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Five tips for benching your significant other

To “bench” someone, romantically speaking, is to put them in relationship limbo without telling them.

To “bench” someone, romantically speaking, is to put them in relationship limbo without telling them. You feel like you may want to break up with your partner soon, but you’re not 100 percent sure, and you don’t want to screw things up just in case you’re wrong? A grownup might confess these feelings of uncertainty, but that would lead to a Big Talk — and all that melodramatic overanalyzing is precisely what you’re trying to avoid. So if you want to bench your partner, here are five rules to follow:

1 Don’t introduce your partner to any more friends or family members — nothing sends a mixed message like dumping someone the day after your sibling asks them to be bridesmaid/groomsman.

2 Don’t commit to double dates more than a week hence, don’t book a vacation and definitely don’t get a pet together!

3 Don’t try daring new sexual acts that might lead your partner to later accuse you: “I can’t believe I agreed to use chocolate body paint on you!”

4 You cannot use the benching period as an excuse to actually break the rules of the relationship (e.g. by sleeping with someone else).

5 At the end of the benching period — which you shouldn’t let drag too long — should you decide you want him or her back in the game, make it gradual. If you decide to end it, do it as soon as you know.

 
 
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