Sometimes it seems like no one wants a “real” relationship these days. The idea of getting into a more casual “friends with benefits” arrangement seems to be appealing to a lot of people. Another thing that has become more popular in the dating world is the concept of being together without a real label. All of these changes point to one big trend that is changing society: young people don’t seem as interested in serious relationships as the previous generations.
Lots of teenagers and college students would rather get into a low-maintenance, low-key relationship instead. For some people, this means hanging out regularly and being affectionate with each other but staying open to seeing other people as well. For others, it means basically acting like boyfriend and girlfriend, but never putting a real label on it. While this can seem like an easy way to avoid some of the issues that come along with serious relationships, in reality, this can all be very confusing. You might not think that keeping things casual would actually make your life more difficult, but you might be surprised by the truth. Here are 18 reasons a low-maintenance relationship is actually harder to handle.
18You Don’t Always Know How He Feels.
When you’re keeping things casual, there is one big unsaid rule: you usually avoid talking about your real feelings. After all, the whole reason you’re doing the low-maintenance dating thing is because you don’t want to get too mushy and serious, right? Therefore, you need to limit all the talk about your feelings. It will only ruin the low-key vibe of the relationship, and you wouldn’t want that, right? Well, this definitely complicates things. Because you two will probably avoid telling each other how you really feel, you can never actually KNOW how the other person feels about you. You end up playing constant guessing games, and you get too nervous to ask for the truth because you’re just so freaked out by the thought of rocking the boat.
17You Have To Resist The Urge To Show Him Off.
When you’re in a serious relationship, showing off your boyfriend every once in a while is totally acceptable. After all, you two are dating, everyone knows, and you obviously love each other—so you SHOULD be proud of each other and want to show off every now and then. Maybe when he accomplishes something big, you want to tell your friends and family how happy you are for him, or maybe when he passes a huge exam, you want to post a little Facebook status to congratulate him on his hard work and success. That’s not out of the ordinary, right? Well, if you’re in a low-maintenance relationship, it might come across as a little weird. The guy might be comfortable with you being so open about his life if you’re not seriously dating.
16You May Not Go On Fun Dates.
If you’re in a steady, public relationship, you will probably go on dates fairly often. You will want to go out to dinner, to go to the movies, to treat each other every once in a while. But when you’re in a low-maintenance relationship, you can’t really expect this type of treatment. First of all, you might not want everyone to know about your relationship, so if you’re going on dates all the time around down, people will figure it out pretty quickly and start to get curious about what’s really going on. Second of all, if you’re not officially boyfriend and girlfriend, you might not be as inclined to spend money on each other. How many guys really want to spend money on a girl that they’re not serious about?
15Others Might Have Trouble Understanding Your Relationship.
When you’re not in a traditional, serious relationship, other people might not understand what you’re doing. They will probably struggle to figure out what you mean when you say things like, “We’re together, but we’re kind of not together.” Sure, other people your age might know what you’re talking about if you’re in high school or college, but outside of those age groups, expect other people to answer with, “Um, what?” Relationships like this were not always acceptable in the past. Either you were dating someone because you loved them and possibly intended to marry them, or you were single. There was no in between. There was no, “Oh, we’re kind of dating, but we’re just having fun and seeing how it goes.” This is still a strange concept to many people.
14He Probably Won’t Show You Affection In Public.
Remember how we said people in low-maintenance relationships don’t really go on dates for a couple reasons—one of those reasons being that going on frequent dates basically means making your relationship public. Well, don’t expect the guy you’re only sort of dating to show you real affection in public, either. Once again, this would mean admitting to everyone that you guys are together, and generally people in low-maintenance relationships like to keep that fact to themselves. So if you want a guy who will hold your hand while walking down the street, kiss you in public while people are watching, or put his arm around your shoulders while you’re waiting for the bus, don’t date a guy who says he wants to keep things casual.
13You Have To Have High Self-Esteem.
If you’re going to be in a low-maintenance relationship, there is simply no getting around the fact that you definitely need to have high self-esteem. You won’t have all of the validation and affection that comes along with a serious relationship. The guy you’re with won’t always be your shoulder to cry on whenever something goes wrong, and he probably doesn’t intend to be with you long term. Therefore, you have to know that you’ll be okay when you’re single again, that you can face challenges head on with or without him. Basically, you have to be a confident woman in order to handle a relationship like this. You have to comfortable with yourself. If you feel insecure, it will only make things more difficult for you.
12Other Girls Will Flirt With Him Because They Don’t Know He’s Taken.
So, let’s say you’re doing a really good job at keeping your relationship low-key. If that’s the case, many people will not even be aware that something is going on between you. Sure, they see you hanging out sometimes, and they know you’re definitely good friends and all, but they may not just assume that you’re dating. Now, what if another girl decides your guy is pretty cute, and she wants to get to know him better? What’s stopping her from flirting with him a bit and trying to get to know him better? Well, really nothing. It will leave you feeling awkward when this happens because it can be hard to figure out whether or not you should speak up and assert your boundaries.
11You Can’t Expect Holiday Gifts.
We’ve got to admit, this is definitely a major negative to low-maintenance relationships. Come on, isn’t one of the perks of dating someone getting cute gifts for the holidays? Well, when you’re in a more low-key, casual relationship, this probably won’t happen. As we mentioned before, most guys will not want to spend money on a girl who they are not seriously involved with. It’s not like relationships are all about getting gifts, but it is definitely nice to receive a thoughtful present from someone you love on special occasions. But this isn’t very common in casual relationships. Everyone has enough people to buy gifts for already during the holidays, so a guy who isn’t officially dating you probably won’t want to go through the effort of finding a present for you.
10Your Family And Friends Might Be Confused About Your Relationship Status.
We’ve already discussed how many people these days are still confused by low-maintenance relationships, despite the fact that they are becoming more and more common with each passing year. Now, it may not be a big deal if some of your acquaintances don’t really know what’s going on with your relationship, but when your family and friends start asking you awkward questions, you might want to back out of the conversation without trying to even explain what’s going on. At some point, your mom will probably ask you about “that guy you’re always texting” or “the boy you hung out with last weekend,” and you may not want to open up about what’s really going on. So you’ll dismiss it with the classic explanation: “Oh, he’s just a friend.”
9You May Not Know What To Label Your Relationship.
When a guy asks you to be his girlfriend, it’s easy to tell people, “Oh, yeah, we’re officially dating now.” No more questions asked, you’re in a real relationship, they get it. Easy enough to explain, right? When you’re in a more low-key situation, you may not exactly know what to call it. Are you “going out” but not quite “officially dating?” Do you just “like each other” or are you “talking?” You probably can’t call him your boyfriend at this stage, but you’ll catch yourself wondering what you SHOULD call him. And he may be feeling the same way. Getting into a situation like this without a label can be hard. You may feel confused all of the time because even though you really like this guy, you can’t say he’s your boyfriend.
8He Might Not Be Okay With Posting Photos Of You Two On Social Media.
Whenever you get a cute picture of yourself with a guy you like, it’s always tempting to post it on social media. After all, who can blame you for wanting to show off a little bit? It’s perfectly normal—girls and guys do this all the time. But when it comes to posting photos of the two of you on social media, the guy might only be okay with this is you are officially in a serious relationship. Let’s face it—if you really want to keep things super low-maintenance and avoid any awkward questions or drama, you probably don’t want to be posting photos of each other all over social media. Otherwise, there will be no way to avoid comments from people who want to know what’s going on.
7Don’t Expect A Quick Response To Your Texts.
When you’re in a serious relationship, you can usually expect them to reply to your texts pretty quickly. If you’re dating, you want to stay in touch throughout the day and keep each other updated about what’s going on in your lives, right? Of course you do. But when you’re just in a casual “almost” relationship with a guy, you shouldn’t expect him to respond to all your texts right away, or your phone calls either for that matter. He might put you on the backburner sometimes, and since you’re not really his girlfriend, there isn’t really anything you can do about it. Of course, if you’re not super attached, you can treat him the same way, but whatever relationship you have will probably fizzle out if neither person is putting in the effort.
6You May Not See Each Other As Often As “Real” Couples.
Just as we said you probably won’t text and talk on the phone as much as people in “real” relationships, you probably won’t see each other as often, either. It’s only natural that you would not spend as much time together as a serious couple. Sure, you may hang out on weekends and have a good time together, but you probably shouldn’t expect to hear from each other very often during the week. Of course, if you do eventually change your minds and want to get serious, you may start making an effort to spend more and more time together. There is definitely a chance this could happen. But if you want things to stay casual, you most likely will not be seeing each other on a very regular basis.
5You Might Worry That He’s Interested In Other Girls.
So, let’s say that you get into a low-maintenance relationship with a guy. You’re having fun, you enjoy each other’s company, and neither of you really feel the need to put a label on anything just yet. But even though you don’t feel like you have to call him your boyfriend, you still feel a little possessive over him—after all, you clearly do have some feelings for him, right? However, since you’re not “official,” you might start to wonder if he is keeping you at arm’s length because he is secretly interested in other girls. And as much we hate to say it, sometimes this can be the case. If this is what’s happening, feel free to walk away from the situation when your heart can’t take it anymore.
4It’s Easy To Forget Birthdays And Anniversaries.
When you’re in a committed, long-term relationship, you obviously expect each other to remember birthdays, anniversaries, and other super important dates. But when you’re just seeing each other casually, it’s easy to forget. Now, it may not seem like a big deal at first, but if one of you is making an effort to remember and the other is not, it’s going to hurt. And let’s be honest, isn’t it so nice to get a “Happy birthday!” text from someone who actually cares—not just people who happened to see on Facebook that it was your birthday? Plus, celebrating anniversaries is always super fun. They are important milestones in your relationship, and it’s totally normal to want to do something fun to express your love for each other.
3You Have To Have A Ton Of Trust Between The Two Of You.
When it comes to low-maintenance relationships, there is no denying that the most important part of the relationship is maintaining trust in the midst of all the confusion. It’s easy to get caught up in all sorts of worries. As we mentioned before, you may wonder if he is interested in other girls, or if other girls are interested in him, and end up feeling very insecure. While you may not be able to get all sappy and romantic about your feelings for him, you should at least be able to trust that he is being honest with you when you do talk about where you stand with each other. And it’s just as important that you can be honest with him when he asks how you’re really feeling.
2When It’s Over, He Won’t Come Crawling Back.
Okay, it’s time for a little bit of tough love here. When a low-maintenance relationship ends, it’s truly over. There is a very slim chance that you guys will end up falling back into each other’s arms. We’re sorry to say it, but it just does not happen that way. If you had been truly committed to each other and officially dating for a couple years, there is always a chance that you could get back together if you broke up for a silly reason. But if you were just in a casual relationship and things come crashing down, you probably will not be putting the pieces back together. No matter how much you might miss him when it’s over, he’s not going to come crawling back.
1You’ll Worry That You’re Getting Too Attached Before He’s Ready.
If you’re in a low-maintenance relationship and you really start falling for the guy, you might be in for a rough road ahead. You’ll have to sit down and honestly ask yourself: is there a chance that this could turn into something real, or is that just wishful thinking? Should you guys actually take the leap and make things more official, or are you blinded by love and not thinking straight? Do you really want to be with this particular guy—or do you just want a real boyfriend? It can be complicated to figure out the real answers to these questions. And telling him how you truly feel can be so intimidating, because you know it’s over if he does not feel the same way.