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.