Probably the worst scenario a man and women can find themselves in is what I like to call a pseudo-relationship. A pseudo-relationship is when to people who are dating find themselves in what looks like a relationship, when neither of you ever discussed what you were actually doing. No form of commitment was ever discussed. You just filled the role of the partner because you assumed the person you were dating was on the same page or knew what you wanted.
These relationships typically have a giver (the person who assumes they are in a committed relationship) and a taker (the person who is benefitting from the giver’s unsubstantiated assumption.) I am going address this issue from the perspective of the female giver because I have a vagina and I have found myself in the role of giver and taker. Please feel free to switch the roles in the scenario as it relates to your situation.
You meet a guy; you date for a while; you genuinely enjoy each other’s company; you wind up spending more time together than you do apart. You stay at his house a lot. You fix his meals, clean his house and probably have met every member of his immediate family. You hang out with his friends, he opens up to you about his life and values your opinion. You know what is in his drawers and may keep a few things at his apartment. He probably keeps some things at your place too. He has his spot on your sofa and his side of your bed. You are both completely comfortable when you are together.
This is (in my opinion) the perfect relationship. You have a great boyfriend and you are an amazing girlfriend. The only problem is that this isn’t a relationship and you are not his girlfriend. His friends may introduce you as his girlfriend, he probably didn’t even correct them, but he never said you were his girlfriend. He‘s never even brought it up. And you haven’t brought it up either because you know, somewhere deep in your heart that you are never going to be in a relationship. You’ve been playing the role of perfect girlfriend for months and he has never once mentioned your “relationship.”
Why would he want to make you his girlfriend? You coddle him, counsel him and provide all of the other benefits of a relationship and he doesn’t have to do anything. And the best part is that he can still go out with his friends, bring a girl home and fuck her without feeling guilty. He doesn’t have a girlfriend, he just has a friend who treats him like a king and likes to hang out.
By the time you realize that he doesn’t want to and never is going to commit to you, you probably have very strong feelings for him. Ofr course you do, he is your pretend boyfriend. The good news is at some point you’ll get sick of explaining your complicated relationship to people and begin to question why you haven’t made it official. You’ll ask him and he’ll say…
- “We’re friends.”
- “You are amazing.”
- “I love spending time with you.”
- “I love you but I’m not in love with you.”
That moment when he is trying to let you down easy, is also probably the first time you’ll admit to yourself that you knew this was the inevitable end to your situation. You have two choices (but only one sane, self-respecting one.) You can stay and accept the situation as is (because he is never going to commit to you) or you can cut your losses and really embrace the significance of what that experience taught you, which is to never give anyone more than they ask for, especially if you aren’t getting what you need.
You tried to make a casual situation a relationship and you can’t have a relationship if you never made any attempt clarify what was happening once you knew you wanted a relationship. If you are seeing someone and you find yourself wanting something more, it’s time to let him know what you want. Going out of your way for someone who is unwilling to commit to is kind of like giving a kid a cookie for drawing on your wall.
In affairs of the heart, when you want to give someone everything, make sure that you aren’t going out of your way for someone who doesn’t want what you want. You can be optimistic, loving and generous to the people in your life but you should never do it at the expense of your own happiness or emotional well-being. If you don’t respect yourself enough to speak up about what you want it makes it very hard for anyone else to.