It’s no secret that dating in the digital age can feel downright impossible. That’s why when you find someone who might actually be a decent option, you keep him around, even if it doesn’t feel like it’s actually going anywhere. Sometimes, it’s nice to have someone to text — and with the holidays coming up, there are bound to be plenty of people asking about your love life (or lack thereof). Saying, “I’m kind of seeing someone” is better than, “Nothing is more important to me than Netflix right now.” But should you actually keep a guy around just for the attention? Here’s how to know if it could potentially turn into something real.
Are you actually excited when he texts?
You’ve gotten to the point in the almost-relationship where you no longer need a ton of friends to help you figure out what to text back. You don’t need to screenshot what he says to have all your girls decode it. But still, you hesitate before texting him back. Figure out if it’s because you’re used to playing games or if it’s just because you don’t actually feel like talking to him.
Is it turning into a hook-up?
Sometimes even the best potential relationships devolve into hook-ups, despite the fact that you’re nowhere near college-aged. At first you were going on actual dates, but then you started to just see each other on the weekend. If you’re only meeting up late at night and never actually grab dinner/do normal couple activities, there’s a reason that you’re not taking the next step forward. One of you obviously isn’t that into it.
Can you see yourself eventually being in a real relationship?
Admit it — you’ve visualized your kids with certain guys, while with others you know you’re not headed towards the Pinterest-perfect wedding of your dreams. If you’ve never even considered what your life with this guy would look like, there’s probably a real reason.
Do you feel like you’re not actually getting to know him?
If you keep texting or hanging out but feel like it’s not exactly advancing anything, figure out if you want to keep getting to know him. After all, you can’t make a decision on whether or not you want to date him based on knowing next to nothing.
Are you just seeing him because you don’t want to date someone else?
Getting ready for first dates is entirely too stressful. You have to pick an outfit that’s not trying too hard but is still perfect, you don’t know if you’ll actually have anything in common, and at the end of the day (or night), it might be a bust. Maybe you’ll hit it off and never hear from him again, or maybe he’ll lecture you for 35 minutes on the wonders of Dave Matthews Band’s discography. You never know how it will go, which can be exciting, but it can also be awful. So, are you just dating this dude so you don’t have to Tinder on?
Do you still have dating apps downloaded?
If you’re swiping away in preparation for your date, it shows that you’re not close to committing. Sure, it’s fun if you’re bored, but if you still have tons of apps on your phone draining your battery, you’re probably not feeling a real relationship.
Have you given him a real chance?
Maybe he’s a great guy, but you’ve been hurt before — haven’t we all? If he’s nice and normal, give him a chance instead of pulling away. Make sure that you’re not letting past bad boyfriends influence your life now.
Are you afraid of ghosting?
Ghosting, and ghosters, are notoriously the worst. Still, there’s a reason it keeps happening. If you’re not in a Facebook official relationship, and are nowhere near defining it, it’s much easier to just fade away. So, the slow fadeaway begins, where you sometimes talk, but don’t actually see each other.
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