Everyone’s looking for a happy ending. They want to find that one person who they really connect with. So what happens when you meet someone, spend time together, they make you happy, they are thoughtful and good to you and you think there is really something there, but, you haven’t really “named” it? Are you dating? Are you exclusive? Are you boyfriend/girlfriend? Do you really need the title? Perhaps not a title, but at least a road map. What do I mean? Well, I’ll tell you.
Definitions Are Changing
Most people define relationships in terms of love, intimacy and sex. If you have those, you should have a relationship, right? Well … not anymore. Do you remember the New York Times article The End of Courtship and all the discussion it generated? Just to jog your memory, the main premise of the article was that dating doesn’t really exist anymore as a result of the new “hookup culture”. It has turned into “hanging out”, “let’s not ruin a good thing” and “we’ll see where it goes”. There are so many options now with online dating and mobile geo dating apps that there is an endless stream of people to meet (I went on Skout for 15 minutes and had 40 people complimenting me and wanting to meet), let’s face it, why should anyone “settle down” when they could be missing out on all the fun and ego stroking, or, heaven forbid, something better? But where does that leave you? I’ll tell you where … ALONE! No one is easily satisfied anymore. They may be completely happy with someone, but, they don’t want to limit their options “just in case”. Well I’m here to tell you that’s B.S.!!
Recently, my teenage cousin was talking about a girl he was spending time with and going on dates with. I asked him if she was his girlfriend and he looked at me like I was speaking a foreign language. I asked him, so what are you, he said “I dunno, we’re just hanging out”. I then asked him if they were exclusive and he replied “ya we are”. He told me that they don’t really use those terms “boyfriend/girlfriend” anymore. It’s “hanging out”, even though they’ve been seeing each other and speaking every day for months. Hmm … really? When I speak to people in their 20′s & 30′s it’s the same story. Rarely does anyone want to define anything … it’s one day a time … seeing how it goes. Why ruin a good thing by defining it? Right? WRONG!!!
Why Defining Relationships IS Necessary
Taking responsibility for your relationships is a sign of maturity. It’s a sign that your life is moving forward. When you spend a lot of time with someone, share your life with them, share your ups and downs with them, when you talk every day, when they are constantly on your mind, when they make you happy and bring something positive into your life why not define it? It helps you focus on each other.
Defining your relationship doesn’t mean you’re committing to spending the rest of your lives together but what it does mean is that you’re committing to being focused on just them and that you’re exclusive. If a long term commitment comes from it then it does, if it doesn’t work out then it doesn’t. No pressure. Just maturity. I know it can be scary, but life is about taking risks. If you don’t take risks, you’ll never know what you’re missing!
When, and How, To Bring It Up
Never assume that you are in a relationship or are exclusive with someone unless they actually say it. There isn’t a right time to bring up the topic, it’s just when it feels right or when you get to a point where you don’t want to waste anymore time or energy on a dead end. Only you can determine when that is. Just ask where you stand in the relationship and if they are ready to be exclusive. Don’t be pushy or demand an answer, or even argue with their answer. Everyone has a right to feel whatever they feel. If they aren’t ready to take that step then respect their choice, thank them for their honesty and decide for yourself whether or not you’re willing to stay on board.
If you’ve got a “dodger” on your hands, you know, someone who dodges the question or runs for the hills whenever you mention the “R” word, then you have your answer already. If someone really wants to be with you, you know what? They will be with you. Obviously, you don’t rock their boat enough for them to want to keep it afloat in the water. So, best to move on. Don’t waste your time with a dodger who doesn’t have enough courage to be honest with you. You deserve better. We ALL deserve better than to be one of the check marks or x’s on a geo dating app … we deserve to be with someone who wants to be with us, and only us.
Are you experiencing this non-committal attitude from people? How are you dealing with it? Would love to hear your comments!
Your Sister in Dating Bliss,
Single Dating Diva