Why give him the absolute most if he’s not there for the long haul? Don’t settle for being a back pocket girl.
Supposedly, life is getting easier – we can do basically everything online, from the comfort of our couch, with a few swipes of the finger. But something that definitely hasn’t gotten easier as we’ve grown up? Dating.
Sure, it’s more accessible, in a sense. We can download dating apps onto our phones that act as a supermarket of singles, boasting countless options to consider and sample, without even having to get out of our sweatpants. All of this comes along with Millennials’ and Gen Z’s aversion to labeling romantic relationships, instead preferring to approach them with a sense of “no expectations” in the name of having fun and figuring out what we like.
But it’s this approach that often leads us down a confusing, harmful path. While we shy away from labels and treat the relationship casually, we’re encouraged to behave in ways that aren’t all that casual — staying over at a guy’s place, being intimate with him, and acting like a couple whenever we’re together, only to feel utterly bewildered when we find out he’s still seeing other girls, or says that while he likes what we’ve been doing, he’s not ready for a relationship.
Still, he wants to keep us around, and continues saying and doing things that give us hope — putting us in his back pocket, benching us, saving us for a rainy day. It’s tempting to stick around, especially when we feel we’ve invested time and made a real connection. But here’s why being a back pocket girl never works out well.
It Gives Him Permission To Disrespect You
After months of back and forth, continuing to date around, and rebuffing our bids to have the “what are we” discussion, let’s imagine he finally agrees to label the relationship. While it seems like progress was made, the dynamic of the relationship was already set months prior.
He decided when he was ready to give us what we wanted with no consideration of our feelings.
In this situation, he holds all the power — he decided when he was ready to give us what we wanted with no consideration of our feelings. We essentially granted him permission to disregard our needs, treat us like a consolation prize, and act on his desires without repercussion. With a build-up like this, there’s no way he can treat us with respect and decency, because we haven’t required him to, and he doesn’t want to give it.
Waiting around Won’t Change His Mind
We’ve all been there — after seeing a guy long enough and coming to know him on a personal level, we become invested in him, his story, and the part we see ourselves playing in his story. We think, “If he just knew me a little better…” or, “Maybe if he sees how well we would work together…” and convince ourselves it’s just a matter of time before he realizes the girl of his dreams is standing right in front of him.
He won’t have a sudden epiphany and realize how spectacular we are.
Unfortunately, he likely won’t. Regardless of how much we care, or believe our compatibility to be undeniable, he won’t have a sudden epiphany and realize how spectacular we are. If a guy can kiss us, go on dates with us, share inside jokes with us, sleep with us, know anything about our biggest dreams or deepest insecurities, and still not want to call us his girlfriend, he’s probably not going to wake up one day and change his mind.
It Tells Us He’s Not a High-Value Partner
We all tend to search for similar qualities when looking for a life partner — we want someone we know we can count on, who has the maturity to stick around through tough times, and will follow through on what they say they’ll do. We look for someone who knows when to joke and when to be serious. We seek out someone who makes us feel loved and appreciated while challenging us to become better versions of ourselves. A person who possesses these qualities is a high-value partner.
A guy putting us in his back pocket reflects far more on his poor character than on us.
When a guy likes to keep a girl in his back pocket, he’s letting us know that he’s not a high-value partner. He’s making it clear that we can’t rely on him for much — he can’t even call us his girlfriend. He’s telling us that he’s unwilling to be serious about anything, much less about us. He’s showing us that his ability to make us feel loved is sorely limited, and he doesn’t feel the need to change that. Being treated like a back pocket girl is hurtful, but it also lets us know it’s time to search for someone more deserving of our time and affection.
Being a back pocket girl hurts — we wonder if he’d want us if we were prettier, in better shape, or younger. It’s so easy to blame ourselves for not being desirable enough. But ultimately, a guy choosing to put us in his back pocket reflects far more on him and his poor character than on us.
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