At first, you will let him get away with treating you like an almost. Like a backup plan. Like a second choice.
You won’t call him out when it takes him days to answer your texts. You won’t complain when he cancels plans on you at the last second. You won’t want to appear too clingy or needy or desperate, so you will hold your annoyance inside. You won’t lecture him. You won’t start drama.
At first, you will be careful about how much you say you miss him and how often you ask him to get drinks because you don’t want to chase him away. You don’t want to scare him off. You don’t want to come on too strong.
As much as you hate dating games, you will let yourself play them. You will refrain from letting him know how much you care. You will try to keep things lighthearted. Fun. Casual. You won’t ask him how he feels about you or beg to meet his parents. You will go with the flow. You will stay patient. You will let things happen at a natural pace.
But one day, you will decide that you have had enough. You have been flirting for too long. You have been texting back and forth for too long. You have been sending each other mixed signals for too long.
Now, you need a label. You need a sign that he cares about you as much as you care about him. You need him to make a commitment because you have been waiting patiently for a relationship and you feel like it’s about time that you make things official. You feel like you have waited long enough.
This is when you will lose him.
You will lose him when you start expecting him to reach your standards. When you expect him to text you every morning. When you expect him to plan dates every weekend. When you expect him to introduce you as his girlfriend and give up the single life for good.
You will lose him when you ask him to stay loyal. To delete his dating apps. To stop talking to other girls.
You will lose him when you admit that you want something serious. When you ask him to date you. When you ask him to become your official boyfriend instead of your almost boyfriend.
You will lose him when you ask him to treat you with the same amount of respect you have always given him.
You will lose him when you ask for a real relationship, because he was never interested in making a commitment. He was only interested in stringing you along. In treating you like his girlfriend without giving you the actual label.
He wanted the benefits of dating you without the restrictions. He wanted your attention, your compliments, your kisses — but he never wanted you to tie him down. He never wanted to give you anything in return. He only wanted to take.
You will lose him because he doesn’t realize how lucky he is to have a chance with you. Because he would rather keep his options open than date the kind of girl that would make his life complete.