Are you dating someone and just not sure where you stand with them? Often times we end up in a place I like to call “relationship limbo” because we don’t want to rock the boat. You’re wondering whether you’re a significant other or an insignificant other. What’s the difference? A significant other is someone you have an established romantic or sexual relationship with. So the actual word significant means whatever it is that is significant is important, it has meaning. Essentially, you’re an important part of their life. Insignificant other? It means unimportant and inconsequential.
So what happens when you’re not sure if you are significant or insignificant? Well, really, if you have to ask, then maybe you already know. You need to trust your instincts. You will know if something has potential or not. If they are interested, they will make a real effort to talk to you and spend time with you; if they don’t, then really they’re not as invested as one might hope.
Ever Wonder Where You Stand With Someone?
Here are some key ways to determine where you stand with someone:
- If you haven’t had the exclusivity talk, you should never assume that you’re exclusive. If they didn’t say it, it’s not exclusive. So if you’re exclusive, then one point for “significant other”.
- Ask yourself if you are an important part of their daily life. More than just random texts and encounters. Do they consistently bring you to events and social situations with them as their date? Have you met their friends? Their family? Did you say “yes” to all these things? Then another point for “significant other”.
- Do they ask your opinion about important decisions in their life? Do they value your opinion? Do they help you with important decisions in your life? If you said yes, well, you guessed it, another point for “significant other”.
- Are your encounters all about the sex? Do you ever have “non-sex” dates that don’t begin or end in sex? Sex is great but shouldn’t be the only thing. If you can honestly say that yes, you’ve had real dates with this person and it’s not all about the sex, another point for “significant other”.
- Do you have genuine feelings for this person? Do you care about them and what happens to them? Do they feel the same about you? Do you trust and respect each other? Do you communicate well with each other? Then another point for “significant other”.
We’re dating in the age of instant gratification. Social Media and Online Dating has changed the dating landscape. Single people have access to a bigger dating pool, but it has also given the illusion of lots of choices. People love the high of meeting someone new, the fireworks, the spark and then, just like a fire that burns fast and hot, it dies quickly. Same with the hookup culture and casual sex. People SAY they want a significant other, but, in reality, all they want are a bunch of insignificant others. So you have to be able to read the signs to protect yourself from time wasters.
So, what to do?
- Always be clear about your intentions and your expectations.
- If you want to know where you stand with someone then ask.
- If your instincts tell you that something is off then it probably is.
- Be clear about what you are looking for and discuss next steps with the person you’re dating.
If you want to know where you stand with someone, you just need to ask. It is a difficult discussion to have, but even if you don’t hear what you want to hear from them and you don’t get the answer you’re really hoping for you’ll still know the truth. Then you can decide what you want to do. Remember people will treat you how you let them treat you, so don’t settle for less than you deserve!
Have a dating dilemma? You can always Ask Single Dating Diva a confidential dating question on http://singledatingdiva.com.
Your Sister in Dating Bliss,
Single Dating Diva
Originally appeared on eHarmony Canada.