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Is it a date or a mate?

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Posted by John Aiken, RSVP dating and relationship expert on

Have you ever been out with someone who had a number of great upsides - sense of humour, healthy, good group of friends, ambitious, solid career - but something was missing? On paper they should be a keeper, but instead you feel only friendship for them. In short, they're a mate not a date, and in the long run you're looking for the "X" factor not the friend factor.

It can happen to all of us at some stage of our dating lives. We finally meet someone who we think could be ideal for us but unfortunately every time you're with them, there's just no spark. They make you feel relaxed and happy when you're around them, but you don't want to take it the next level.
For some this can be a very confusing time, and you end up being unable to make a decision on this.

To help you out, here's some telltale signs that the person you're dating is just a mate:

* You don't want to have sex with them

* You flirt with other singles in their company

* You don't have any plans to commit to them

* You're not in love or have intense feelings for them

* You're too busy for them

* You often change your plans with them and let them down

* You shy away from being affectionate with them - particularly in public

* You don't rush to return their calls/ texts/ emails

* You feel uncomfortable when people ask if you're a couple

* You usually try to only go out with them in groups

* You call them friendly names like "buddy", "matey"

* You tend to take advantage of their kindness, time and efforts

Now if you're confronted with this, it's important not to try and fight through it or downplay the signs. Instead, you need to see it for what it is. This person you're dating is lovely - but you're simply not into them in that way.

Your friends might want you together, your family might think they're perfect for you, and on paper they may outshine a number of other potential love interests. It doesn't matter. If your feelings are not there then you need to move on.

Be honest about this with them and never ever lead them on. You can certainly still hang out with them, but both of you must be clear that it's not going anywhere romantic.

John Aiken, RSVP dating and relationship expert, and seen weekly on Ch 7's the Morning Show (www.johnaiken.com.au)

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