Exactly when is the right time in any new relationship – if you can even call it that – to decide the terms of what it is and where it’s going?
There are just too many options out there. Think about it, we have ‘kissing friends’. Really? Yes really, someone referred to it just the other day, I nearly splurted my drink but managed to contain myself long enough to swallow. It was an espresso martini, be a shame to waste any. No, it is not just a term for teens, we thirty something’s appear to still use it. Then there’s ‘fuck buddies’, that one is pretty self-explanatory. There’s the classic ‘dating’, now this one I find the hardest to get my head around because just what are the boundries of this desert like area. This is the chameleon of the non categorized world. The wolf in sheep’s clothing. This is where the rut is. Things seem to progress onto ‘exclusive’, a looser term for girl/boyfriend that people like to use so as to not feel too intimidated by the immediate seriousness that could come with coupling up at this stage in life. Marriage. Babies. Babies for the second time around. Sheesh, is it any wonder everyone seems to avoid the word – partner. There we have it, that is the diamond in the rough of labels. Partner. One step after girl/boyfriend and chasing the heels off spouse. Right now, I’m happy to drift in the abyss of dating.
But the abyss is dangerous.
Leah recently met a local guy, went on a few dates, spent six weeks texting him while he traveled with work, then BAM, it’s over. Six weeks of what she thought was building the foundations to something good, something that could be going places, while he saw it as six weeks of distractive chat that didn’t mean much more than just that, distraction. Great company on long flights and in empty hotel rooms. Glass of wine, bit of a catch up. Meanwhile she’s dreaming of the prospects they may have and how to make long distance work. Seemingly he had other ideas and abruptly ended things when he came home. She’s now six weeks older and bitter. Needless to say, they were label-less, a state Jess seems to prefer. Jess and her man have been around the mill so many times that she’s now scared to think about what it is they’re in, let alone talk about it. In fact, talk on that matter is officially banned from their hang outs. Because that’s what they are, just hang outs, that can be fun, and maybe a little up close and personal but with no label comes no responsibility and with no responsibility comes no room for error. For now at least. Watch this space, I am, with much interest.
Then there’s Izzy. She’s been hanging out with her favourite boy for months now. Every night. And sometimes day. And then there’s the constant chat throughout the missing hours. The chat that leads to meeting again. But it has no label and yet it’s been going on so long that it is in all sense and purposes crossing the bounderies into ‘exclusive’, if not more. I like to call this ‘The Blurry Line.’ She is treading precariously close to the blurry line, where people without labels can get hurt. Very, very hurt. Because who’s to say if it’s okay to kiss another person, or take another number. No-one said they couldn’t but isn’t that inevitably cheating? Or is it all fair game? One may think one thing while the other thinks different. Hence the need for labels. Even if the label is to not label it, then at least you know where you stand because what works well at the very beginning of a ‘thing’, doesn’t tend to work so well a few months in, when, like it or not, feelings are starting to grow and emotions are becoming intertwined. So is it best to wait a couple of months and then stick a name on it, or go with the flow until it’s obvious? I’m with the first, but each to their own. We all do what it is we want anyway.