She wants a relationship, I don’t. What to do?

bileine asks:
What to do when a girl wants a relationship and you don’t? In my case, I might go abroad in the first semester of the next year and I am not searching for a relationship right now because I would be far away and I am afraid I can’t be faithful in a recent relationship. The truth is that this girl, she is decent, but I don’t like her. She has become attached to me already. I explained I don’t want a relationship, but I am interested in her. She is gf material, but I don’t want a girlfriend on this moment of my life. There won’t be stability if I go abroad. We didn’t have nothing yet. Just kissed in the night we met. Been with her a couple of times without any kisses or sex and she thought I was interested. What’s your advice? I think I am going to say that we better stop talking or something. Before she get really hurt. Thanks.


Demetrius says:

Sometimes I pick a question because it requires nuance and makes for an interesting topic to discuss. Other times, I pick a question because the simplest answers are often the ones that bear repeating the most. This is one of those times.

People often fall into the trap of thinking that a good person equals good fit, and that isn’t the case.  It helps, but there needs to be so much more for any romantic connection to work. People want to hold onto good people, even if they’re not really good for them, and that’s a bad idea.

Worse still, people string along good people, whether purposefully, or through inaction. “We don’t want the same things, but they’re so great so I’ll stick around and see if things change” is an all-too-common sentiment. I understand the sentiment, because one of the biggest struggles with dating is finding someone who is a remotely half-way decent person. A good person, even one who isn’t necessarily a good fit for you, can feel like water in the desert, so you cling to them. I understand it, I really do, but it doesn’t make it right.

If you don’t want a relationship, and the person you’re dating, seeing, or sleeping with does want one, you should end things and wish them well.  Stalling when you know that you don’t want a commitment isn’t cool. If you genuinely think someone is a good person, but you don’t share their romantic goals, the least you could do is take the initiative to end things. If you feel bad about ending things because they’re so great, keep in mind that by doing so you’re giving them an opportunity to find someone who wants what they want.

The reason I chose this question is because this really should be the rule for any situation where both parties have opposing romantic goals. If you want similar things, and a compromise that can be met, i.e. you both want a commitment but one of you hates the label “boyfriend/girlfriend” and would prefer using the term “partner” instead, keep seeing them. If you have completely opposing romantic goals, i.e. one of you wants a commitment while the other wants no commitment, then you should move on.

The same rule applies to people who want the same thing as you, but can’t give it to you because of circumstances that can’t or wont change. Whether it’s because of distance, available time, if they’re seeing someone else, and so on. If someone can’t or wont give you what you absolutely want in a relationship, or if you can’t or wont give someone what they absolutely want in a relationship, move on.

Good Luck Out There.

Demetrius Figueroa

Demetrius is a sex, dating, and relationship writer based in Brooklyn.

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