For a millennial dating in college is a real challenge. It’s so confusing because there are so many steps before you are in a committed relationship – like the talking phase and hanging out… This leads to being a lot of “almost relationships” where you act like you are boyfriend and girlfriend, but is not the label that you or society put on the relationship.
While being in an almost relationship has led me to get hurt and feel defeated about dating in general, there are some positives that I have found while in my search for picking myself back up.
1. You figure out what you do and do not want in a partner
Maybe the person you were talking to focused mainly on themselves and their interests rather than getting to know you. The next person you are in a “relationship” with wants to hear about you too! Relationships involve two people and you can’t really get to know someone if you only ever talk about yourself or the person only talks about themselves. It’s not fair to either person.
2. You find out interests you never knew you had
Your “almost relationship” dude is really into sports and you’ve never watched a single basketball game before the two of you started hanging out. Maybe you find out you enjoy watching the sport or some other interest. You never know what you may discover.
3. You learn that being in a relationship is more of a want than a need
I have grown up thinking that I NEEDED to be in a relationship to be happy because of society and cheesy rom-com movies. It’s not true. It just isn’t. In some of these almost relationships looking back, I was unhappier in them than without them. Sometimes we think that other people’s thoughts and feelings about us should dictate how we feel about ourselves, but that’s a hard way to live.
4. You had the opportunity to learn about someone else’s outlook on life
While I don’t agree with some of the thoughts and feelings of the boys that I have been in “almost relationships” with, I had the privilege of getting to know what makes them tick and what they are truly passionate about. I think it’s rare that two people truly sit down and just listen to one another about their likes and dislikes. I cherish these moments even if the relationship didn’t work out. I still got to know someone who is great, but just not great for me.
5. You get over him eventually…
After all the almost relationships that I have experienced one thing I have found in common is that the feelings of sadness, believing that you are unworthy of love, and respect will go away. It doesn’t go away in a day or a couple weeks, but it does eventually fade. I think heartbreak or whatever you want to call it is something that helps us grow as a person and is not always such a bad thing.
So, thank you to the boys for the almost relationships. It was nice getting to know you and I wish you the best.