Dating these days is a unique struggle that involves trying to piece together whether or not you’re really dating, if you’re even ready for a relationship, and if that sexy hunk is actually a serial killer in disguise. With every day that passes, people tend to get increasingly hesitant to label relationships. 

The Real “Almost Relationship” Definition

 This leads to something we now know as an “Almost Relationship.” An Almost Relationship is a relationship that bears all the markings of a typical romantic coupling—sex, feelings, dates, intimacy—without the label or intention of commitment. Deep inside you know it’s going nowhere and your almost relationship guy won’t come back. 

How to get over someone you almost dated.

With Almost Relationships, the decision not to go official is almost always a single person’s choice. Sometimes, this is due to trauma. Other times, it’s a matter of, “Why buy the cow when you have the milk for free?” Even more times, it’s a matter of wanting to keep your options open. When he says he can’t love you… this is an almost relationship sign.

How to get closure from an Almost relationship. 

The problem with being in an Almost Relationship is that it undoubtedly always ends and that when it does, you never really get the same permission from society when it comes to mourning it. It’s normal to feel like you can’t really grieve or discuss it with others, simply because it was “not a real relationship.” So, how do you get over this? 

These tips help when it comes to walking away from an almost relationship…

Ignore the people who say it wasn’t a real relationship. 

Labels aren’t everything. You still liked your ex. You still spent time with them. For cryin’ out loud, you had a toothbrush at his home! Even if it was never labeled a relationship, it still was one for all intents and purposes. You have every right to grieve!

If you have people naysaying your feelings, stop listening to them. Your feelings are valid and you deserve to take time to grieve the breakup. He was almost the one, but not quite. 

Realize that there is nothing you can do to try to convince your quasi-ex to stay. 

Almost Relationships are that way because they have one person in the couple who, for one reason or another, didn’t want to make things official. Maybe the attraction wasn’t there, or maybe it was a matter of being at the right place at the wrong time. What I’m saying is, if you were the one who was told it’s not going to happen, it’s best to accept it and move on. You know this is when to let go of a potential relationship. 

It’s hard to try letting go of a man who doesn’ t want you

It is oh, so tempting to try to do the “Pick Me” dance or argue with him about why you are the one for him. Tempting as it is, you shouldn’t do it. It will only embarrass you, upset you, and also drive your ex further away from you. 

Rather than try to scramble for someone who rejected you, focus on yourself. Don’t question why, but rather, realize you deserve better. Even if it hurts, you do not want someone who doesn’t want you. When you have a happy relationship on both sides you’ll know it. 

Do follow all the regular rules of a breakup. 

The regular rules of a breakup all still apply, primarily because they are tried and true. They work with breakups of all types—romantic, friendships, families, and yes, almosts, too. More specifically, these rules below are the ones that you should follow:

  • Do not contact your ex. Crawling back to him is only giving him free real estate in your mind.
  • Do take time to do you, focus on you, and heal. You are still grieving. You will need time to parse things out emotionally. 
  • Take time to distract yourself if you’re feeling very low. Even if it’s hitting the gym, every bit helps. 
  • Reconnect with people who you lost touch with. Along with reconnecting with yourself, it’s time to nurture all the regular relationships you have with friends. 
  • Don’t rush back into dating. Sometimes, you gotta be alone for a little bit so you can fully heal and get over him.

Vent to people who get it. 

Not everyone understands how much an Almost Relationship can hurt when it falls apart. Some even will blame you for letting it get that bad. Right now, you need to talk to a friend who doesn’t judge and will be able to comfort you. You can talk to people here in our breakup support group

Sometimes, it’s not even about having a friend’s absorbent shoulder. If the breakup was really bad, then you might want to refer to a therapist to work through your emotions.

Understand what breaking up from an Almost Relationship teaches you. 

An AR, as I’ll call it, can teach you very valuable lessons. It’s part of the whole “life experience” thing we’re all doing on this crazy little rock known as Earth. An Almost Relationship hurts, but it teaches you that you should never prioritize someone who saw you as an option. And being radically authentic will help you find a better relationship down the road. 

If a person really, truly wanted a relationship with you, they’d make it work. They didn’t, and didn’t respect you enough to give you the label you want. This means that you should not take them back if they suddenly “realized how awesome it was” to be with you. 

Kick. Them. To. The. Curb. 

They already proved that they are not meant to be with you. As difficult as it may be at first, be thankful that the trash took itself out. 

Re-evaluate what you can do to prevent this from happening again.

Finally, we are going to continue to walk down this path of gaining understanding from what happened. A breakup in an Almost Relationship is almost never your fault. It’s the person who was, for lack of a better term, stringing you along. Doing that is a low move, and you cannot be blamed for feeling betrayed if you do. You can stop loving someone who let you go. 

 Pulling away from an Almost Relationship

The easiest way to prevent another Almost Relationship is to listen to what a person says when it comes to dating. Rather than wait for the fifth date to talk about what you want, be upfront. Tell them that you want a commitment and that you are not going to tolerate being with a person who is not willing to ask for a commitment. 

How to end an Almost Relationship before it happens

Give them time to choose what they want, but don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Keep dating around until they are clearly in a relationship with you—and be upfront about this matter, too. If you notice that they balk, or that they’re lagging about saying what your status is, don’t bother trying to hound them for a label. Rather, disengage. 

 The right person for you will be ardent about having a commitment with you. If he’s only lukewarm, don’t try to convince him. Keep searching for someone better.