You Should Take Things Slow, But How Slow Is Too Slow? 7 Signs You’ve Been Put In The Dreaded “Gray Zone”

August 23, 2012  |  
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There’s a difference between finding yourself in the “friend zone,” and finding yourself in a “gray zone” when it comes to dating. When you’ve been put in the friend zone, someone, for reasons that could include not being fully attracted to you, not wanting a relationship or just being straight up repulsed by you, doesn’t feel the same way you do. Therefore, they keep you close because they find some benefit in having you around, yet and still, they don’t want to take things further. And oh yeah, they let you know that you’re “just the friend.”

But when you’re put in the gray zone, you’re not the girlfriend/boyfriend, nor are you “just a friend.” You’re just there. In fact, you’re just around, going over to his house, waiting on his phone calls and pretty much “talking,” but with no firm statement of what the hell you two are, are what you’re doing. Don’t you hate that s**t!? A lot of the crap that comes with ending up in the gray zone can be resolved if early on, you tell someone your intentions and make sure they get it: “I’m looking for something more. I don’t have time to play games.” But sometimes we don’t make ourselves 100 percent clear, and in the end, we end up waiting for the other person to make the move that tells us whether we should keep waiting or whether we should head back to (kidding!). So how do you know when you’ve been relegated to such a place? We’ve got some ideas…seeing as how we’ve been there:

Months and Months Go By But The Conversation Is The Same

I’m not one to tell people how long they should wait for a person to commit to them. Some people can’t do more than a few months, other people, I’ve seen them hold on for about a year or more. But everybody starts to wonder at some point and time: “Soooooo, where is this going??” “Am I wasting my time???” It’s nice when two people are on the same page and letting things flow, but when you’re the individual waiting in the wings for the other person to pick the “right time” or when they claim to be ready, that’s not so much fun. You’re probably in gray zone territory when the person you’ve been holding on to for months upon months keeps telling you they’re just trying to take things slow (Note: it’s gray because they’re not saying they don’t want you, but they’re also saying they don’t want you right now…).

The Other Player Is Still Recruiting Members Even Though You’re Not

Though you’re rejecting dudes left and right or ignoring phone calls and text messages by possible suitors, the other party is still hitting up random women and/or entertaining their flirtations, but keeping you on speed dial. You’re doing your best to try and hold out for your boy or girl because you don’t want to “betray” them, but when you know that you’re not even exclusive with this person, it’s hard to maintain a great amount of confidence in the direction of your…whatever it is…

You Find Yourself Struggling To Explain Your Status To Other People

Not that it matters what other people think or anything like that, but when your friends or even family ask you the status of what you have with this person, you have to find some interesting but easy way to say just what you are: nothing. “We’re still talking, but he keeps saying he wants to take things slow…ya know?” Chances are that friend or family member is going to give you the slow head nod (which means they’re taking in what you’re saying and slowly but surely judging…) and trying to offer support. Some will say that you should still give it time, depending on the other party’s circumstances, while other people will say, you should cut them loose. By the way, once you’ve explained your situation once, your friend or family member will likely keep asking you about said status every time you talk for low-key entertainment. How fun! Not.

You Read Too Much Into What The Other Person Says And Does With You

“Oh snap! He wants me to meet his sister, I’m in there!”

“He told me I could leave a toothbrush at his crib! Could we finally be on the right track???”

Okay, so these aren’t exactly the things you are saying, but many times, when we’re ready to move on to the next step, we read too much into what the other person says and does with us. These actions make us think we’re going to move out of the gray zone sooner than later, and they’re what keep us around. However, in reality, you’re not going to be out of the gray zone until you have that “talk” or the other party finally professes that they’re ready to go on to the next level with you.


Things Seem To Be Too Much About The Other Person And Not About What You Want At All

Let’s see. If you’re the only one making moves or an effort to see the other party, the only one really coming up with ways and places you should hang out, if you’re doing all the things that person wants in order to make them comfortable so they’ll want to “wife” you up (in Next, “Wifey” terms, not actual wedding ring wifing…), it’s a sign that the ball has left your court for good. The other person enjoys doing things with you, but they don’t seem to have initiative yet or all the enthusiasm to do the same for you. Damn, now that’s taking it VERY slow!  And the waiting game continues…

You’re Only Being Seen During The Weekend, And Not For Good Reason…

If finding a time to get to see this prospective partner is like trying to find your way into an exclusive club in Atlanta or New York on a Saturday, chances are, you’re in the gray zone. Sometimes people’s schedules don’t allow them all the time they would like to kick it like they’re freshmen in college, therefore, sometimes you have to deal with the weekend dates and make the best of that quality time. But if you know the other person just sits home and watches TV and is just not trying to sacrifice, or worse, makes time for other random people (I’m not talking family or close, “close” friends), you’re in the gray zone, dear.

You’re Helping To Nurse Their Old Broken Heart

Ever been that person that was damn near perfect, according to your prospective boo, but because of the pain inflicted by a previous girlfriend or boyfriend, you’re stuck in one place and don’t seem to be moving forward? That is indeed an excuse used hardcore by people who are afraid to commit to someone. While in many cases, it’s a good one, it shouldn’t hold someone back for too long. If you’re waiting around for someone more than a year to get over an old heartbreak, you need to let them do that ish alone so you can find someone who won’t play with your emotions and your time.

Ever found yourself in the gray zone? Did you get out of it with a relationship or single again? 

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