You go on with the ‘in it for the fun’ mindset. You’re sick of full-on committed relationships that have been nothing but emotionally taxing. You’ve had more than your fair share of heart-breaks and so isn’t it about time you tried something new? Yeah, sure it is- or so you try to convince yourself.

So, you meet someone new- someone you’re not entirely into. You think: “oh they seem kind of attractive, but it’s not like they’re fall-head-over-heels-for material” and you proceed. You two start talking, going out on casual dates, and having plain old fun.; no strings attached, no labels included. The excitement’s never-ending.

It’s all going well- no one’s attached to anyone and no one’s up all night overthinking any wretched relationship drama. It’s all well and good until, at some point, maybe a month, two or even a year into this arrangement, you realize you actually have feelings for that arrangement.

At first, you find yourself in denial- no, this can’t actually be true. I mean, you never even thought of having a future with them before. Your feelings, which are getting stronger as time passes, however, wash away all your doubts. It’s time to face the music, you ARE getting attached to them.

You consider your options: either have the ‘talk’ or you cut them off, become distant, and end whatever you two had before things get even worse. You realize that whatever option you choose to go with, the fun will end- or rather, it ended for you the minute you started stressing over your feelings instead of just enjoying this string-less arrangement.

Let’s assume you go with the first choice. The minute you utter the words “we need to talk about something,” the other person flinches on the inside. You start going on about how much chemistry you two have and how much fun you always end up having when you’re together- they agree. You then start hinting at wanting to label what you have; you want a real relationship- or at least to attempt to have one and see where things go. The weight of the words on your tongue is almost too heavy to believe.

Most of the time, and let me put this in the most blunt and honest way possible, the other person will run the other way. Sure, you two might end up agreeing on being in a relationship, but this hardly happens. What now? You literally had a break-up that’s technically not even one since there was no relationship to begin with. You have zero closure and a thousand ‘what if’s’ running through your mind. You toy with regret and think maybe you shouldn’t have said anything.

Let’s rewind; what if you went with the first option? What if you simply started ghosting off and distancing yourself from the person. You cancel dates and send them late replies. You immerse yourself in anything but their company. As time goes by, your feelings fade. It sounds easier said than done, but eventually, you do end up getting over whatever feelings you started harboring for the person.

In both cases, you end up realizing that a fling- break up is not easy. It’s not something you can just brush off your shoulder and forget about in a second; it can be consuming. And you know what? It’s okay. It’s okay that you got attached and it’s okay that you fell for the person because at the end of the day you’re a human being and we’re all prone to having fickle feelings and emotions. You must remember, however, that time heals.