Lately, there's been a lot of talk about this new concept called "benching," which is basically when one person wants to be with someone but isn't "emotionally ready" for a relationship. So that person gets benched — put on the side until the other person is ready. For some reason, the commitment-phobic person expects the benched person to just wait around, and everything will be OK. That's what's wrong with benching.
See, the idea is that you kind of want to be with this person because you like them in some way, but you don't want to be tied down yet. Maybe you want to keep your options open just in case someone better strolls into your life. But if that doesn't happen, then you have the object of your benching to fall back on. It's like a safety net for the tightrope that is dating.
But let's say, hypothetically, you're "exclusive" with a person. That means you're only hooking up with them, which is a pretty big step in this one-night-drunk-hook-up culture we live in today. When someone feels they're ready to be exclusive, you can imagine they really like the other person. After all, you only want to be with them. So then why not date?
This is where it becomes a case of "benching." Being exclusive but not wanting to date because you're not emotionally ready to be in a relationship, or whatever nonsense you're spewing. But you still like the person, so you want to keep them around. You bench them because you'll be ready eventually, just not right now. And you expect them to just wait? Seriously?
From the benched's (benchee?) perspective, the whole situation is just emotionally unsettling. It makes them go crazy, wondering if they're at fault. Are they the reason you're not ready to commit? Beyond that's just insulting. You're not Zac Efron, sorry, you're not worth waiting around for. They feel like the second choice like you're just keeping yourself occupied waiting for someone better to come along. Even worse is that they actually care about you. Obviously, right? Since they're putting up with this in the first place. So why are they not good enough for you to be with?
To the people out there being benched, you're better than that. You deserve someone who genuinely wants to be with you and isn't afraid of it. No one should ever be treated like a second choice. To the people out there who happen to be benching others because you're afraid of the title "boyfriend" or "girlfriend," just stop. Don't waste someone else's time because you can't get your act together. You're being selfish. Grow a pair and either end it or commit already.