When working with singles, I will often hear the phrase “I’m not ready for a relationship”, or “He told me that he doesn’t want a relationship”.
A relationship is defined as an emotional or other connection between people. Pretty loose, huh?
How does one person date another, or even “just have sex” with another person without there being some kind of connection?
It seems to me that the phrase, “I’m not interested in having a relationship” means:
1. I don’t want to invest much effort in this. If you do most or all of the work and I have a good time but don’t have to be accountable for anything, we can meet up when it works out, but don’t count on me.
2. I want to have sex with you – and that’s pretty much it.
How does it feel to think that you are involved (you have decided to be involved despite being told one of the above noted phrases) with someone who thinks 1, or 2, or both? Possibly, not very good. Unless you also feel exactly the same way! Otherwise, why would a rational, intelligent, human being have communication with, spend time and effort on, date, have sex with, try to rely on…….someone who says this?
Maybe, because we tend to think “It won’t be like that with me! I’m different. I can make him (or her) see the light, realize that I’m just grand, and want to invest, connect, settle down, be monogamous, etc. What a challenge!
Sadly, it just isn’t so. What would it be like for you to listen to what this person is telling you, and believe them? If they aren’t ready for a relationship, and you are, why continue?
I have come to the realization that many people think in terms of a relationship as something you do when you are ready to give up something (or everything)! They don’t think about a relationship as a connection that means they gain something, such as partnership, emotional support, help, fun, security, companionship,connection, etc. Rather, they think “Relationship? That means I have to give up freedom, choice, being me, the possibility of sex with other people, etc. Ugh”
Fortunately, in healthy relationships, people don’t give up “being me”, and they negotiate making choices that they agree will, in various ways, work for both of them.
If you examine what you want – are you ready for a real relationship? If you had one, what would you be giving up? What would you gain?
Answering these questions for yourself will help you to sort through prospective dating choices, and make decisions that will work better for you.