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How Long Should You Date Someone You Don’t Want To Live With?

How long should you date someone you don_t want to live with

All of us want to be happy. We look for happiness in our hobbies, our work, our friends and also our relationship. When we start a new relationship, we hope that it will make us happy. In the beginning, it might be complicated to assess the risks and make predictions. We just dive into our new relationships and try to enjoy it. We act intuitively. We learn. We try to understand our partner. We look for common interests, desires, and preferences. It is exciting as almost every new thing in our lives. But when people are excited and amazed, they tend to act emotionally, which makes them lose attention to small details. When we are in love, we don’t analyze much. And that is completely normal. It is our nature. The level of some hormones rises and we just can’t act differently.  

But it often happens that at some point people find themselves in a relationship without the future. There are different reasons why the relationship might go that way. Sometimes the relationships are just not serious enough for one or both parties to build a more serious long-term thing. Sometimes somewhere along the way people realize that they had less in common than they previously thought they had. Sometimes the circumstances are much more tragic. You all know the movie stories about one person falling in love with someone who is or becomes terminally ill. And those stories happen in real life too. Some people try to spend as much time together as they possibly can because they know that this relationship won’t last. Even in those dire situations, people are happy when they spend time with each other. The same is true for people who just date someone without any thoughts about serious plans for the future. But that doesn’t mean that you might not have thoughts about the viability of such relationships.  

Why some relationships can’t work in the long run?

It is always a good idea to remember that one of the main reasons why relationships don’t work is a poor partner choice. It might be painful to realize that we could avoid some problems if we would be more mindful and tended to analyze more. It doesn’t mean that we have to regret and blame ourselves for wasting time on one more relationship that didn’t end well. Every relationship is our chance to understand our needs, to learn something new about ourselves, and relationships in general. But it is important to appreciate your own time and efforts and time and efforts of your partner. It is never a good idea to give false hope neither to yourself, not to your partner. 

First of all, when you think about your potential or newly started relationship, take into consideration only the current state of affairs. We all have plans and hope for a better future. But things can go in a different direction and some of our plans and hopes might never come true. So let’s be realists. If you are not willing to date a dog walker, don’t date a dog walker, because she might never become an owner a huge dog-walking business even if her plan sounds pretty good. At the same time, if you realize that your partner is not satisfied with who you are, think twice it worths it to continue this relationship.  

You might say that every relationship involves development and support. And you would be right. But let’s think about how much you are ready to invest in a relationship with a person who doesn’t meet your preferences at the very beginning. The chances that it would be just a waste of your time are much higher than chances that a frog will turn into a price after a magic kiss.

Know yourself and your partner.

In order to make effective decisions in your relationship, you should know yourself really well. It is crucially important to realize what are your priorities, preferences, desires. Yous should know what you are looking for in your partner and what you are ready to give on different stages of a relationship. A relationship requires investments and work. You need to invest your time,  your emotions, your energy. You need to work on your relationship. Moreover, it should be a team-work. Things wouldn’t work, if it is always just one person who invests and the other one is just accepting. 

 A lot of couples ask themselves if there is a future in the relationship they are in. “Should I stay in this relationship?”, “Is this person a decent choice to build the long run with?”, “Are we going to be alright?” and other similar questions bother almost all people who are in some sort of a relationship. People tend to value their relationships and strive to keep them great as long as possible. So the anxiety about those treasured connections is totally natural.  

There is a lot of advice on the internet and other media on all romantic related topics. They address those anxieties and other issues too. You can look for answers to your questions on Reddit online dating communities, websites that focus on psychology and relationships. Those are nice sources to get some perspective on your current situation, share your experience and learn from the experience of other people and even get professional help. This might help you deal with some of your issues, look at your situation from another point of view and just give you some food for thought. 

If you are wondering if your relationship s that sort of a relationship with no future there are some signs a relationship will not last. But don’t be disappointed if you realize that your relationship has one or more of those signs. The thing is, the relationships like life itself is a constantly changing thing. You can make some of those changes yourself. Some of them you can influence. And some are completely out of our reach. If you feel like you want to at least try to change your relationship so it becomes a more stable one, you can always choose that road. Make some concessions, compromise, work on your issues together. You can even use professional counseling. Of course, if you are both willing to make changes and are both looking for the same type of connection. But if it’s not the case, you probably shouldn’t try to force your hopes and dreams onto someone else. 

If you are really looking only for a kind of a relationship that will most probably lead to “happily ever after”, you should face the situation you are in and maybe make some hard decisions. You can always hope for a change but that anxiety you will feel if the change is not coming is not the best thing in the relationship(to put it mildly). In that case, it will probably be better to set a deadline for a relationship. This way you can enjoy the process itself, without feeling the anxiety. And you will have enough time to figure out if anything is waiting for you around the corner. A couple of months is usually enough to figure out where everything is going and what to do with it. And if you see it’s not working out… Well, it’s always better to be honest with yourself and others. Be transparent with your partner and with yourself. That’s the best thing you can do in this type of situation. If you are really looking for a long-term relationship, it’s better to rip the bandaid rather sooner than later. It might be hard to do, especially if it’s someone you love. But think what would happen if it won’t work out in the future. 

It’s not as bad as you might think.

But there is always another perspective you might have never thought about. It is not always a bad thing to have a relationship with no future. Not everybody is looking for that kind of thing to start with. Some people enjoy the occasional fling with someone they feel the right chemistry. There is no law or rule that says you only need to have long-term relationships. Actually, if you’ll focus only on that type of thing, you will probably miss a lot of great moments in your life. 

Psychologists say that there are even some benefits of building relationships without the pressure of the idea of a long-term partnership. Building a long-term relationship usually means you would want to hold on to it. It’s only natural. We feel joy and happiness every time we are with someone and we want to have another dose of it over and over again. To prolong it almost no matter what. That would lead to compromises, concessions, etc. And in the event of a marriage or moving together, the pressure will become even greater. Bit by bit, little by little you’ll make more compromises with yourself to keep everything on track. And that is not very healthy psychologically speaking. This pressure might really mess up your life, your current and your future relationships.  

So why not skip this thing altogether? Or at least leave it for later and enjoy what you have? Dating and building relationships without the pressure of trying to make it a solid thing can be much better for everybody. In a worst-case scenario, you’ll have your fun and go your own way. And in a best-case scenario, you’ll find someone who you have chemistry with and who you will eventually move in with or marry. I know that it’s hard for some people to just let go of the idea of being very serious about relationships. But you might find out that actually achieving this goal is much easier if you don’t pursue it. I know, right? Well, it’s not that counterintuitive. This is one of those “the more you try the harder it gets” type of a situation. There are a lot, and I mean A LOT of couples whos “happily ever after” started as just a bit of sympathy or fooling around and then moved to something much much more. It’s quite possible that in those cases people’s intuition worked better than their rational brains. Don’t underestimate the power of subconsciousness and your intuition. Maybe the attraction you can’t rationally explain will be the best thing that will happen to you. 

Of course, all those advice are also not the rules that are set in stone. Every life, every relationship is a bit different even if there are some commonalities between them. Something that works in relationships your BFFs have could be an absolute horror show for you and vice versa. The best way to deal with all the advice of this kind is to listen to them, analyze them, think what works for you and what doesn’t and then make some adjustments to those recommendations. Hopefully, you’ll be able to find the unique solution that will be the best for you and maybe others. 

And if you see that it’s not working… Well, you might hold on to the relationship while the fun is lasting or maybe it’s time for you to find someone else. Just be honest with yourself, your needs and desires and do what’s better for you. Probably the only thing you shouldn’t do is staying in a relationship just of a sheer habit and hope that everything will eventually become the way you imagine your perfect relationship. You might be really disappointed in the end and suffer needlessly. 

Sarah Zuckerman

Sarah Zuckerman is a PhD student studying Social Psychology and young writer for Doulike Blog. She wants to become an expert in the relationship and dream about her own dating agency. Communication with people is her secret talent that helps her achieve her life goals. Find more of her work also on Twitter &Facebook.View Author posts

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