Our generation seems to have mastered the “almost relationship”. You know, that 4-6 month period after you’ve gotten to know someone new when you’re unable or unwilling to call him your boyfriend, but you still play house like you’re a real couple.
No matter how on the same page you are at the start, a shit storm eventually breaks out when one or both of you decide you don’t want to commit.
These one foot in, one foot out flings are easy to spot thanks to the awkward moments that are bound to come up. If you’re not sure if your “relationship” qualifies, see if any of these sound familiar…
The ten minute debate about the good morning/good night text. It’s common in most serious relationships for your partner to be the first person you talk to every morning and the last each night.
When you’re texting all day and super up to date on each others lives, but not officially dating, it’s hard to know if the sweet dreams text is expected or excessive.
To be safe, you settle for once or twice a week instead of everyday.
Not knowing what the heck to call them in stories. First of all, the fact that you’re telling your friends about a guy you’re not seriously dating already says something. But it’s even more obvious you’re in an almost relationship when you have no clue how to refer to the guy.
You can’t say boyfriend, but you also can’t say friend….help!
When you’re unsure whether or not you can flirt with other dudes. It’s up to you and whoever you’re seeing if you’ve talked about dating other people, but it can feel so freaking awkward to pass out your number at the bar when you’re 99% sure you’re heading to his place later.
If you’ve given each other permission to see other people, and you still feel weird about actually doing it, you’re definitely caught in an almost relationship.
Wondering if in sickness and in health is a thing. Even if you’re not exclusively dating someone, chances are if you’re acting like you’re dating, you genuinely care about them. That probably means when they’re sick you’re going to want to take care of them, and when you’re sick you’re going to want to give them a call.
But bringing over chicken noodle soup or having him hold your disgusting and snotty self on the couch are both serious violations of a casual fling. If your first thought when you’re sick is “I want him here”, you’re further in than you think.
Figuring out what to do about PDA. When two people are officially dating, no one thinks twice about holding hands in public or a quick kiss in front of friends. It’s also totally irrelevant with casual hook ups, since you typically don’t leave the confines of the bedroom.
Almost relationships make the PDA question confusing as hell. Is holding hands too coupley? Is being careful not to brush up against his leg too friend zone? Will everyone we’re with get the wrong idea? What on earth do we do!?
Trying to low-key keep a few pics on your phone. Chances are you haven’t taken any pictures together yet (and if you have, you’ve gone past almost relationship into commitment land) but you’re going to want to show friends what he looks like.
Instead, you settle for saving some of his best shots from facebook and instagram. Just make sure he doesn’t find himself in your camera roll “favorites”, or you’ll have some awkward explaining to do.
Talking about your feelings is testy waters. It’s hard in an almost relationship to know how much to share and how much to keep to yourself. Obviously if you’re still hanging out, you’re both somewhat into each other, but no person wants to be the one to bring up the “I really like you” conversation.
If you’ve been seeing someone a while and want to move things to the next level, take the leap of faith and let them know. Worst case, they won’t agree, but who knows, maybe you’re both ready for something real.