Getting benched is when someone you’ve been talking with or dating casually likes you enough to keep you in their rotation but not enough to commit to you and only you. If you’re cool with keeping it casual, getting benched is just part of the game. No harm, no foul. You’ve got your own prospects.
But if you really like the person who benched you, it sucks. Because getting benched proves you are only their option, not the choice.
The worst part of getting benched is you don’t always realize you’re on the bench immediately. They’re still giving you breadcrumbs of attention and affection, which feels like enough to sustain your situationship. But like most things, that works until it doesn’t. Eventually, the breadcrumbs become stale and you realize you not only want more from them but need more from them.
And so you ask them for more. You ask for exclusivity. And they may hit you back with one of these classics:
I just need a little time.
I’m not ready to commit to you just yet, but I love what we’re doing and where we’re at.
If you hear an iteration of the above, you need to walk away. Because even though those can be valid, it’s not fair to you and it’s not what you want. It also puts everything on their terms. It takes your feelings entirely out of the equation. Mostly, though, it depends on a future date that may not even exist.
Waiting for someone to decide that you’re enough destroys your self-worth. It wrecks your self-respect. Why are you allowing yourself to be a backup plan? Why are you cool with accepting the bare minimum? Who taught you that you were only an afterthought?
You’re worth more than being pushed aside. You’re better than being someone’s backup plan. You’re not a driveby, you’re the destination. Please don’t let someone else make you think otherwise, no matter how strongly you feel about them.
You deserve someone who puts in the effort. You deserve someone who cares about you. You deserve consistency, commitment, and love.
To be honest, the person who benches you isn’t afraid to lose you. If they did, they would have committed to you. So switch up the game on them and call it quits. Forfeit.
Because when they don’t choose you, you can always choose yourself. You can always do that.