What Is “Procrastidating” & Are You Doing It?

Procrastidating is when you try to delay your relationship from hitting milestones and becoming too serious, perhaps due to a fear of commitment. Are you guilty of it? Here are 13 signs.

  1. You feel stressed out at any mention of the future. When your partner starts talking about the future, your hands become clammy and your heart picks up speed. You might even get the urge to run out of the restaurant where you’re eating dinner. If this happens regularly, you might be procrastidating (or just dating the wrong guy).
  2. You have relationship anxiety. You don’t just freak out a little when your partner talks about the “F” word—future. You have other symptoms of relationship anxiety that make it difficult to move forward with a relationship. These include (but certainly aren’t limited to) overanalyzing everything your partner says or sends via text or expecting him to disappoint you.
  3. You have past baggage you can’t trash. You might be procrastinating in your current relationship because your painful dating baggage is literally holding you back. Maybe you’ve been hurt so many times in the past that you’re terrified to try have a happy relationship with someone new. It feels impossible.
  4. You can’t say those three words. Even though you might really want to say them, when your partner tells you he loves you, you just can’t seem to say it back. It’s not that you don’t feel that way, just that you can’t voice it aloud for some reason.
  5. You change the subject. Do you find yourself changing the subject whenever your partner mentions serious topics like having kids or getting married? Maybe you crack a joke to lighten the situation or just steer him towards something else. Maybe you don’t even realize you’re doing this until he points it out to you because you’re afraid of becoming too serious. Awkward.
  6. You like to take things reaaaaaaaally slow. If your relationship was a car, it would be a Toyota Yaris. Yup, you’re taking things really slowly. Although you don’t want to be a Bugatti, rushing into a relationship too quickly, going too slow is also a problem. You might be stalling things because you’re procrastinating.
  7. You take your partner for granted. Now, there’s a difference between wanting to take things slow because it’s only been a week of dating and being a procrastidater. If you’re guilty of the latter, you might be taking your partner for granted. Your thinking could be, “Why rush when we can just enjoy things as they are?” But this does have some consequences. For instance, you might think your partner will always be there when you decide to move the relationship up a notch, but that’s never guaranteed.
  8. Your partner’s getting frustrated. Maybe your partner’s losing a bit of patience with you because you’re so dead-set on keeping things casual. Can’t really blame him if it’s been months of dating exclusively, can you?
  9. You love the chase. Maybe the chase is the most exciting part of dating. When the dust settles and you become exclusive and official with someone, things start to become less interesting. Here’s a thought: maybe there’s nothing wrong with the relationship. Maybe you’re just not keen to take things further.
  10. You don’t define the relationship. You dread the thought of your partner starting the “Where are we going?” conversation. You don’t want to define the relationship because that feels like a too-big step that you just can’t take. You might say “not right now” and hope that will buy you some time. But for how long?
  11. You leave him hanging. While you can’t always help being busy at work or with other commitments, if you’re regularly telling your partner you’ll have to let him know if you can fit him into your schedule whenever he wants to make plans, maybe you’re stalling the relationship. It’s good to take a deeper look into your feelings to find out why.
  12. You can’t imagine a good outcome. Maybe you’re afraid that you’ll never be happy in a relationship (as mentioned earlier, this could be due to toxic previous relationships). Or, you just can’t seem to accept that your partner is this amazing/kind/wonderful. So what do you do? You hold back and wait to see that he doesn’t turn into a psycho when you let your guard down.
  13. You play hard to get, version 2.0. There’s that bit of playing hard to get in the early stage of a relationship that doesn’t have to be harmful. It’s just a way of feeling out your partner’s intentions. Then there’s playing hard to get when you’re procrastidating. This is when you’re trying to keep your emotions behind a 10-foot wall for so long that you end up pushing your partner away. Hey, he might think you’re just not that into him. Are you?
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.