“It is a flirty friendship, even if you are hoping for more. And after a few weeks or so of this blissful crush stage, you will begin to wonder: is this something more? Because you know you are not just friends. You can not just be friends, there is no way.” THE STATESMAN

The almost relationship; it is a hard concept to explain. “Oh no we didn’t date but we almost-but-not-technically-officially had something.” I mean on paper it does sound kind of strange. How can you almost date someone? How do you get that close and not cross the line?

Even if you never officially date the person, you still were something with that person. Even if you could not define it and no label was slapped on it and sealed up all nice and pretty, something was there. And that is why almost relationships are the absolute most annoying type of relationship: you will always only get so close to the good part before it all comes crashing down.

These kinds of relationships are hard to understand and even harder to define, but we all know what an almost relationship is. It is when you text all the time, sometimes about nothing but also about the deep stuff. You meet up for pizza every Monday after class. You have inside jokes. When you are walking together, sometimes they nudge you with their shoulder, or make a stupid comment and wink. They will tousle your hair because they know you hate it and then run away laughing because they know you’ll chase them.

It is a flirty friendship, even if you are hoping for more. And after a few weeks or so of this blissful crush stage, you will begin to wonder: is this something more? Because you know you are not just friends. You can not just be friends, there is no way. Who tickles you while studying and wants to “just be friends?” Who texts you at 4 a.m. to talk about their fears and is not interested in something more?


But the sad truth is, most of the time, they are not looking for something more. And that is where the “almost” part of the relationship comes in. It was not a straight “yes,” but you were not rejected either. You know you were not the only one putting effort into this relationship because they relied on you too. And, very importantly, there were definitely moments. Moments when you were walking them back to their dorm late at night and when it is time to say goodbye, there is this strange tension. Like something more should be there, but it is not. And we tell ourselves that they have to feel this tension too. How can they not when you are standing there with a thousand thoughts racing through your head a mile a minute?

The next thing you know, they are gone. Almost relationships end just like they begin: with no real explanation. You are walking to class one day and see them holding hands with someone. They do it so casually too, like it is a normal thing to just go around holding hands with people when you know you two had something.

As it turns out, that something we felt was really us just eager to give our hearts away. And while it seems unfair, the person may never have actually asked for our hearts, but we were just ready to hand them over on a silver platter. But that does not mean you made up all the things that happened before. What about the pizza dates? The flirty poking? The late-night talks?

This is why almost-relationships leave you feeling robbed. Because even if nothing actually formed, it does not mean there were no expectations.


But our expectations do not always mirror the reality of the situation; we just hope that they do. We were given an inch and we took a mile. All while anticipating that going the whole mile for this person was exactly what they had in mind, we never even bothered to ask the person directly if becoming something more was what they wanted. We just assumed it was. Which leaves you even more annoyed because not only did you not date the person, but you did not date them and still managed to get your heart broken.

In the end, every person should, and probably will, go through an almost-relationship. They teach us a lot about relationships, even if we do not notice it at the time. Almost-relationships never leave the harbor of “just friends” because we were too scared to shy or say the words and mess things up. But we should say the words. We should be brave and daring when we date, not constantly wondering what someone is thinking and when or even if things are going to someday be something.

In the words of Mark Sloan, “If you love someone, you tell them. Even if you’re scared that it’s not the right thing. Even if you’re scared that it’ll cause problems. Even if you’re scared that it will burn your life to the ground, you say it, and you say it loud and go from there.”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.