Stuck in Relationship Limbo? You’re Not Alone!

relationship-limboIt’s the sign of our times. You meet someone. You like each other. You hang out. You have sex. In all intents and purposes you’re “together”. BUT …. OK here’s the catch … you actually AREN’T in a relationship. Nope. You’re in “Relationship Limbo”. When I read this article about Relationship Statuses Between “In a Relationship” and “Single” it totally resonated with me. It highlighted the statuses we’ve settled for in dating these days. It’s so hard to actually find people, women and men, who really truly want to be in a relationship. The grass is always greener on the other side, there is always the potential for something better out there, so much so that rarely are people willing to lock it down. What is the result? The result is that we’re stuck in relationship limbo and can’t close the deal with anyone. Trust me, you’re not alone.

Stuck in Relationship Limbo? You’re Not Alone!

So why are people reluctant to seal the deal? Well, each situation and person is different but in general, here are some top reasons that people stay in relationship limbo (feel free to add any in the comments!):

  • baggage from a previous relationship
  • afraid to make another mistake
  • afraid of losing their freedom
  • afraid of choosing the wrong person
  • afraid of missing out on something better
  • afraid someone will change if they commit
  • they like their life the way it is
  • they like the arrangement they have with the person
  • there is the illusion of a lot of choice
  • they see their friends/families failed relationships / relationship problems
  • people keep telling them they envy their freedom
  • they are emotionally unavailable
  • they are hung up on someone else
  • or they are just pricks who like to play with people’s emotions (these are the minority though)

What this all really boils down to is the fear of the unknown … the uncertainty that comes from taking a chance on someone. It might work out, it might not, it might be your happily ever after or perhaps your biggest nightmare, but, here’s the thing, you don’t know unless you try. Life is full of uncertainty and unknowns. You just have to take a chance. Nothing in life is certain, we all know that. Every time you leave your house you don’t know what you’re going to encounter out in the world, so why is it that we take that chance but when it comes to relationships we don’t? I read this in an article and think it’s so relevant …

“When we choose—if we commit—we are still one eye wandering at the options. We want the beautiful cut of filet mignon, but we’re too busy eyeing the mediocre buffet, because choice. Because choice. Our choices are killing us. We think choice means something. We think opportunity is good. We think the more chances we have, the better. But, it makes everything watered-down. Never mind actually feeling satisfied, we don’t even understand what satisfaction looks like, sounds like, feels like. We’re one foot out the door, because outside that door is more, more, more. We don’t see who’s right in front of our eyes asking to be loved, because no one is asking to be loved. We long for something that we still want to believe exists. Yet, we are looking for the next thrill, the next jolt of excitement, the next instant gratification.”

So we know what the problem is … so then is there hope?

Relationship Limbo … The Solution

comfort-zoneIf you’re in relationship limbo, you can do something about it. You really can stop the vicious cycle of non-commitment if you really want to. It starts with your own actions. Here are some tips:

  • make conscious decisions about who you date and surround yourself with, you can tell if someone has good intentions or not by their actions and of course listen to your gut
  • recognize if you are emotionally unavailable and ask yourself why and what scares you exactly
  • recognize at what point things go wrong when you meet someone … is there a trigger? something you say/do? something they say/do?
  • get out of your comfort zone and try something new, like, I don’t know, perhaps a real relationship that’s healthy
  • Look at the glass as “half full” rather than “half empty”, remember the grass is only green where you water it, so invest your time and energy into something potentially great

If you are someone who is looking for a commitment and can’t find someone who wants the same thing, be patient. Remember that it isn’t your fault or anything that you did, it really is them and not you. If someone loves hanging out with you and thinks you’re awesome and they won’t seal the deal, then it’s not you, it’s them, they like you but they just don’t want to commit. Move on and don’t waste your time. You can’t make someone commit, not with an ultimatum, not with threats and certainly not with manipulation. Move on.

Relationship limbo is a real thing and it’s the product of our age of instant gratification. I challenge everyone, including myself, to not accept it anymore and be confident in what we want and not settle for maybes when what we really want is a yes or a no. Until then, be happily single because single is NOT a bad word and is definitely better then being stuck in relationship limbo.

READERS: What do you think? Have you been stuck in relationship limbo? Is it because of you or them or both? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

Your Sister in Dating Bliss,

Single Dating Diva

Copyright Single Dating Diva


  1. It was always them, but due to a string of so many bad experiences, it has become me! When I first entered this crazy scene years ago, I had all good intentions. I wanted to find that one guy who wanted the same things as me, and we would live happily ever after. But I have found nobody that meets even half of what I want in nearly five years so I have become stuck in relationship limbo – afraid to lose my freedom and liking my life the way it is. 🙂


  2. This is a great post! Sadly, it is becoming more acceptable to be non-commital for men and women. It is a vicious cycle. If one person allows another to act like an asshole and tells them its ok to have their cake and eat it too then that person thinks it is the norm and OK. They will do it to the next and the next and the next. Plus, I am clearly attracting the wrong type of man with whatever I am doing and what I am doing is being way too nice to them and letting them get away with murder without standing up for myself This leads to some sort of relationship limbo. Be true to yourself! That is what I always need to remember. I am not going to settle for the wrong person – because I would have done it by now!


  3. I think most people get stuck in relationship limbo because they’re comfortable there. The devil you know is better than the devil you don’t. So, sure, they’re not 100% happy being in limbo but at least they know what to expect. If they take steps to breakout of the limbo then who knows what could happen. So they just stay in the limbo. Your diagram was awesome about where your comfort zone is compared to where the magic happens. You just gotta get out and take yourself for a test drive.


  4. Great post – seems to be a toxic combo platter of fear and too much choice. We can comfortably hide out without having to commit or feel vulnerable (uncomfortable!!) PLUS there is always someone else a swipe away. The thing is, when you DO meet someone you have a connection with – it’s worth it to hang in and see where it goes, rather than getting distracted with what you’re missing. You’re not missing out on anything except the potential of a relationship. 🙂


  5. I just want to slap these dumb asses! LOL!!! I swear! They’re all like kids in a candy store! Both men AND women these days! I want to stand up on the table in a romantic restaurant one day and say “DO NOT STRING PEOPLE ALONG! BE HONEST! If you AREN’T in a good place for a commitment, JUST SAY SO. Don’t make me come over there!!!!” I mean, REALLY!!! How hard is it to be an upstanding person and be open and honest and follow through!!!?? Apparently for today’s adults it is very hard. LOL!!!!


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