If you find yourself involved with someone who calls you often, asks you out, and is physically affectionate to you, from the outside it might seem like you are an official item.
But what does it mean when you act like a couple but you are not official?
Dating someone, but without having any labels attached, can be really confusing. It might mean that you are both nervous to take the next step of commitment, or are not looking to be fully monogamous with one person.
If you are in a situation like this with someone, and they are avoiding any official labels, it can be a little concerning as to what your future might hold.
To help you out, we have gone through all the different questions that would be going through your head, such as which signs to look for that you are unofficially dating, why he acts like your boyfriend but can’t commit, and more!
Signs You Are Unofficially Dating
Unofficially dating is the new norm, and many people find themselves in this dynamic situation. If you think that you and your crush might be unofficially dating, read through the below signs to look for to know for sure!
The Relationship Hasn’t Been Defined
Your relationship with this guy ticks all, or most, of the boxes of a normal relationship, except there is no title given to the relationship, and what the two of you are hasnot been defined.
It is almost like a mutual agreement between the two of you that you are in a romantic relationship together, but there is no defining what you are.
For some people, this works, and for others, it can be difficult, as you might not be on the same page as the person you are unofficially dating, and this can lead to heartbreak.
He Spends Most Of His Time With You
One good sign that he is only unofficially dating you, and nobody else, is that he spends most of his free time with you, and not playing the field.
This shows that he is interested in you and he does want to be with you, but there is just something holding him back from committing fully by defining the relationship.
You Talk For Ages
He will not spend all day and night texting and talking to you if he didn’t want it to go anywhere, or if he wasn’t that into you.
If the two of you have been talking for quite a while, and you talk about normal things that couples do, then it shows there is some potential there.
However, without defining the relationship and him giving that bit of commitment, this communication could come to a halt any day.
You Don’t Go On ‘Dates’
The two of you might hang out together alone, but you never go on dates. It is seen as more of a hangout with some takeout and maybe a movie at home, but there are no romantic dinners or any more effort to sweep you off your feet.
He enjoys your company and possibly the benefits he gets from being with you one on one, but he doesn’t see the relationship as one which needs to be any more romantic than it is.
There Are Inconsistencies
If he does not want to define the relationship, it is likely that he is undecided on what he actually wants.
You will notice inconsistencies with his behavior and actions, with some days acting like a typical boyfriend, and other days wanting more space and wanting his independence from you.
This also means that there will be inconsistencies when you see each other. You might see each other every day one week, and then have long stretches between when he wants to see you again.
He Says He Doesn’t Want Anything Serious
It might be obvious that you are unofficially dating if he admits to you that he does not want anything serious, but he wants to be with you and see where things go.
This isn’t great if you wanted something more, but at the same time, at least he is being open and honest about how they feel, so you should manage your expectations accordingly.
Why Does He Act Like My Boyfriend But Won’t Commit
There can be so many reasons why he acts like your boyfriend, but he refuses to commit to a relationship with you.
Everyone has had different relationship experiences and everyone has different views on love, and it could be that he is scared to commit and be hurt, or he is just keeping his options open.
These are some of the reasons why he might be acting like your boyfriend, but why he just won’t take the next step:
You Are Convenient
You might fit into his life just the way he wants, and be a convenient option for now when he doesn’t have to give anything more or less, and he can get what he wants out of the relationship.
If the relationship as it is is convenient for you too, then this isn’t a problem at all. The two of you might have busy lives or be busy building careers and want to put a serious relationship on hold for now, but you still crave some kind of companionship.
Not all relationships have to come with full commitment, and if this is okay with the both of you, then there is no problem.
He Is Using You
This is more on the darker side of things, where he is keeping you close, but not as close as you would want, just so he can get what he wants from you.
This might be that he wants the physical side of a relationship, or he wants someone to talk to when he is bored. He would be using you to get this, but will not be interested enough, or committed enough, to make it official.
You might just be the ego boost that he has been looking for, and he is thriving off of the attention that you give him, but at the end of the day he really does not want anything more from it.
This is selfish, and you deserve so much better.
He Isn’t Tied Down
By not defining the relationship, he is a free agent, and at the end of the day, he can get away with doing what he wants.
Committing to you means that he will not be able to keep his options open or do the things that a single person would usually do, so for him, it is the best of both worlds.
If the two of you have agreed that being unofficial is best, then this is fine, but if you are wanting more from the relationship and he is wanting to keep things open, then maybe you should consider the fact that he is just not the right one for you.
He Is Lonely
It could very well be that he is feeling lonely, and having you close helps him feel better. He might love the attention he gets from you, and you might help fill up his time with texts and phone calls, but this is all he would want.
He would be looking for a part-time companion, a distraction, more than a committed partner, and if you go along with it, then there would be no reason for him to change this.
How To Know If You Are Being Used
Not all couples that are dating unofficially are doomed, and the ‘no-label’ dynamic might suit both of you. However, if you are worried about why you are not in a defined relationship, and you have some concerns as to why he is so hesitant to commit, it is good to ask some questions.
Here are some signs to look for that he might be using you, and that he does not have any intentions of being a good partner for you further down the line.
He Refuses To Talk About The Relationship
If he is not interested in committing to you, even if it is only further down the line, he will likely try to avoid any conversation about your relationship.
He would not want to talk about future plans and what the two of you might become, because he doesn’t have an interest in a future with you, and he is only interested in what he can get from you now.
Intimacy Is Focused On
Look at the intimacy between the two of you – is he only loving and caring in the bedroom? Does he shun away from any other type of affection? Is the intimacy one-sided? As horrible as it might be to think about, he might just be keeping you along for the ride just for the physical benefits that he gets.
Talk to him about this, and see how he replies. If he does not want to meet you halfway or build more of an emotional connection, then it might be worth cutting ties with him and moving on to a healthier relationship.
You Never Meet His Friends Or Family
It usually takes time to meet your partner’s friends and family, so don’t take this as the only sign that he is using you, but if he outright avoids meeting friends and family with you, then it might be a bit of a worry.
If he hides you away from everything in his life and keeps you separate from everyone else, then it does sort of show that he has no intention of keeping you in his life, and wants to be able to make a clean cut down the line.
After some time, if he had good intentions, he would want to introduce you to the people who are important to him, but if he is just using you, then this day might never come, and you might still remain in the shadows of his life.
He Only Connects When It Suits Him
If he is using you, then he will not be putting in much effort to keep you happy, and he would only ever text you or plan to meet up when it suits him.
This could be late-night phone calls or texts or turning down any plans that you might try to make with him because it just isn’t what he wants right now.
He will not be willing to compromise, and in a healthy relationship, both parties need to step up to the plate to make it work.
He Is Seeing Other People
Someone who wants to be with you and who wants to have a future with you will not be seeing other people.
He could be avoiding defining the relationship because he wants to play the field and he wants to keep his options open.
If you are seeing other people as well, then this is fine, but if you are only seeing him, then it isn’t okay for him to be playing the feel and stringing you along just so that he has options.
Is It Okay To Act Like A Couple And Not Be Official?
There is absolutely nothing wrong with acting like a couple with someone but not being official, as long as both of you are on the same page and want to be in an undefined relationship.
However, it becomes a problem if you want something more, and he is not wanting to commit. Two people are perfectly allowed to want different things, but then they probably should not be trying to be together.
You have to be completely honest with yourself here and not sugarcoat or hope things change.
If you are wanting an official relationship, but he is pushing against it, you need to reconsider if he is the right person for you to be with and if there really is any future potential for you. (Spoiler Alert: if he doesn’t want a relationship with you, he’s not the one for you!)
For some people, an unofficial relationship is perfectly fine, but there needs to be open communication to make sure that the both of you have the same intentions and idea of what the relationship is like.
For me personally, I could never be in an unofficial relationship. I need emotional security, stability, yadayada. The whole nine-yards.
And if someone can’t (or won’t) give me that, I’m better off finding someone who will.
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