Dating and relationships can be ~the best~, but moving from one stage to the next can be big-time nerve-wracking. Sometimes it can feel like, as a woman, you’ll always be interested in having a relationship — but what if you’re not? Here are some reasons that it’s perfectly okay to say “thanks, but no thanks” to a relationship proposition from anyone.
1. You’re just not that into it
Maybe you went on a few dates and they were good but not, like, good. Just because you were feeling it at one point doesn’t mean that you’ve got to be feeling it all the time. That initial chemistry wears off, and if you’re not into what’s underneath, that’s a more than okay reason to choose not to get into a relationship.
2. You’re not ready
I find this reason the hardest to admit. I like to think that I’m always ready to commit to someone else, but so often I’m in a time of transition or growth that makes me emotionally unavailable. There’s such a cliche about “dating yourself” and how you should spend time figuring out what you like and need, but truly sometimes you’re in an emotional place that would make a relationship difficult and inconsiderate to both your partner and yourself. Be vulnerable enough with yourself and your potential partner to say “no” to a relationship, for the benefit of you both.
3. The logistics don’t work out
This might be the thing I scream about most on The Bachelor; if one of you lives in Scottsdale and one of you lives in Toronto and neither of you wants to move, that’s going to be a pretty big obstacle to overcome. Of course, you could fall so in love that you’ll do anything for each other, but you could (more likely) bump up against those pesky life differences and end up breaking up because of it. If you feel like distance might get in your way, you might be right.
4. You’re into it now, but can see it breaking down later
There’s a big difference between wanting to be in a relationship and wanting to be in a relationship with that specific person. If you find yourself romanticizing certain characteristics for the sake of justifying some flaws you don’t love (i.e., he brought me flowers that one time but we can’t hold a conversation like ever), you might be falling into that trap. It can be easy to ignore the red-ish flags, but your future self will thank you if you just cut it off now rather than convince yourself that those characteristics will become “endearing” rather than “annoying.”
5. You don’t want a relationship
So maybe it seems like your life is perfectly primed to accept another person in to it: your job is solid, you have a strong group of friends, you really like the person, but you’re just not up for shaking up the life you’ve crafted. And that’s totally fine! Having a partner in your life can be wonderful, but it is a time and emotional commitment that might not be attractive to you, even if the person you’re seeing is. So if they’re looking for more commitment and you’re not, that’s a perfectly good moment to say “nope” to a relationship — and hold to that choice, as no one deserves to be lead on.
Bottom line is that you can say no to a relationship whenever you damn well please, for any reason you see fit. But, it absolutely matters how you handle the situation — treat the person you’re seeing with the care that you want and expect to receive from them. Open and honest communication is always the best move. You’re lovely with or without a partner, so make the call that’s best for you, with the care that’s best for them.