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The rule is: if one person wants a relationship and the other hasn’t decided what they want, there should be a time limit on how long you should be tied up in the dating zone.Because I know women and men are different when it comes to…well just about everything, I asked three guys how long it usually takes for them to decide if they want a commitment. They all agreed that if they are consistently (keyword: consistently), dating someone for about six to eight months, that next step should be coming soon. Every situation is different, but I’ve never dated someone consistently for a year and it ended in a relationship.It can feel like a big step to start hanging out multiple days in a row, but that's pretty much exactly what a relationship is.Ask your boo to hang twice in one week and see what their response is. Maybe you're both traveling all of the time for work, or even living in separate cities. Texting takes two thumbs and is possible internationally, so you should be getting a steady stream of texts in between rendezvous if this person is into you."I had a couple where the girl came back from a week-long trip and left the following weekend open for the guy she had been dating for the last month, and he waited until the Monday after that to reach [out] to her to see her trip went," says Salkin. Not everyone loves text banter, but if whatever you've got going on is moving towards relationship land, you should both miss each other when you are apart. You are not special."When the guy you are dating has time for his friends on the weekend, his colleagues at happy hour during the week, but when you ask how his week is going he says he's slammed and so busy, it's a definite red flag that the relationship is going nowhere," explains Salkin. If the person you have been dating is constantly saying, "I'm sorry, I can't hang it's been a super busy week," and then 'gramming pictures with his college buddies at happy hour, think twice about his intentions in keeping you around. Most would agree that this is one of the keys to a healthy relationship; but someone should have also put a time cap on the ‘friend zone.’ While it is usually recommended to take your time to get to know the person you potentially want to be with, is there such a thing as getting to know them too long before making a commitment? Sure, taking it slow is the responsible thing to do; but taking it too slow is usually a waste of someone’s time. Some people fall in love much quicker than others; but I’m close to believing that if it takes you more than six months to decide what you want from a person, the connection just isn’t there.
Your almost-relationship might feel half-full or it might feel half-empty, but wouldn't you prefer a full one?
Of course, being official or unofficial are just words, and ultimately titles don’t make relationships…but commitments do.
So if a man can’t figure out if he wants to officially commit to me after months of serious dating, I choose to believe he won’t decide by me lingering around “playing” girlfriend for too long.
If the signs above sound familiar to you, and you realize it's time to get out of your almost-relationship, be proud of yourself for recognizing that fact.
Don't beat yourself up; there's usually nothing you could have done differently.