Dating slang coins new phrases all the time, but the latest is something many men can associate with. Are you a foster boyfriend?
You meet someone new. They’re great. You see yourself really falling for them. But they tell you that they’re not ready for a full-on relationship and want to date casually for a while. You’re not overly pleased with the revelation, but you go with it anyway. You hope that perhaps things will progress over time. But, have you turned into a foster boyfriend?
Throughout that casual time, you’re always hearing about how they’re just not ready for anything heavy. They love to just ‘be’ and see how life pans out. Suddenly, they break things off with you, or everything just ends naturally, only for them to suddenly find love with someone new, riding off into the sunset on a wave of engagements, new homes, and babies.
If this is a pattern that happens to you regularly, I’m sorry, but you’re a foster boyfriend or foster girlfriend.
Foster boyfriend, and the same goes for foster girlfriend, is a new dating term. It basically means that you’re a guy who babysits new partners until they find The One. It’s based on the whole foster parent thing. In that case, a foster parent would look after a child for an interim period, tending to their needs and helping them to grow, until they find their forever home with a new family who adopts them.
Basically, you’re doing the same to a string of partners, setting them up to meet their future partner, usually turning out be The One, or someone with whom they have a long and established serious relationship. Before they settle with them, they tell you they’re not ready for the serious relationship they end up in after you.
*Of course, foster girlfriend means exactly the same thing.* It’s annoying, hurtful, and can mean that you waste a lot of time on the wrong types of partners, when you could be looking for your own The One instead.
How to turn the tide and stop being a foster boyfriend
Let’s be honest, while we all want to be the bigger person and be happy for our former partners when they find true love, it still rankles, right? It’s annoying to be the one who puts in all the hard work only to end up single in the end.
If you do want to find lasting love and are focused on meeting someone special who you can have a long and happy relationship with, quit the foster boyfriend situation and focus on turning the tide. Not sure how? Let’s check out a few ways you can quit being the foster boyfriend and just be the boyfriend.
#1 Make sure your priorities are in the right place. Are you putting enough effort into relationships? Even if someone tells you that they don’t want something serious right now, are you still giving them respect, time, and attention?
It’s easy to take your foot off the gas a little when someone tells you that they’re not looking for something heavy, but instead see it as a learning curve and something to enjoy. However, by making sure that you place your partner high up on your priority list, you’ll stop meeting the ones who aren’t looking for the same things as you. Instead you’ll attract those who are. [Read: How to pull back in a relationship when you’re giving too much]
#2 Make sure you’re not taking old baggage into new relationships. One of the biggest reasons guys become a foster boyfriend is because they allow past relationship issues to enter into new relationships.
The past is the past, let things go! If you need to learn a lesson from anything which happened in a former relationship, do it before you enter into a new one. Don’t allow that experience to influence your actions in a negative way. By being in the right place for a relationship, you’re far more likely to meet the right types of people for what you really want. [Read: 16 reasons why you’re always being taken for granted by others around you]
#3 Focus on having fun. Rather than placing all your attention on making things work, just let things go a little. Focus on having fun instead. Try new things, let dates be fun, and just see what happens. Holding on too tightly can easily cause you to turn into the foster boyfriend. When you do that, it’s easy to push people away.
#4 Always be yourself. Forget trying to be Mr. Perfect or Mr. Impressive, instead just be yourself. How can you expect someone to be attracted to you and want to be with you over the long-term if you’re not actually being true to yourself? If you are, they’re far more likely to want you for the person you are.
Be authentic. I know it can be scary because it opens you up to the possibility of rejection. It’s far better to know that you were simply yourself than someone who was fake at all times. [Read: How to be yourself and stop being fake]
#5 Don’t lose yourself in any relationship. A foster boyfriend has a tendency to lose themselves in any relationship they enter. This can often push potential partners away and stop them from wanting anything too serious.
The reason? Because pushing things and rushing is too much pressure. Simply allow things to unfold in their own time. Express gratitude to your partner and focus on having fun.
Make sure that you set time aside to see your friends and that you focus on yourself too. Keep doing the things you did before but also make sure that you place your partner as a priority too. This is likely to take you out of the foster boyfriend category and into the regular boyfriend category. [Read: Why loving someone too much actually kills the love they have for you]
#6 Don’t lower your expectations. Foster boyfriends often choose the wrong person and simply hope that something changes. Foster girlfriends do this too! For instance, someone tells you that they really don’t want a relationship at all. They just want casual fun and are not going to change their mind. Despite that, you do want a relationship. You’re not a big fan of casual hook-ups.
You like this person so you go ahead and agree to it, thinking that maybe if you spend enough time together they’ll change their mind and want all the things you want. Bad move. If someone tells you they don’t want the same things as you, believe them. Don’t lower your expectations and go against what you want because you’re heading towards heartache.
Being a foster boyfriend is zero fun. You put in all the time and effort and end up with nothing, while someone else gets all the spoils. However, you have to look inward and figure out why this keeps happening to you.
Is there some past baggage you need to overcome? Are you rushing into things all the time and not allowing relationships to unfold naturally? Figure out what you can do to make a change and then be mindful of the people you meet and what they tell you in the future.
A foster boyfriend basically ‘preps’ their partner for a future serious relationship. This usually comes after their partner told them they didn’t want anything serious! So take a step back and really ask yourself, are you not listening to what they’re saying?