Are You Wasting Time In A Gray Area Relationship?

Every relationship has its transitional phases. After all, most people don’t make it official on the first date. Naturally there are going to be some times where you’re unsure about the future of the relationship, if it’s a relationship at all — timing is strange, people are strange. But when the relationship gets stuck in the gray area a little too long, it might mean that you’re wasting your precious time and not just patiently waiting for him to be ready. Here’s how to know.

  1. You’re embarrassed about how long you’ve been “dating”. You don’t even know what to call the relationship exactly, but the term “dating” usually covers it, since you’re not exactly together. However, you cringe inside when people ask, because on some level, you know the commitment should be there by now.
  2. He’s not giving you what you need. It doesn’t matter how long it’s been — if you feel like you’re just doing too much without the respect being reciprocated, it might be a sign you’re wasting your energy. This doesn’t usually turn around later, even if he starts calling you his GF.
  3. Your friends start trying to set you up with other people. They’re not even that subtle about their opinions here, and they’re heavily leaning towards no.
  4. You’re really bummed to turn down dates with other people. In a happy or hopeful situation, you’ll still think other people are attractive, but you won’t secretly wish you could run away with them.
  5. He’s told you he doesn’t want a girlfriend. But you have feelings for him. Girl, this never ends well. If he realizes that he made a mistake and actually does want you to be his, he’ll come find you once you walk out the door.
  6. You wish someone else could make the decision for you. You’ve had daydreams about him getting a job opportunity across country which would force your situation to just end, because part of you wants out, but you don’t want to admit it or to be the one to make the break.
  7. Parts of it are great and parts of it are terrible. For the sake of sanity over the long term, avoid the total roller coaster relationships. Too many downturns and you’ll seriously be thinking it’s easier to be single and alone. In this case maybe, but not in all circumstances.
  8. You like to use timing as an excuse. It’s how you explain your career trajectory, your finances, and your relationships… even when you know you’re not making the most productive choices possible.
  9. You thought you were exclusive, but you aren’t. At the very beginning this can happen, but it usually gets handled pretty quickly. If getting serious is what you really want, you shouldn’t spend too much dating someone who’s keeping their options open.
  10. You’re dating without the boyfriend perks. You’ve been seeing this guy for months, but he still refuses to be your date for that wedding coming up and he always seems to disappear whenever you’re going through a crisis, big or small.
  11. You’re afraid to talk to him. Having “The Talk” is always a little nerve wracking, but it shouldn’t be haunting your dreams unless you already know that the answer is no.
  12. You can’t really say your life is better with him in it. You like him… enough… and things are cool how they are. But you’re not really sure what he’s adding to the picture that’s different than any other random guy.
Kate Ferguson is a Los Angeles local and freelance writer for a variety of blog and magazine genres. When she's not writing, the UC Davis graduate is focused on pursuits of the entertainment industry, spin class, and hot sauce. Look for article links, updates, (and the occasional joke) on Twitter @KateFerg or @WriterKateFerg, or check out her personal blog