When you meet someone great, it's easy to just let go and jump feet first all in for them, in the hopes that everything is going to work out exactly as you want. However, modern dating is not an effortless waltz—it's a complex, passionate tango. It takes two to tango, and if one person has one foot in and one foot out, it's not going to work.
Benching (v): Also known as putting someone on the "back burner," the bench is where you put someone just in case you want to pick up and start dating them more seriously again. It's the human equivalent of the Maybe Pile when you're cleaning out your closet.
I want to raise awareness for the fact that this is a thing and it happens more than we care to think. I'm guilty of having done this in the past because I was afraid of things with a guy not working out, so I kept a few guys on the back burner to talk to so I'd have someone to immediately fall back on. You know they're reliable and there as a very ready option, so why not keep them in your maybe pile?
NOPE. When you start seeing someone more seriously there should be no one lingering on the side in case it doesn't work. A part of dating is being rejected because it brings you closer to the right guy, and if you don't learn how to properly recover from a bad spell, you'll be screwed. You have to learn to cope in a healthy way and having guys (or girls) benched on the back burner will hurt them more than you care to realize.
As someone who's been benched by guys before, I can attest that it sucks to know you're just someone they think they can push to the side. The bencher is the only person who benefits from benching, and it's time to put an end to this behavior. Let those people chase someone who wants to give them their all, instead of them waiting around thinking they have a shot with you when you know they never will. If you've had them benched for this long, odds are they probably aren't going to be a great match with you, since they've been kept on the back burner for so long.
If you notice that this person only hits you up when they have nothing else to do, or whenever they end up single again, cut them off before you go through that toxic cycle again. You deserve more than being on the back burner, and odds are they have countless other people right there as well, so you removing yourself might not even phase them. Focus on bettering yourself and find someone who wants to put you first.
You can't sit here and tell me you've never kept some people on the back burner in case your relationship or situationships go south. Maybe I'm wrong, or maybe you're in denial. Either way, from the lips of a former bencher and person who has been benched, I've quit my ways and won't accept being that back burner girl anymore. Let's end this problem once and for all.