Those early days of getting to know someone are tough: you have to figure out if you really like them, how much you like them, and what you want with them — if anything. What should you do if you’re dating but not sure if you’re really into this person?
Yes, you like them and everything but that doesn’t mean you are sure you want a relationship with them. Should you be upfront and let them know you’re not that into them and hurt their feelings, keep it to yourself and figure it out on your own, or walk away before they get more attached to you?
We reached out to our Relationship Expert Marwa Rakha to help us unveil more secrets about relationships.
Is it considered tricking someone by not being sure in the beginning of the dating process with that person?
The worst thing about dating, or any relationship in general, is expectations. Expecting feeling in a certain way, hearing certain words, or simply being with someone in a certain way. It is totally normal that when you meet someone “interesting”, there are sparks and attraction in the beginning.
It is also normal that after the attraction phase fades away, there comes a time of uncertainty. It is natural to have doubts, to worry that you are with the wrong person for you, to wonder if things are going too quick or too slow, and to pull away – yes! It is natural for one, or both, to back off a bit.
What would be “tricking” and totally unethical is lying to someone about how you feel about them by saying things that you do not mean or feel, and by exaggerating showing feelings that you do not have. Why call every couple of hours if you do not feel like it? Why do you say, “I miss you”, if you don’t? Why do you get intimate and say, “I love you”, when you don’t?
Voicing that would make you honest or rude? Not voicing that would make you considerate or selfish?
Assuming that you took my advice, and never showed feelings that you do not have, the answer to that question would be simple. Here is a scenario to make it more tangible:
You just met someone, liked one another, began going out, and you are being true to yourself. You are not faking anything. Then that person expects more, asks for more, and eventually asks you why you are not giving more.
Being honest about how you feel, in that scenario, is not rude. You are a decent person who does not want to lead anyone on, and who is not being manipulative. That is why you need to clearly express how you feel when you are faced with an unsatisfied partner. If you have worries, doubts, or negative feelings, express them without being offensive. If you feel that it is too early to be exclusive and commit, say it. If you feel that you are pressured, be clear about it.
What happens if you don’t?
You get in trouble! You get accused of playing people’s feelings! You become a jerk! If you are a man, and you get really intimate with a woman who believes, based on your actions, that you are in a steady relationship, you get accused of being a jerk.
If you are a woman, and you take advantage of a man’s generosity, while he thinks that you are in love with him, you are at risk of being named “a gold-digger”.
Does love happen instantly or gradually over time?
After the uncertainty phase ends, you both feel ready to be exclusive, and go steady. You get to talk about more intimate experiences, and share dreams and hopes. If that phase goes well, you are ready to commit and get engaged. If that phase does not go well, the relationship ends.
You only commit to a person after falling in love and getting to know that person well – as well as your value system allows you. These phases take time and there is no specific timeline to the phases. If you feel that a phase is dragging on, have a talk with your partner.
When should you walk away, and when should you stay?
Walk away if the relationship is distressed! If there are too many ups and downs, if there is a lingering sense of insecurity, if you feel bad but have no logical reason to justify your feelings, if you feel pressured to be someone you are not, if you feel used or abused in any way, or if you know, deep down, that that person is not right for you.
If the relationship is growing steadily and the two of you are putting in effort to get to know one another, then that is a relationship worth investing time and emotions in.