Almost relationships are exactly how they sound. Unless you’re building up toward a gloriously romantic finale, you may be wasting your time.
Sometimes relationships can’t be justified as black and white; in the case of an almost relationship, the lines are completely grey and blurred.
There’s no certainty regarding what you’re getting into, and the rules keep changing as you go. The only thing that’s clear is that you are engaging in a semi-relationship with someone who may or may not be your partner in the future.
That’s even more confusing, isn’t it? There’s no accountability. There’s no promise of an actual relationship. There isn’t even a word to describe it, hence, the put-together term, “almost relationship.”
The problem now is this: Is it even worth getting into? Is there a chance for a commitment on the horizon?
It’s possible, but there’s also a chance that you’re wasting time on something that will never turn into something more. [Read: The 9 types of almost relationships in today’s dating world]
What is an almost relationship?
An almost relationship occurs when you meet someone, who you start to feel strongly about. You end up dating, but only that. You never follow through with an actual relationship, and you have no idea whether that offer will ever be on the table.
Sure, you can be proactive about it and ask where things are going, but everyone knows that it is the kiss of death, if it is asked at the wrong time.
If your almost-lover believes a definition of your relationship is the kiss of death, they’re more likely to feel negatively about making a commitment. That’s the time when you find yourself in an almost relationship: when either you or your partner find yourself unwilling to commit. [Read: Dating vs relationship – 14 signs to know your status instantly]
Is it really a waste of time?
That depends on whether you and your partner agree about where things are going. Almost relationships are not decidedly the end point of any love affair. They can also be the beginning of one.
There are many reasons why people end up in almost relationships. It could be that neither of you are willing to push through with a commitment without a sign from the other. It could also just be how you approach your relationships.
Almost relationships are sort of like the first date, only longer. You and your partner are still feeling each other out and getting to know each other.
Depending on your reason for embarking on this flirtation, the lifetime of your almost relationship can either be long or short. If someone was just looking to hook up, they would be perfectly happy with an ongoing almost relationship, if it gets them what they want. [Read: 10 casual relationship rules to keep it just casual]
If, however, you’re looking for a serious relationship, the almost relationship you have can be considered as the pre-game for the main attraction. Still, you can never know what it’s really leading up to unless you ask. If you’re not yet ready to, you can always look at the signs and, potentially, admit to yourself that it is a fruitless endeavor.
Signs that your almost relationship is not worth the time
#1 The crystal ball doesn’t agree with you. You need to look inside yourself and really ask whether or not you see a future with this person. Do not look at the fantasy. Study the reality and see whether or not your partner is someone that will stay with you for the long term.
The things that you do together should be in preparation for a more serious connection. If you keep doing the same things and never talk about what’s next, you’re better off being single, because that’s exactly what you are now—but with unnecessary baggage in the form of your almost-relationship. [Read: 16 clear signs you’re not ready for a serious relationship just yet]
#2 You’ve stopped growing. When your almost relationship is ready to flourish into a full-blown happily ever after, you should have noticed that everything you’re doing together with your partner is getting more and more serious.
You should be discussing or showing your growing feelings for each other. If you’re still doing the same things and not connecting on a deeper level, then that means that your almost relationship has reached its peak and is probably destined to deteriorate.
#3 Your life is an unanswered question. Your partner has no idea who you really are and you don’t know much about them, either. If you were on your way to a legitimate relationship, you should have been learning more about your partner and not begging for scraps of information. If you’re not willing to share your lives with each other at this point, you should start thinking about moving on. [Read: 20 signs you should break up and throw in the towel]
#4 Your relationship is the equivalent of Newton’s Cradle in Motion. You’re not going any further, yet you’re not taking any steps back. You are just a couple of individuals stuck in the perpetual motion of keeping things the way they are because it is convenient. No commitments, no stresses, no obligations, right? But there’s also no trust, no loyalty, no love, no future. Which do you choose?
#5 Your almost partner thinks you’re a cactus. They give you a little love now and then before sending you on your way. When they think you might be thirsty for more, they’ll give a few more drops of water just to keep you alive. But the thing is… staying in a relationship like that is just going to slowly kill your chances of ever finding true love. [Read: Is your man boyfriend material or just a fling material?]
#6 Cat got your tongue. You can’t bring yourself to speak up about it. No matter how much you want to broach the subject, something always comes up. Whether it’s your own doubts about the situation or your partner’s penchant for disappearing when the subject comes up, the signs are obvious. There’s nothing else to talk about.
#7 Greener pastures look extra green. When you start to think that a relationship with another person feels better than what you have, you might be on the wrong side of the fence. If an almost relationship is not the ideal way for you to start something with your partner, it is highly likely that you’re looking for something else. If you think that being with someone else would make you feel better, rather than wait for things to progress, it’s probably time for you to move on from this almost relationship. [Read: Why isn’t he asking you out yet? 17 clear reasons why]
#8 No more butterflies. Almost relationships can fill your stomach with butterflies and rollercoasters. If it’s been a while since you felt those things, it’s possible that your almost relationship isn’t making you feel the way it’s supposed to: excited and giddy at the prospect of finally being together. Who knows which of you is doing something wrong? But if the initial stages of attraction are gone and the relationship isn’t progressing, it may be time to close the book.
Save your energy for the time when the relationship can’t be defined as anything else except a commitment to a person that you’re willing to share your life with. Almost relationships can be stepping stones, but perpetually being in one is not an ideal situation.
You should be working your way to a better place with your partner—not settling for something that’s barely even a relationship. If any of the 12 signs above apply to your almost-relationship, consider leaving your almost romance for an actual romance.