We’ve all done it in the dating world– at some point or another we have all kept our options open when we have not been 100% into someone, and I am indeed defending this frame of mind– especially in the 21st century when there are so many options available– as long as you are honest with yourself about what is going on and you do your best not to mislead someone else.

To put this point of view in perspective, let’s think of our actions in the work environment first.  Now, if your job isn’t fulfilling, everyone would expect you to keep yours eyes and ears open for better opportunities, especially if you have already confronted your boss to try and address your concerns and somehow your requests seem to fall on deaf ears.  Eventually, you will either leave of your own volition or you will be asked to leave because it will become clear to your employer that you are not completely on board with the program.  We all accept this as a normal part of life, and guess what?  The same is true in personal relationships.

Just as it is hard to find the perfect job, it is equally difficult to find that person that just gets you, yet since very few of us are okay simply being alone, most of us will temporarily settle for someone far less than perfect, as long as the situation is somewhat enjoyable.  These people are often referred to as placeholders– simply put they are filling a place in your life until something better comes along.  That is fine- but you have to realize that when you are doing this, it’s going to be very hard to close off other options because deep down inside you are still wanting to find something better.

It is very hard to commit to someone who isn’t meeting all of your needs, and I admit that wholeheartedly from personal experience.  The fact is that in the past if I wasn’t 100% intellectually, physically and emotionally fulfilled in a relationship, I had a hard time shutting doors and not returning to the recycle bin of past dates.  And yet, when I have been completely into someone, I’ve had absolutely zero desire to look at others, and ending a chapter to start a new one has been super easy.

If someone isn’t able to commit, don’t take it personally– and no matter what, don’t try to force it.  Anyone that tries to force another to commit will experience a very negative, indeed visceral reaction sooner or later, because the resentment of being trapped is inevitably going to seep out into the relationship.  Meanwhile, if you are the one having a hard time closing your options, don’t despair– I don’t think it means you are a commitment phobe or player, rather odds are you just haven’t met your match yet.  You will know when you do, and I will tell you now that is is magical– to the point that everyone around you can see it, and you will not even consider other options because you truly will only have eyes for the one you love.

By Regina A. DeMeo, Esq.