Modern relationships have been completely redefined since our parents were courting. The term relationship can mean a multitude of different things to different people. Are you open, exclusive? Dating? Boyfriend and Girlfriend? Just hooking up until something worthwhile comes along? Are you both emotionally involved but not labeling your connection? Or are you calling it a relationship when in reality you guys are just “talking” which then leads me to another question: What defines talking? Are you guys Facebook-messaging, skyping, tinder-ing, texting? Are you verbally communicating via telephone? Meeting up in person?
None of this makes sense, at least to me. It honestly gives me a huge headache.
I guess it gives me a headache because I’ve fallen into the above category: being together but not actually being together, more than once. The only way I can think to put this situation into words is this: two people doing that dance where they almost run into one another and you have to decide who is going to dodge the altercation first. Do you just allow this balance of not knowing to exist and run its course or do you confront it? Is there even a reason to? What are you striving for? Wishing for?
I genuinely have no idea. I don’t think I ever will. Intimacy today seems so different from what I grew up watching in front of me. My parents, who have been happily married for 42 years fell in love in a completely different time period. Their relationship is what I base my foundation of ideas about love and connection off of. They fight and fix it, kiss each other good morning and goodnight every single day, call each other during their free time, find home in one-another. This is what I strive for and dream of. Call me a hopeless romantic but this is love and relationships for me. The only problem is that I’ve just come to be afraid that it doesn’t exist anymore. Is this even possible in a day and age where so many people are together but remain on the lookout for something better?
I get it. I’m 19. Why do I even care about this? I have so many years to have fun and figure it out. But so much so of what I see around me on a day to day basis indicates that it doesn’t get any easier from here on out. People are always looking for the next best thing and never seem truly satisfied, never truly happy. That scares me. I need security in a relationship. I need comfort in whatever type of “relationship” connection it may be.
I have contradicting thoughts on choosing whether to label a relationship. It can be good because you don’t want to fall victim to society’s standards of what a ‘real’ relationship should be. I honestly believe that if two people are in love and happy, there is usually no need to put a “label” on it. You’re with someone because you love them, want to be with them and make experiences and connections with them. You’re not with them for the purpose of having someone to call your boyfriend/girlfriend. Or maybe you two are simply just hooking up, having fun, trying the whole “friends with benefits” ordeal. There’s no need to label that, right? No need for added stress.
I’m all for not putting a label on it, but I also understand that forgoing them can make things messier. It can leave more room for trouble and less for accountability. I have experienced this first hand. Being emotionally connected but not on the same page often creates much unwanted emotional turmoil and backlash. I wonder if labeling the connection in these situations might bring forth more comfort, or is this lack of accountability solely existing due to a lapse in communication? I don’t have the answer but I believe boundaries and respect for one another’s feelings are essential.
This modern day affliction seems to have no solution. It seems to only be progressing and picking up more speed. This point in our era impedes so many people that are on the outlook for the “grass” that’s supposedly “greener on the other side.” At this point in time, the word “relationship” encompasses so many labels and terms that have no set definitions and no set rules. Love seems to have become a flexible entity; something that can be, at times, synonymous with lust. I see a fix though, for those who are involved: no matter the type of relationship you’re in, make it a comfortable environment—a connection—between you and the other person. Hold onto that. Respect one another. And if you start to lose interest, be honest and move on.