transitional loverWarning! Danger lights straight ahead! Are you trying turn your transitional lover into your true love, “soulmate” or “twin flame” (in parenthesis because I prefer not to encourage others to focus on these types of labels)? While in some cases a man or woman will marry their transitional lover, this is not always the case.

With the clients that I read, over 50% of the time (and after much agony and anticipation), a person fulfilling the role of transitional lover will at some point feel floored to learn their love interest has suddenly moved on to commit to or live with someone else (or has gone back to their ex). This is what being “transitional” means, after all. Your relationship with your transitional lover is merely a stepping stone to finding the “one” to share a life with.

How to Recognize the Transitional Love Affair

Be on alert if someone asks you to “wait” for them because they are “not ready.”  A transitional love may say they need “time,” or may only seem ready for a “friends with benefits” affair. Some may go through periods of contact followed by withdrawal; leaving you wondering what happened. They may recently have been through a divorce, are currently separating (or claim to be on the verge), have recently lost someone, or else the two of you have turned a platonic friendship into something sexual (which the danger may arise that your “friend” becomes confused and possibly feeling afraid to lose the friendship but not sure if they really want much more than that).

These can be difficult relationships to know how and when to apply yourself, your energy or your time. This is because there is the understanding that the love object being pursued needs time to heal and to, perhaps, be single again. Alternatively, they may need time to transition out of seeing you as their “friend” or to overcome their fear of losing your friendship should they pursue something more and it doesn’t work out.

Common Traits of Those Who Tend To Fall Into The Role of Being A Transitional Love

In my years of talking to different women about their relationships, I have noticed certain tendencies that arise in those who are commonly attracted to playing a transitional role. For example, such individuals may tend to enjoy being caretakers. They may feel it is their duty to offer their patience, understanding and compassion. They may feel good performing this duty. They may take pleasure in doting on someone they care about, serving them, or even protecting them (such as the male who wants to protect a female love interest who has an on-again-off-again relationship with a challenging or abusive partner). However, be careful before applying yourself to this transitional role.  Often, once you fill the role of “transitional partner,” this is the role that sticks. That is, until your love object finds someone else who they can full-heartedly commit to.

“But I feel such strong and intense feelings,” they may say. “He did tell me he loved me once,” or “I read all about how twin flames run, how you can pick up on each other’s feelings, and how challenging the connection can be.”

The problem with filling the role of “transitional love” is less that there may be challenges or that your lover is running away. More often, the problem exists that something is lacking in his/her feelings toward you that keeps you in the “friend” zone. At the same time, there may be an over-intensity in your own feelings; which, your transitional lover may feel a sense of pressure or may feel the need to withdraw at times (especially if he/she fears to hurt you or string you along).

So, Why Am I Feeling Such Intense Feelings? Why Can We Read Each Others Thoughts, etc?

The reason you may feel so intense toward a transitional person is because it triggers fears of rejection mixed with moments of feeling you are his “safety” net. Lack of closure or lack of knowing where you stand can bring up a lot of angst as well and make us feel obsessive or our heart go pitter-patter for someone slightly out of our reach (see my article about relationship that bring unpredictable rewards here >>). I’ve noticed as a reader that sometimes there can be an intense electricity and chemistry when we become attracted to a commitment-phobe, Casanova, player, etc. But please do not confuse “intense feelings” with love or a “meant to be together” connection.

Yes, sometimes feel you can commiserate with them or know what they are thinking or feeling. You become his gal pal/guy pal essentially. He/she confides in you their troubles that they can’t easily talk about to anyone else. They may frequently talk about their ex, how nasty the divorce or break-up was, and feel comforted by your support and sympathy (a warning sign they are still hung up in a certain way). He or she may thus not be looking to hook up with you more than for comfort or “friendship with benefits.” This being said, he or she may seem confused at times (or express this), because in their heart they may really wonder if they can turn the friendship into something more, because the relationship “feels” nice and comforting. They may know or feel that you are good for them, but in the end, this may not always be enough.

My Advice

The important thing to understand is that it was never really about you being not good enough. They may have really “liked” you (or still do), felt a sense of comfort and/or enjoyed the sex (in the cases there was any). They may know that they “liked” you or even love you, but something was always holding them back. It could be they are looking for someone to bring them the same angst that they bring you.  After all, many individuals are attracted to relationships with people who provide a level of challenge and difficulty. This is why you are so drawn to your transitional lover, right?  Remember, in a world where we all want to be swept up and enjoy the thrill of the chase, it is sometimes true that the “nice guy” or gal can finish last.  Your love interest and yourself may not feel overly drawn to the person who is  “nice,” good for them, and someone they “should” want to be with. You may find such types to easy or not stimulating enough.

So, if you feel you are currently in a transitional relationship, make sure to keep your options open. Enjoy the comfort of your relationship and don’t necessarily shut the door if there is hope, but also don’t put all your eggs in one basket. In the words of a friend who sees himself as in a transitional phase (and who I’m sharing this article with), “Share the moment in the moment, and cherish the time you have together.” He also warns, “No one likes to go to bed by themselves.” So, sometimes people can inadvertently use others out of loneliness and desire for comfort. Most importantly, transition out of being the transitional lover. Believe that you can make a transition toward what is truly worth waiting for.