It’s not crazy to want to spend your life (or even the next few years) with someone, and yet that’s how the modern dating scene makes you feel. If you’re lucky enough to get past the first date, then you’re probably not jumping right into something real. Instead, you’re left wondering exactly what to call the situation that you’re in. Here’s how to stay sane in an undefined relationship:
- Pretend you’re single. No, really. You don’t know how long this person will be in your life and you don’t want to give up the things and people that you adore in the meantime. Living your single lifestyle is your back-up plan.
- Use the time wisely. When you’re in that weird, awkward stage of dating that’s not super casual but not yet serious, you actually have the best of both worlds. Use this time to your advantage. It’s like a test run to see if they would be a good partner and if the two of you get along well. If anything weird happens, you can be glad you didn’t commit to them and that you can get out without getting heartbroken.
- Collect advice. This is when you want and need your friends and fam to weigh in. They’ll tell you if they think this person is being a total jerk or if they like their behavior so far and think things are just unfolding slowly. You’re confused right now, so you might not be thinking clearly.
- Up the stakes wisely. The problem here is that if you act like you don’t care so you don’t get hurt, the person you’re seeing might think you don’t want to define things at all. You can slowly push the relationship forward in small, casual ways like suggesting you see each other one extra night a week.
- Keep things in perspective. You already know it’s not a good idea to fall for someone quickly, especially if you’ve been on your own for a while, but that’s also much easier said than done. As long as you can keep your wits about you and chill out a bit, you should be OK no matter what the outcome.
- Ask yourself hard questions. Sometimes you have to get what you want to realize you want to run far away. Maybe you don’t even want a relationship with this person. Isn’t it better to realize that now before things are totally official?
- Get used to it. Not to be harsh but, unfortunately, this kind of situation is happening more often than not. If you can accept it as a fact of modern dating, you’ll be much better off because you won’t be second-guessing what you did to make someone unsure about being ready to make things official yet.
- Remember that anything good takes time. You can’t decide to be in a serious relationship after a handful of dates. Commitment takes time. That’s a good thing though because when you do commit, you know it’s right.
- Put your cards on the table. At a certain point, you have to define things or move on. It’s not good for your mental or physical health to be so confused about someone else. Tell the person you’re seeing that you want to take things to the next level and their answer will be extremely telling. And hey, maybe they were just waiting to see how you felt.