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So, you’ve been seeing each other for quite a while now and you’re not sure of what to expect next.

You’ve been very intimate, met his family, and by now, you’re really feeling him. What’s missing? A title for your “relationship” is what’s missing. He just doesn’t want to be serious right now and he thought that you understood that from the very beginning.

Situations like this happen often. The two of you started out as friends or maybe just bed buddies. The next thing you know, there are talks of future plans, but this man still makes it clear that he’s not ready to be in a relationship with you or anyone else. Those are mixed signals, right? This is not your average friend with benefits situation. The greatest issue is that you’re invested. You’re so invested, that if he decided to go out with the next chick or never call you again, you’d probably be devastated. In this type of “union,” the heartache is constant. Anyone looking forward to monogamy should exit stage left when it comes to this particular kind of guy.

There’s no mystery as to why the two of you remained “just friends” for so long. He has made you his make-shift girlfriend. He may have even added a full disclosure clause. If either one of you sleep with someone else, you have to let the other know. He hasn’t told you that he’s slept with someone else and he’s your only partner, so things are looking up.  That setup almost feels secure. However, here is your official status: You are not his woman. In your eyes, he will change his mind, and one day soon he’ll be ready. That day wasn’t yesterday. It won’t be tomorrow and for sure, not the day after that. The truth is, he’s keeping his options open. He made no promise of monogamy to you. So, when it’s time for him to possibly get his cuddle on with someone else, you’re not supposed to act a fool about it.

But, how long is too long to wait for a relationship? That answer varies depending on the circumstances. Whether you choose to believe so or not, you’ve given him the upper hand. From the duration of this “relationship,” he’s been able to dictate the parameter of your involvement with his personal life…the one that doesn’t include you. It’s possible that you never saw it that way. No one meets someone and finds themselves in a relationship the same day. You did as most people do when they’re trying to feel someone out. You exercised patience and understanding to meet the needs of your prospective partner. In return, he’s treated you like a lady, touched your heart and probably even your body. That title should’ve been right around the corner, or was it? There was a turning point in this situation. It was right after he told you that he wasn’t ready and definitely before you introduced him to your friends and even some of your family. In short, this debacle could have been prevented by none other than you.

Don’t beat yourself up. You did what a lot of women do. You met a man, who didn’t quite meet your needs at that time or want exactly what you were looking for, but what you saw in him was (wait for it)…potential. Potential is the decision making kryptonite for many women. We sometimes refuse to acknowledge what is right in front of our face. When a man doesn’t live up to the potential, we feel cheated and wronged, when in actuality, a spade was a spade. He didn’t lie or promise you the world. That man couldn’t have been clearer. It was the nurturer in you that felt like you could possibly love him into submission or change his mind. Rest assured, if this is your experience, there are brighter days ahead. You deserve a man that is willing to attend to your specific needs. If the man you meet isn’t open to that job, I wouldn’t recommend wasting the time. Your time is precious and he’s really not worth it, at least not at this point in your life.

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