This Is Why It Sucks To Be Almost-But-Not-Quite Exclusive

What’s your relationship status? It’s complicated, right? You’re in a relationship… well, almost. You’re not really single, yet you’re not a couple. You’re in-between, and that’s the absolute worst place to be. Here’s why:

If you break up, it’s not really a breakup.

When you’re actually together, you need an official breakup, but when you’re in-between, your connection can slowly fade away with no official end words. Even if he does actually respect you enough to have a conversation, it’s still not a breakup because you’re not together. So technically it just sort of ends… but it still hurts like hell.

He can cheat without being a cheater.

The guy is lucky because if he hooks up with another girl, he’s technically not cheating because you’re technically not together. It’s still going to hurt, but without rules, has he really done you wrong? Of course he has, but that’s not the way he sees it. In his eyes, if he can convince you it wasn’t actually cheating, you’ll forgive him just like that.

You can get stuck in limbo.

For some couples, the in-between is a short-lived stage right before commitment; for others, it’s the entire relationship. Sometimes the longer you wait to have “The Talk,” the harder it can be. You’re already accustomed to having him in your life, but there might be a reason he hasn’t pushed to make it official, and you might not like what that reasoning is.

You don’t really know what you are to each other.

You’re not his girlfriend, but you’re not “just a friend” either. You’re sort of together, but not technically. So what are you really? You haven’t defined the relationship to anyone else or even to yourself. So if you’re not something, are you really anything?

You don’t know the rules.

Since you’re not actually together, is it okay if you continue to date other people? Do you have to show up for his family or work events? Does he accompany you to yours? What do you refer to him as in public? Can you count on him to be your plus one? If you don’t know what you are, then you don’t know the rules, and things are bound to get more than a little complicated…

You’re an acting girlfriend with no title.

You don’t get the official girlfriend label, but you might still be required to fulfill all girlfriend duties. He’s reaping all the benefits but you’re not getting any reward. So if you both aren’t ready for a relationship, why are you acting like you’re in one?

He can totally take you for granted.

He might expect you to play the girlfriend role, but that doesn’t mean he’s taking on the role of the perfect boyfriend. Why not? Because he doesn’t have to. He knows you’re willing to settle for even an almost-relationship if it means you can be in his life. He knows you care and he’s taking advantage, but before you realize that, it’s already too late — you’ve fallen.

You never know what’s to come.

If you don’t even know what you are now, how are you supposed to even imagine what you’ll be in the future? You can’t plan ahead a year, a month or even a week. You don’t know how long the in-between will last, and you don’t know if it will ever be something more. You’ve settled for a less than a relationship, and that status might never be anything more.

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