You know what summer means? Besides warmer temps, barbecues and street fairs, it’s the season of the mean time, in between guy.

You know the guy. He’s cool, makes you laugh and puts a smile on your face when you’ve had a tough day.

Perfect, right?

But there’s just something about him that doesn’t fit with you. You could never see yourself with him on a full-time basis. You’re open for a relationship. You’re ready. But just not with him.

Maybe it’s a flaw that annoys you; a nasty habit you can’t get over. You’re too similar or not similar enough. He could never be your man and that’s just how you like it.

He’s your in between guy or Mr. Right Now. The guy(s) you keep in your back pocket until you find ‘the one.’

Let’s be clear. He’s not (necessarily) a jump-off, you may not even be having sex with him. And you’re not exactly dating. You just “talk” or “hang out” occasionally. A lot of time may even pass between speaking or seeing one another. Not because you’re excessively busy, you’re just focused on others you’re really interested in.

Having a man like this around has its benefits. He’s more into you than you’re into him so he goes out of his way to make you happy. Or he’s guaranteed to answer your calls and texts quickly. Or he’s great for last minute dates when the person you really want to be with stands you up. He may even satisfy a physical need a former lover used to and he’s just holding you over until the future mister arrives.

Whatever the deal, you’re adamant about the “relationship” with him not going any further.

Of course there’s nothing wrong with dating for play. Not everyone is interested in a relationship or in a relationship with every person they date.

But can things go wrong with this perfect arrangement?

Granted all’s well if both people are honest with what their status is to one another. But honestly, is full disclosure really practiced? Does anyone actually say to the other, “hey, I’m just keeping you around until I find the man I want to be with. And when I do, you’ll be dropped. Quickly. I’ll just stop returning calls, texts and Gchat messages. But if the relationship doesn’t work out, I’ll give you a call again and we can pick up where we left off. Sound good?”

Like I stated, there’s nothing wrong with dating multiple people to see who fits you best or not being interested in a relationship at the moment. But when you do desire a deeper connection but instead settle with someone who doesn’t provide you with that, are you selling yourself short?

Since the in between guy isn’t exactly your type, you may notice the list of requirements you have for your “real” dude are barely met by the stand in. Sure, he’s fun, but that’s about it. He isn’t exactly your type physically or lacks some personality traits you require in the real thing. He’s the Version 1.0 of whom you really want.

The thing about Mr. In Between is he can stick around in your life for a while. Years even. He can even hang around longer than the guys you actually date or are in a relationship with since he’s there for the down time. When you haven’t spoken to him in a while (i.e. you’re interested in someone else), the conversations (i.e. texts) usually start with “hey stranger” or “what’s new? I haven’t spoken to you in forever!” Just as quickly as you chuck the deuces to him, he’s back.

For the girl who’s really looking for love, can you be open to the real thing when you’re still hanging on to a distraction? Until you’re ready to let go of one branch, it’s a little hard to swing to the next.

Weigh in Clutchettes. How do you feel about the Mean Time, In Between Guy? Is he a great way to keep you occupied until Mr. Right comes along? Have you ever been the In Between Girl? How’d you feel?

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