Dear People Who Get Into Relationships When You’re Not Ready: Please Stop

Being selfish, confused, and generally a mess is an important part of being young and figuring your life out—it’s OK! What’s not OK is committing to being in a relationship if you’re not actually ready for one. For the love of God, just don’t do it!

Don’t fool yourself or your prospective partners. Are you super focused on other aspects of your life? Are you time poor? Need to work on your communication skills? Still getting over your last breakup? If you answered yes to any of those questions, a committed relationship is definitely not your jam right now. While 95% of millennials want a committed relationship in the future, the keyword here is “future.” Enjoy your single life and all the perks that come with it but don’t fool yourself or anyone you date into thinking you’re ready for something serious when you’re not. You don’t want to be playing with people’s hearts or heads.

If you’re only into hooking up, say so. Whether you’re just looking for a one-night stand or a steady hookup with a FWB, make it crystal clear from the beginning that you’re in it casually. Don’t talk to someone every day if you’re only looking for sex. Don’t nurture anything deeper than a physical relationship if you know that’s not what you want. Nobody wants the games, the confusion, or the false expectations. Please, just be straight up and avoid instigating the dreaded situationship.

If you’re not feeling it, don’t force a relationship. If you’ve gotten to know someone really well and you still don’t want to be in a relationship with them, you’re really not that into them. Even if you met on a dating app, this still applies. Stats show that 32% of users are just there to keep boredom at bay, so if you fall into that bracket, be aware that most apps aren’t intended for relationship swervers. While you’re busy swiping like crazy, don’t forget that there are real people behind those accounts and most are looking to build something real. Maybe dating apps aren’t the best place for you to avoid commitment.

Be honest from the start so the person you’re involved with has a choice. Some people are just looking for someone to pass the time with. Maybe you like the comfort of having someone there who’ll always text you back, no lagging. Perhaps you want someone who’s always down for a chat, someone you can confide in who also gives great advice. Say that from the start! The sooner you do this the better since it gives the other person a chance to decide whether they’re on the same page or not.

Don’t waste someone else’s time. No one wants to feel as if they’ve wasted days, weeks, or even months worth of time and energy on someone who’s not committed to a real relationship. Not only is it hugely disappointing for whoever you’re chatting to since they probably have sky-high hopes at that point, it also makes you look selfish and inconsiderate. Even if you aren’t, your actions say otherwise.

Try not to be a walking contradiction. Hypocrisy is one of the worst possible traits you can display. If you tell someone you just want to be friends, then it’s your job to act like a friend. Don’t be upset if your “friend” prioritizes spending time or grabbing a bite with someone else. Friends bail all the time, friends get busy, and newsflash: your friends don’t owe you anything. They never promised to be constantly available to you and you can’t demand that. It’s not like you’re dating! People in relationships make a conscious effort to hang out with and put their partners first. Don’t expect relationship benefits if you don’t want to be in one!

Learn to love your own companyHave you noticed how many of us actually make excuses to avoid going out sometimes? It’s because enjoying your own autonomy isn’t a bad thing. In fact, spending quality time be alone and explore your options is one of the surest ways to find yourself. But rather than complicate things by throwing a relationship into the mix, you’re really better off just keeping things simple. Ultimately, you need to be well on your own path before it can cross with anyone else’s. If you don’t even know who you are, good luck trying to gauge what you want in the long-term.

Focus on other things. Even though society says choosing yourself is a selfish move, I couldn’t disagree more, especially when it comes to your life and well-being. Maybe you’re the type of person who’s working a demanding 9-to-5 job, loves hanging with your friends on Friday nights, squeezing in your gym sessions, and spending most weekends with family. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that! It makes sense that your life is too full to accommodate a relationship right now, but you need to recognize that and stay away from dating while that’s the case.

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