In the dating world, there seem to exist three types of people. Those who exclusively seek long-term, serious relationships, those who seek a string of hookups or friends with benefits, and then there exists a third, murkier category.

And what is that category you ask? Well, it's the in-betweeners.

These are the people that might skew toward favoring relationships, monogamy and exclusivity. However, they aren't necessarily looking for the type of long-term, serious relationship that the first group is.

And why is that?

Well, some of us within the population have a certain directive for ourselves that requires our utmost focus and attention. Maybe we're at a place in our lives where we might want someone special to spend our time with, but our individual lifestyles factors aren't conducive to a long-term, serious relationship.

Such life experiences might include college, graduate school, a high-demanding career or travel. Certain commitments that fall within these categories often require the majority of one's time and are apart of one's journey to the success they wish to achieve. Some people can't conceivably maintain the type of long-term relationship they envision for themselves while in the pursuit of their responsibilities.

Some people might also have just gotten over a traumatic situation or negative life experience that makes dating difficult for them, and they might wish to find someone to spend time with but don't know if they can put forth the effort necessary for a serious relationship.

Some people can handle the responsibilities of a long-term relationship while they're out grinding and chasing their dreams. But for some of us, our commitments we have in the pursuit of ourselves are not compatible with the type of serious relationship we envision having for ourselves. Some people might be okay with long-distance relationships or spending any conceivable free time they have with each other.

Others might not. Long-distance might not be appropriate for certain couples, or if they're a particularly busy individual, the limited free time they have might be reserved for their own personal health.

And maybe this could be the right person. But the intersection of one's individual lifestyle factors, the characteristics they seek from a relationship, their place in life and mental health all factor into the decision for why they may or may not choose to pursue someone they think is right for them.

Some people might argue with me that if the person in question is truly someone they could envision a long-term relationship with, they would make the time and make sacrifices to be with this person.

But realistically, is that always healthy?

Should you feel inclined to give up your personal pursuits for someone else? In the context of marriage it's one thing, but when it comes to premarital relationships, should you feel obligated to give up a large part of yourself for someone else, even if they do seem like the "right" type of person?


I don't think so.

A relationship is an agreement that two people enter. It's important to give your best energy into your relationships, but there can come the point when you can't give up too much of yourself in exchange for something else. If you do so, you might risk losing who you are as a person, or sacrifice a part of your life, whether personally or professionally, that you couldn't afford to lose.

So, if you're one of those people who fall under that murky category, you could find yourself in a casual, exclusive relationship with someone you truly enjoy and adore. In mature relationships, you'll discuss the constraints of your relationship and communicate what's appropriate for you two.

At some point, however, you two might find yourself parting ways as you work on your respective lives. If you're in one of those murky positions where you're in some sort of relationship with someone but have to separate, it might be difficult for you to walk away since you do envision this person as someone worth having a serious relationship.

For people in those types of situations, they understand who they are and the reality that they live in, where the timing in their lives is not such that enables them to be together.

For people who value the concept of timing when it comes to relationships, there is an understanding that love does not conquer all. Rather, personal accountability, self-reflection, and ambition come before the pursuit of someone else.

Maybe your life timing and focus isn't such to enable a serious relationship to happen with this person now. However, if you end on positive terms with that person and stay in touch, there could come a day where you feel the timing in your life is right.

You could feel that you are now capable of maintaining the type of serious relationship you seek to be in and that you can invest the necessary effort into the relationship without harming yourself.

If something is meant to be, I do indeed think that each person will make their way back to each other when the timing is right.

It's possible this isn't the right person and you simply enjoyed a relationship with a like-minded individual before having to part ways.

If you feel they have the potential to be your "right person" don't write them off because of the timing. You have the ability to determine how you treat the other person, and enabling the possibility for the reunion of your relationship could make you both incredibly happy somewhere down the road.

So, if you're leaving someone you love and care about to pursue your path, don't fret. Keep your mind and heart open. For all you know, you could work your way back to each other to build the strong, serious relationship you both want.