Do You Like Me or What??

Limbo…not the best place to be in a relationship, yet a lot of college students seem to live here.  I see students hanging out with a certain person a lot so I start to assume they are in a relationship.  However, when I ask many students about this person they’ll say something like, “Oh, we’re not together”.  So, I’ll ask what is going on between them and I’ll get the answer, “I don’t know yet”.

If it were me, I would be frustrated not knowing where I stand.  However, I see why a lot of students don’t push the issue.  There is a fear of moving too fast and scaring the person away.  Also, no one wants to bring up the awkward conversation about defining the relationship.  Meanwhile, the two students continue to hang out with each other all the time and an intimacy develops.

What would you do if this person didn’t text you for a couple of days?  Would you be upset?  What if they started hanging out with someone else all of a sudden?  If the answer is yes, than no matter what you say, you are entering the relationship zone.  I understand the idea of keeping things casual for a while.  You want to get to know the person better and see if an attraction continues to build.

Remember though, people who are in casual relationships don’t spend all their time together.  They don’t text each other all the time or find time to hang out every day.  People in casual relationships are taking things slow and may text a couple of times a day, they may skip a day and they certainly don’t see each other every day for a few hours at a time.  If you are trying to keep things casual you could be sending the wrong message if you are constantly in contact with this person day after day.  It can be easy to misinterpret what is going on if you say one thing, but your actions are saying another.  It can make you start to over-analyze every move the other person makes in order to figure out what they are thinking or feeling.

I see people acting like they are in a relationship, but they feel if they don’t say the words than it won’t hurt if the person just falls off the face of the earth.  Not true.  If you spend a lot of time with just one person, feelings are going to develop.  Remember that the heart and the mind are rarely on the same page.  When you tell yourself you aren’t in a relationship it is easy to do little things that may be hurtful.  Your mind may think since you aren’t technically in a relationship you don’t have to call or text if you change plans.  Your mind tells you that you don’t “owe” this person anything.  In fact, your mind may trick you into doing little things like that in order to keep believing that you aren’t becoming attached.

However, the heart isn’t buying it.  You will feel hurt if the person stopped texting you all of a sudden, or after having lunch for 20 days in a row they decide to skip one day with no explanation.  Your head says it’s no big deal, but the heart feels hurt anyway.  This can make a person feel crazy because if they were in a relationship they would tell themselves they have a right to feel hurt.  Since you tell yourself you aren’t in a relationship, you also tell yourself you shouldn’t feel hurt.  Yet how can you control those feelings or make them go away?  You can’t.

My whole point is this.  If you want to keep it casual and not say you are in a relationship, watch how much time you are spending with someone.  If you meet someone new, don’t start texting constantly and seeing each other every night.  This will lead to intimacy and a build up of feelings.  Which can cause you to feel very hurt if this doesn’t actually turn into a real relationship.  If you aren’t sure you want to be in a relationship, keep some space between you and this new person.  Treat them like an acquaintance who you talk to a few times and see maybe once or twice a week.  This will keep things casual and there won’t be any need for over-analyzing or awkward conversations.  If you start wanting to spend more time with this person and they seem to want the same thing, then suck it up and admit you are in a relationship!!

9 comments on “Do You Like Me or What??

  1. Thank you for addressing this topic!! I work in a college counseling center as well, and I can’t tell you how many young women and men I see who are struggling with this issue. No one wants to bring up anything anymore because it may be “awkward.” On the outside, everyone wants to appear “casual” but inside, everyone is struggling to figure out what’s going on and spending a lot of mental and emotional energy in this limbo.

    When did we become so terrified of honest communication with others? When did this kind of conversation become so difficult and unbearable to people? Students say that they don’t want to “put myself out there like that” or that they don’t want to “play all my cards.” Meanwhile, they would rather get an anxiety disorder over expressing their true feelings (anxiety often covers anger & frustration).

    Students say that technology makes them feel so connected, and they pride themselves on being able to talk more openly about sex than any other generation, but no on seems able to talk about whether they are or are not in a relationship? What is going on? Maybe you are ambivalent about being in a relationship. Maybe you only want to have sex with the person. Maybe you don’t know exactly what it is that you want. Maybe you just want to be friends. It’s all good. Just say so! We learn how to risk the rejection or awkward feelings because it’s what adults do.

  2. Ideas for new posts: How do you find a real relationship in this hook-up culture?…Why do girls continue to degrade other girls (girls who like sex or have a lot of it) by calling them sluts?…Do guys feel sexually insecure? Does sober sex exist anymore?…Do chubby girls have a shot at getting a boyfriend in this culture?..Why doesn’t anyone ever talk about/admit to having had an abortion (when it is perfectly legal)?..Why are gay couples more accepting of non-monogamy?..What’s the deal with all the hygiene maintenance stuff we girls have to do to be considered acceptable/sexy (ie. why can’t we have body hair?).

    I think your posts are super informative and interesting!

    • Thanks so much for your great ideas! I’m always racking my brain to come up with new topics and appreciate all the help I can get! I also appreciate your positive feedback. Thanks for reading!!

  3. I’m moving into this zone with someone right now and have half-made some of the attachment mistakes you mentioned (friends, for all intents and purposes warned me of what you speak). I’m in the process of writing a post about it in fact. At 25, I’m awkwardly new to this love thing. Your writing is helpful. Thanks and keep it up!

    • Thanks for sharing! Love is complicated…hopefully you’ll figure out where you and this other person stand sometime soon. Until then, keep writing your blog. It will help! Thanks for reading!!

  4. I really really like this post. I feel I can relate to what this is saying. I have been in this situation not too long ago, and didn’t know what to do about it. It was my first time having feelings and hanging out with this person. I guess I did not know how to handle it properly and in the right way. I’m not a confrontational type of person so I never brought it up to him. However, I do want to see what happen between us, just so I can feel relaxed, but don’t know how. It has been a while but I am learning from the mistakes I have made. I now know what is right and where my place will be as a friend. It is true how your mind and your heart said two different things. My mind kept saying that I can get over him if “supposedly” I was not in a relationship, but my heart was a little hurt and had feelings, since I kept hanging around with him almost everyday. I kept denying myself that I was in a relationship, but by reading this, I guess I was and just was too afraid to admit about it. I liked him and it took a while to forget him, and I managed to do it. I suggest to people to please take your time when meeting someone. Really get to know them, personally and socially. It is going to take time, but if he or she really likes you like they say they do, they will wait until you are ready. Sometimes you become oblivious about certain things, but talk to them and tell them where you stand if you seem to be hanging out with them everyday. I think by doing so, you will feel better about yourself and wont get your feelings hurt. People come and go in people’s lives, that doesn’t mean that they are bad, it just means that part of your story is over with them. Live life to the complete fullest and always be confident and secure of what you do, say, and feel. Confront them in a respectful and nice way if you feel awkward about a situation with them, that will totally help you feel relieved. Hope this helps. I feel confident, stronger, and with experienced when I have feelings with someone again. I can totally relate to this so much more and this helped me in so many ways. Thank you again!!! 😀

    • Thanks so much for your very thoughtful and insightful comment. I really appreciate you sharing your story. Relationships can become complicated even if you’re trying to keep things casual. I know a lot of people can relate to you and what you went through. I’m glad this post was helpful to you. Thanks for reading!

I would love to hear what you think about this post or about my blog in general. Also, feel free to leave any suggestions or ideas for new posts in the future! Thanks!

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