Almost never killed a fly. As close as it feels to the real thing, the word literally means not quite. You’ve gone on several dates with someone, you hang around each other all the time and have an exciting sex life.
You’re basically partners with this person, except you aren’t. You haven’t had the talk, people don’t see you as a couple yet and you’re still looking at other relationships wishing that was your case.
The ‘define the relationship’ (DTR) conversation maintains its notoriety for being dreaded to date. So asking your almost partner directly what you are doing is understandably not what many people like to do.
If your gut has been hinting towards you being in a situationship instead of a real relationship, the following signs can help you put things in perspective.
- 1 15 Signs You’re In An Almost Relationship.
- 1.1 1. Almost relationships are ridden with uncertainty
- 1.2 2. One of you avoids the DTR talk
- 1.3 3. Your relationship is without a label
- 1.4 4. You find it difficult to explain your relationship
- 1.5 5. Boundaries are unclear
- 1.6 6. You feel bad for catching feelings
- 1.7 7. Feelings in almost relationships are often one-sided
- 1.8 8. You never discuss the future
- 1.9 9. You don’t know your partner, not really
- 1.10 10. Your relationship is on-again/off-again
- 1.11 11. You know you can do better
- 1.12 12. You’ve never met his friends
- 1.13 13. Your relationship is a secret
- 1.14 14. You don’t feel like your partner’s “the one”
- 1.15 15. Your almost-boyfriend says he doesn’t want anything serious
- 2 FAQs
- 3 In Conclusion
15 Signs You’re In An Almost Relationship.
1. Almost relationships are ridden with uncertainty
One of the defining characteristics of relationships that are not quite the real thing is the perpetual sense of uncertainty. You get a certain vibe that makes you think this might be it. But then you remember you can’t even confidently say he’s your boyfriend and you have no ‘claims’ to his time.
Most people don’t set out to enter a situationship, it just sort of happens. And while it may be fun at first, even with inconsistencies and all, it can be a real headache when it starts to get old.
2. One of you avoids the DTR talk
One major difference between a committed relationship and almost relationships is that the former defines their relationship to be so, while the latter just runs on vibes. There’s usually a communication barrier between situationship partners because only one person is interested in talking.
If the person you are seeing always finds a way to change the topic or gives vague answers when backed into a corner, you’re essentially in an almost relationship.
3. Your relationship is without a label
Research shows that it takes a new couple an average of six weeks to define and label their relationship. And going by the statistics, most of them do a lot with each other before finally having that talk.
As much as you shouldn’t judge your life by other people’s romantic timelines, if you feel you’ve been together too long to remain unclear about your expectations, you probably are.
Unless your definition of being in an actual relationship includes never being sure of what you are to your partner, you’re not in one.
4. You find it difficult to explain your relationship
Another sign you’re in an almost relationship is when you’ve been seeing this guy for a while. He rocks your world when he has the time, and you excitedly want to tell your friends about it but can’t quite explain all the way.
Are you two friends with benefits? No, because both parties at least agree to that. So, you’ve gone on a couple of dates, are you in a relationship now? Not quite. “We’re together though, it’s just a bit complicated.” Well, there is an easier way to put it, you’re seeing someone yet still single.
5. Boundaries are unclear
There’s no crime where there’s no law. So long as where you and this person stand remains up in the air, things can be pretty confusing. Can you get mad if they hook up with other people? Should you be entertaining other guys?
Personal boundaries may also get crossed often because you don’t want to “bother them with stuff like that yet” or you don’t want to seem whiny. Maintaining clear boundaries is a relationship essential that people who are dating have to uphold to enjoy a healthy relationship.
6. You feel bad for catching feelings
It usually doesn’t bother people in an almost relationship when it’s just starting because then it mostly runs on chemistry. You’d have no problem taking every day as it comes because you can hardly keep your hands off of each other. “Why ruin it by slapping a label on it?” sounds like a deep question at that stage, instead of a red flag.
Then gradually, you begin to want more. And while this might be a thing of joy in real relationships, you know within yourself that you’ve messed up if you’re in the almost relationship stage.
You want to tell them how you feel, but you’re also afraid it would drive them away or it’s not the right time. So you just take what they give you and hope they feel the same way someday.
7. Feelings in almost relationships are often one-sided
I’ll admit that it isn’t impossible for an almost relationship to pave the way for something deeper. However, more often than not, it doesn’t quite turn out that way.
The person who wants more is usually the one who makes the most effort to keep the ball rolling. If you find yourself shouldering most of the responsibilities in your arrangement while your partner does virtually nothing, it’s a sign you’re not quite the item you thought you were.
8. You never discuss the future
You’ll also notice if you’re in an almost relationship that your plans don’t go too far into the future. You don’t want to seem desperate, so you try not to bring up your desire to spend the next holiday with them. They don’t want you to get ideas, so they don’t tell you about their birthday.
This is because, unlike couples who have made their commitment to each other known, you or your partner don’t want what you have to become a real thing. Time passes, but it doesn’t quite feel like you and this person are headed anywhere.
9. You don’t know your partner, not really
Maybe you know your own partner’s birthday and what they are allergic to, but deep down you know you can’t confidently say you know this person. You’re both more comfortable strolling along the shore than dipping your feet in the water that is each other’s vulnerabilities.
Most relationships didn’t start by revealing everything about each other right away, but while the legit ones grow and get there, situationships stay hanging on the surface.
10. Your relationship is on-again/off-again
Just because they call it almost doesn’t mean the connection you form with your partner is any less real. Have you had moments when you’ve had enough of the uncertainty and try to end things only to find yourself reaching out later to ‘talk it through?’ Many people have.
It is even trickier when your partner is a sweet talker who manages to convince you that there is nothing wrong with letting your feelings lead sometimes. You end up having sex, and by the time you’re leaving, you’re back together, sort of.
11. You know you can do better
Almost relationships can make you feel undeserving of the secure connection you crave with your partner even as you tell yourself there’s something better out there. If your sense of self isn’t rock-solid, you may justify your lover doing the barest minimum and blame yourself for not being good enough.
Yet, a part of you knows the right relationship isn’t supposed to be this much of a hassle. You shouldn’t be drained and anxious most of the time just because you’re in love. If you do and your partner’s actions drove you there, it’s a sign of an almost relationship.
12. You’ve never met his friends
Meeting family or friends can be a pretty big deal in a relationship, a milestone, even, because it’s indicative of your partner opening themselves up to more. However, this only means much to people who do not take this step lightly.
If your man is like this, and on top of the other signs, hasn’t introduced you to his close buddies, you probably aren’t his real girlfriend. On the other hand, some guys don’t mind ‘taking you home to mama’ let alone friends on the first night you hook up. In that case, meeting them doesn’t really imply anything.
13. Your relationship is a secret
There’s keeping the details of your love life private on purpose, and then there’s keeping it a secret altogether because you don’t even know what you’re doing. You say no to dates yet the person you’re staying loyal to refuses to be ‘fit in a box.’
To save yourself the stress of explaining the complicated, you tell people you’re with someone, but deep down, you know it may never lead anywhere. You act like partners in private but can’t go on a double date or attend work events together because “you’re not there yet.” Unfortunately, with an almost relationship, you may never get there.
14. You don’t feel like your partner’s “the one”
When someone is as crazy about you as you’re about them, you can just tell. The same goes for when the feelings are not quite mutual. An almost relationship ensues when one partner is not yet ready for commitment or unable to do it fully because they already have an obligation to another.
In that case, they can manage to sweep you off your feet now and then, but you’d always get the feeling you’re not their one. You’d be more of a convenience than a priority.
15. Your almost-boyfriend says he doesn’t want anything serious
Finally, the most surefire sign you’re in an almost relationship is if your ‘boyfriend’ told you from the jump that he isn’t looking for something serious. You probably agreed anyway because you were hoping he’d fall deeper once he gets to know you more and change his mind.
If you’ve been at it for a while now and he’s yet to change his tone, he probably likes the relationship as it is. And if he has said something that can be roughly interpreted as hope for more, check if his actions tally with his words. Is the emotional rollercoaster he takes you on really the best pointer that he means that?
An almost relationship hurts because it feels like you’re stuck between two worlds. You’re emotionally attached to someone who either can’t reciprocate your feelings or the timing is just off. Your mind alternates between trying to let go and hanging on for a bit longer. It can make you feel inadequate, and when it ends, you can’t even grieve properly because it technically never happened.
Except in cases of abuse, men usually don’t set out to hurt their lover. A possible explanation for why it often happens anyway is that their girl is the closest to them, which means she feels the heat when they’re hot. It can also be indicative of something else lowkey going on with them.
As beautiful as love is, it is impossible to have it all good. The right kind of love is worth the occasional dark clouds because you have the other person to hold your hands through it. However, if all it ever brings is pain, it probably isn’t love, and if it is, then it isn’t for you.
An unhealthy relationship is defined by codependence and a lack of regard for boundaries. You’re always walking on thin ice around your partner because of one thing or the other. When a relationship isn’t healthy, it leaves you feeling more anxious, stressed, and drained than you usually are.
Some couples drop the L-word as early as three weeks into their relationship while some can go as long as six months without saying it. There seems to be a general agreement that it’s safe once you reach the three-month mark. I say wait till you feel it and have a fair idea your partner is there too. The last thing you want is to freak them out by saying it too soon.
An almost relationship isn’t without its benefits, but like most things in life, it has its cons as well. It is neither a good nor a bad thing, just a matter of what you want. Now that you have the signs, does it define your relationship? Let me know what you think of this post in the comments and share the article if you like.
As hopeless romantic I struggled tremendously in my love life. After many years of searching, trial & error, and countless failed relationships, I finally found my Mr. Right. It wasn't an easy road, but one that has taught me an incredible amount about the workings of relationships between men and women, and this is what I hope to share through my writing on this blog.