So you’re interested in someone and you think they might be interested in you too. You guys talk, but not on the daily. You guys “hang out” but they’re not really dates. It’s casual, it’s cool, and you’re okay with it… until you’re not. What do you do? What can you do? Why can’t dating someone be simple and black and white rather than grey? Here are just a few reasons why “hanging out” and being casual sucks.
It’s okay until you catch feelings
So you thought you could handle just “hanging out” and being casual. You thought you could fool around with no strings attached. You thought that you could have fun without dealing with the pressures of labelling it a relationship. All was going well until you caught feelings. This is where trouble starts.
You’re not allowed to miss them
Well, you do and you will but you won’t be able to tell them that you do. You have no right to text them and say you miss their face and their presence. You could but you don’t because you’re not really sure if you’re dating or just “hanging out”. You don’t want to scare them away and be too clingy so you play it cool. You act as if you’re okay but you start to miss them and you don’t know what to do.
You don’t have the rights of a girlfriend
You can’t check up on them. You can’t ask where they are. You can’t ask who they’re hanging out with. You just can’t ask a lot of questions that girlfriends can. So you sit there, staring at your phone, waiting for texts that sometimes take hours or days to get back to you. Speaking of texts…
You can’t text first
You can but you won’t because you’re afraid. You’re unsure if you’re willing to put yourself in that position. You don’t want to give him that power over you. So you don’t text because it gives you the false security that you don’t care. It makes you feel better when he texts you first because it gives you the validation that he’s somewhat interested and you’re not completely imagining things.
You’re not allowed to get angry at them
Well you can but you can’t really. You could get mad but you really have no right to. They probably won’t notice or care enough to ask why you’re upset so there’s no winning here. If they bail on you or make other plans, they’re not really doing anything wrong so you can’t get mad at them for having a life. They are not obliged to see you.
You don’t know if you’re supposed to give gifts
Or receive them for that matter. It’s always awkward when you’re “hanging out” with someone during the holiday seasons. Do you get them a Christmas gift? Do you not? Do you get something generic like a sweater or something with meaning? Will they think it’s too girlfriend-ish? #TheStruggleisReal.
You don’t know how to deal with PDA
You’re unsure if it would be weird if you reach over to hold his hand. You don’t know if you can hug him casually. Do you kiss him hello? Do you kiss him goodbye? These are all the things that would be a no-brainer if you were official you think to yourself but you don’t do anything about it because…
You avoid having “the talk”
You don’t want to mess things up so you avoid having the awkward conversation of “so what are we…?” You decide to just go with the flow even though you’re dying to ask the question. Eventually you get used to not knowing and just let things be because you’d rather “hang out” than risk not hanging out.
There might be another
Since you avoid the talk, you haven’t established boundaries or rules. You’re not sure if he’s seeing and “hanging out” with other girls or not. You’re not sure if you should be hanging out with other guys. Do you let him know? Do you let the other guys you’re seeing know? It’s all a big ball of confusion.
You don’t know what to tell your friends
Your friends may start to ask where you’ve been and what you’ve been up to. You’re not sure if you’re supposed to tell them you’re dating a boy or not. So you chalk it up to nothing and you’re just “hanging out” and that you’re “just friends”. You do this because you’re afraid that if you were to say you were dating, it could get back to him and he might shut that down and you risk looking foolish. Better safe than sorry.
There won’t be closure when it ends
Slowly, you guys might start to hang out less. You feel him slipping away but you feel helpless. When you “hang out” with someone, it’s not official. You don’t have the title of boyfriend and girlfriend so there is no official “breakup”. This doesn’t mean it hurts less though, and sometimes it hurts more.
So avoid “hanging out” and being casual
If you’re the type to be okay with just “hanging out”, power to you. If you’re not, don’t fool yourself into thinking you are. You are just setting yourself up for disappointment in the end. If you know you want a relationship, don’t settle for anything less. If the person you are pursuing has no interest in becoming exclusive, cut your losses. You are worth much more than you give yourself credit for. You deserve more than what he’s willing to give you and that’s not okay. Learn to value yourself because we accept the love we think we deserve and you deserve much more than what he’s willing to put out (other than putting out).
How have you dealt with the grey areas of dating and “hanging out”?
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