how to treat someone like an option that treats you like an option

I usually say that I won’t date anyone who is monogamous. But that’s not entirely true. I’ve allowed people to date me, exclusively, if they preferred that. Only with individuals capable of meeting their own needs and wants, of course.

Still, it’s not my preference. I prefer to date people who want to dive fully into my life, be someone who can be my priority as I am theirs.

But sometimes love creeps in and pokes you in the butt, you know? Sometimes love isn’t all encompassing, but you still can’t let it pass you by. That very special, magical sweet with actual flower petals and real gold flecks (why, I mean, really, what’s the point, but damn if you don’t want it!). Or simply something a little different to what you normally have, maybe a dessert with chili peppers and dark chocolate. At any rate, it isn’t something you can have every day.

How do you do it? How do you -only- give some of your heart (and most importantly your time and commitment) to someone you know will only give you a piece of theirs? How do you not give more than you intend?

It’s hard to hold back in love, I understand. It’s why I don’t do it often. But– I do do it. I’ll do my best to translate it into a few simple steps (but feel free to chat with me to understand more!)

This doesn’t mean you can do “casual with a no heartbreak guarantee.” What this does mean is you don’t have to abandon casual love– if you decide you want to give it a try!

1. Determine what you can give them and stay firm.

You cannot, especially in these relationships, control what the other person does. You can control yourself. Don’t give more than you’re comfortable with. That way, no matter how the person reciprocates, you feel good about what you gave. You don’t resent giving more, only to be disappointed at what you get in return. You’re okay getting whatever back– like buying a present for a friend that you’re not sure will get you one in return. But that’s not why you bought it, after all.

2. Never expect more than the moment, so make the most of it!

This time you spend with them might be the last. You never know when they might lose interest, or even disappear entirely. Don’t waste that time! Don’t agree to dates you are lukewarm about…do things that check off bucket item lists. Or at least that sound fascinating and definitely worth wasting an afternoon!

3. Recalibrate, recalibrate.

Perhaps you need to scale back, perhaps you want to try to jump it up on the moment (four day cruise for a second date, why not?). Don’t hide yourself. Who cares if they shoot you down? So what if they judge you? You can ditch them in a half thought, if you like. Bad vibes? Cancel the date, guilt free. After all, no commitment from them means no obligations from you.

Which means you’re now a little freer for the next unexpected love.

Good luck! It’s not easy, but it’s possible. If you want it.

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