Written by Zamara Perri
I have an eating disorder. I eat things I don’t even want without thinking. Most of the time when I eat, I’m not hungry. I eat because I’m bored. It often doesn’t matter to me if the food is delicious. Ask my partner and she’ll tell you. If it’s a bag of dry, flavorless chips, I’ll just keep on nibbling until the whole bag is gone. Then, I feel terrible because it wasn’t worth the calories.
That’s how I think of Miss Right Now or MRN. (Some people like to call her a “situation). She’s cute and she’s there. She’s not quite who you’re looking for, but the benefits are kinda nice: Netflix and chill, someone to give you attention, sometimes it’s fun, feels good and sometimes it’s nice to have someone around.
But that Miss Right Now relationship is kind of like me eating an entire bag of flavorless chips. I’ve known people who have spent years in unfulfilling situationships that should have been left at a one-night stand.
Instead of asking is it worth the calories, you should try asking yourself, if the situation is worth your time? And I say the situation, not the woman, because of course anyone who wants to spend time with you is worthwhile. The question at hand is, is a semi-romantic situation even worth your time when you know you want more?
Here are five clues that may help you answer that question:
1. You don’t want to be alone.
Most situations start out as friends with benefits (FWB), and I can’t knock it because I’ve been there. But honestly, most people with FWBs confuse wanting sex with not wanting to be alone. Spending time alone is never a bad a idea. However, Miss Right Now is a great way to distract yourself from asking some tough questions to the woman in the mirror.
2. You’re not being picky.
People love to complain that black women who are single are being too picky (and sometimes we can be for the wrong reasons). But sometimes we are not picky enough! If you just want a warm body for the winter and know deep in your heart that your situation is not with the woman of your dreams, you may not be very particular about the woman’s character, future plans or habits. But if you are not careful, you can end up spending years in a situation with a partner you really don’t like.
3. The relationship is not nourishing.
One of the first things that my partner told me when we were dating was that she wanted a “whole foods relationship.” At first I kind of gave her the side eye, but what she was really saying was that she was not looking for a fast food relationship that had no particular purpose and absolutely no nutrients.
And I’m not saying you can’t experience some deep things with a short MRN situationship. You probably can. But because you know she is not the one, you often don’t and can’t deepen the connection. A deep connection often comes from trust, which often comes from intimate conversations that involve sharing your dreams and making plans together. Sometimes it’s difficult to open up and make plans with someone who you don’t think is going to be around.
4. It’s cheap.
Mrs. Right relationships are an investment for the future. When you’re in it, you both know it because you’re investing your time, money, heart and soul. But most Miss Right Now situationships have no membership fee– you just show up when it’s convenient. You get what you pay for. Think about it.
5. You’re not committed.
Some situationships go way past their expiration dates and become faux relationships. I call it a faux relationship because you end up doing most of what a relationship requires except you’re not committed. These situations are the most heartbreaking, because you’re always looking for the next person. In that case you end up hurting the other person and even yourself. And even if Miss Right were to come along, she probably won’t even give you the time of day because she can see that you’re already occupied.