‘So, What Are We?’ – The Conversation You Have to Have


Be sure you and your significant other have similar hopes for your relationship.

Have you ever dated someone who didn’t know they were dating you?

I have.

I’ve been victim to more than one single-sided relationship. To me, we were dating, exploring our mutual affection for each other and letting things unfold into something more. To him, we were two people who happened to hang out…a lot. After a few months of less-than-romantic get-togethers, sporadic e-mails and evasive phone conversations, I finally pulled the plug and decided to move on.

Ladies, chances are you’ve been in a similar situation before. Did you never meet your significant other’s friends or family? Were you just a “friend” when he introduced you to his roommate or did you even see his apartment at all? Did he fail to return your phone calls or duck every time you mentioned an event that was a few weeks away?

We know that many significant others decide to disappear rather than formally part ways, but some significant others, male or female, fade away in the midst of what we think is an ongoing relationship.

I now look back on my own experiences and marvel at the blatant signs I missed. It’s easy to make excuses for a new interest as routines and expectations are still in their infant stages, but at some point, all couples have to experience the awkward, yet necessary “what are we” conversation.

If you don’t, like I did more than once, you end up in a pseudo relationship, one with no present or future. Maybe he’s not looking for a serious relationship or perhaps he has issues with commitment, but if you consistently display more interest in a possible future, beware – you may be the only one in the relationship.

eHarmony recently posted a list of warning signs that indicate you may be involved in a pseudo relationship. Here are some noteworthy indicators:

  • You’ve never met his friends or family
  • You’re not his date to major events
  • He never calls on the weekend
  • You’re restricted to the non-prime time date nights
  • Future talk makes him squirm.

We all know that adult relationships are messy. Labels can be confusing and no one likes to ask the question, “So, what are we?”

But trust me, the conversation, no matter how monumental or basic, has to happen. Respect yourself enough to have this talk with your significant other when you’re ready.

If they cannot reciprocate your hopes and desires for a serious, life-giving relationship, spare your heart and move on. He or she may be funny and charming, but if this person isn’t willing to give it their all to explore what could be, then they’re not worth your time.



  1. Lynn-189934 February 23, 2011 Reply

    I like this because I recently had a relationship that I kept casual for a reason—no connection after first date (first date was awesome), but no connections developed due to the excessive contact I received during the week—I’m just like the guy you mentioned—you can’t hang with my friends, you aren’t going with me to major events, and I’m not going with you to yours. . . . and this lady did not take the signs that I didn’t want to date. . . instead making mean accusations. . . great advice!

    • Mary-528597 February 23, 2011 Reply

      If you are the guy we women avoid, why have you put yourself “out there” on a website intended for serious relationships? It’s duplicitous of you. At the very least, please give unsuspecting women fair warning in your profile, which I have not, nor will not venture into.

      • Lynn-189934 February 23, 2011 Reply

        Mary—It was not duplicitous of me at all. This was one relationship (not started on this website) and she was warned after the first date I did not sense at all an attraction beyond friends (once the thirty e-mail forwards a day started). She just did not grasp even with me TELLING her I did not want a serious relationship with her what it was so I had to add behavior to the mix, and she STILL didn’t get it. Surely you have had a guy that would not take “no” for an answer. This was that young lady (who was actually without much dating experience). No reason for you to play judge and jury over one comment I have made. You are the type of women that guys my age avoid as well, the pious judge and juror.

        • Mary-528597 February 24, 2011 Reply

          @ Lynn: Sir, I do not know your age because I am not interested in your profile. Thank you for checking me out, though. 😉 Your comment is, “I’m just like the guy you mentioned,” which infers that you behave this way with women in general. Your comment did not say that your behavior was merely a reaction to that one woman in particular. My observation was based strictly on your own words and your own description of yourself. If your comment was referring to a reaction to one situation, then you have my apologies. In any event, it is not necessary for you to retaliate with a barrage of benign insults. Best of luck on this wonderful, Catholic website. And try not to break too many hearts with your wit and charm.

          • Caroline-1059950 February 13, 2014 Reply

            Mary I haven’t checked out your profile but Lady can I say I like your style! Games are for boys not men.

        • Caroline-1059950 February 13, 2014 Reply

          Do onto others as you would have done onto you…

  2. Marie-575233 February 24, 2011 Reply

    I love this story. I totally agree.

  3. Roseanne-557920 February 25, 2011 Reply


  4. Sherrill-anne-13557 February 25, 2011 Reply

    Dating whether online or FTF would naturally bring with it expectations.I think its very courteous to let the person know where you stand.
    Yes it is an important and necessary conversation

  5. Grace-39317 February 27, 2011 Reply

    Oh well, I was a victim of this type at the time I didn’t know any better. We communicated for so long and he kept on promising, promising, until it become a year since we’ve decided to get to know each other. Having “gained” awareness that there’s not even a “we” or an “us” I decided to move on. Good thing I met a better guy who is honest and true.

  6. Chris-665035 February 27, 2011 Reply

    It is wonderful, this person is learning how not to be a victim, to protect her heart with some discerning thinking! And, that it is not the fault of some else who may not want what she wants!

  7. Linda-667103 March 2, 2011 Reply

    Amen to Mary-528597!

  8. Sara-630376 March 4, 2011 Reply

    I like this comment . How about that you still havent met him after 4 months of conversation. I’m going through some thing similiar I’m talking to this guy going on 4 months already still hasn’t decided on a first date. Always makes up an excuse, I was thinking this week I had enough. he seems to be a great guy we have great conversations, we have simmiliar back grounds other then he had a very nasty ugly divorced. I started thinking its getting to difficult and too hard to keep up with this type of relationship, communicatiing over the phone. I’m finding myself getting an attachment to him. So I asked my self what do I want for my self in the future. It certainly its not this, I want to have a relationship with a man that actually wants to be with me, for who I am as a person. So I decide to move forward I have not called him and he has not called me. But I know that he will he has a pattern on cedrtain days that he calls. I’m waiting for him to call me as hard as I feel its going to be its time for me to break it off before my heart gets hurt. For you ladies out there and even guys. Just becarefull and gaurd your heart. Good Luck!!

    • Lucia-551179 March 4, 2011 Reply

      Thank you for this article. There have been many sources that said this conversation only pushes men away, and my own relationships seemed to get rocky every time this topic came up. I’m actually seeing someone who made it clear that we are in a serious relationship. And he proves it in his words and actions. What a relief to be free of the dreaded Friend Zone!

  9. Valerie-434783 March 5, 2011 Reply

    The online social dating experience for me is truly a lesson in social psychology. Very new..very different, and in some cases awkward. My first date was one for the record books. I never dreamed I could express this kind of behavior…it just wasn’t me, where did this come from? We were to meet for coffee. He walks in, a nice looking guy, but the vibration he projected into the air “from somewhere” was that I wasn’t what he expected. I must say, that I felt the same about him. I ordered coffee, he ordered breakfast and we started talking. It wasn’t long before we started to argue, for no reason! He tells me he has prostate cancer and he did’t think they got it all. I had my two friends, you could call them gnomes, sitting on the other side of the restaurant in case I needed them. They came over to introduce themselves before leaving. He asked why they were there, and I said, “to make sure you weren’t a seriel killer.” He didn’t laugh.
    After two hours of talking we walked out the front door, he reaches out to hug me and I run, literly run for my car, glanced back and he was gone……Went home and took a hot bath…….He e-mails me and says…He’s fading fast.
    Next time I’ll tell you all about my second date. Lord, you wouldn’t believe this one.

  10. Tim-161087 March 5, 2011 Reply

    Great advice for men as well. Thanks for putting it out there,

  11. Bernard-568827 March 6, 2011 Reply

    Hmmm, I don’t know what this “makes” me by admitting this, but yes, from a guy’s standpoint, I have often had this happen to me. I know all about the pseudo-relationships, one sided relationships, where I’m the one and only side. I don’t know if I’m the only guy this has ever happened to…or if I just belong “in my own category.”

  12. Sabrina-683992 March 6, 2011 Reply

    You said the words that sum up my last relationship. I only wish I had the courage to move on quickly enough. When I tried to opt out a few times, he would resist, but yet would never make that further step toward serious commitment. The pseudo-relationship dragged on painfully. God led me to this tonight. I thought I was the only one who suffered this. Now I don’t feel so bad. Thank you, Jessica.

  13. Jacqueline-890784 June 18, 2013 Reply

    I feel like I might be in one.

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