Now I may be treading uncharted waters here, but I guess I enjoy a little controversy. Plus, I will never quite understand how any relationship can “move forward” without directing it’s sails with the wind. The key is knowing the direction of the wind! If you’re not able to discuss one another’s emotional stance, how do you really know where the relationship is going (if it’s even going anywhere)?
I’m sure I’ll immediately be drug under with, “I don’t need to verbalize that he’s my boyfriend or she’s my girlfriend to know where we stand.” And that’s fine – I didn’t say to go full force high-school mode of writing a love letter confessing your inner-child desire to being officially girlfriend and boyfriend. I’m simply talking about defining the relationship, as in – validating that both parties are emotionally on the same page to moving forward in the relationship.
Maybe I’m just not that type – I can’t simply go from “dating” to “in a committed monogamous relationship” without having the talk. You know – the normality of keeping one another up to speed, simply because, well, I can’t read his mind! I may be able to read into his actions, but that’s only half of it. In dating transitioning, I always needed the talk – “This is how I feel, and what I want – are you on the same page?” Because, if not, we more likely parted ways. Although some can make that smooth transition without ever claiming to verbalize it, but I highly doubt that’s without an exchange of relating words somewhere in there (they’re just not admitting it).
There was one single time I had to clarify the “relationship” with someone, by my saying, “I don’t _____________ unless I’m in a committed relationship.” To which he responded, “Aren’t we?” And to my knowledge, that wasn’t discussed or validated to me (up until this very moment). It was then I realized, I don’t live by assumption – nor in life or relationships. And I’ve always been the biggest believer in, “you don’t know until you know.” With that, I find that not defining the relationship could be implying something completely different.
what you’re implying
by not defining your
we are whatever you want us to be
He calls the shots, and you just “go with the flow“. Because you would hate to be known as the stereotypical overemotional woman who needs to “tie him down” in order to Love, right? Seriously, stop believing in that hype. Any man who jives that way is refusing to have a genuine, honest relationship with a woman who simply knows what she wants – and goes for it.
And if “go with the flow” is your style – I can’t promise that one day you won’t be saying to yourself, “I don’t understand, I thought we were on the same level.” The only, only way you will ever know what train you both are on – and if on together – is if it’s discussed and laid out openly with one another. Otherwise, he may be boarding that train for south while ultimately you’re hoping for that ticket to ride off west together into the sunset.
solid communication isn’t important at all
If you can’t talk about how you feel, where you stand emotionally and whether or not you see yourself further pursuing a relationship with the other – what good communication are you developing for a serious commitment? It’s repeated time and time again that communication is the NUMBER ONE killer of most relationships.
Sex, money, infidelity? All of those stem from lack of proper communication (and all the crucial aspects of it) within the relationship. Even if he cheated, issues with him gambling or secretly spending way over the budget – the lack of communication still may be one-sided.
By not expressing, reflecting and communicating your thoughts, feelings, and emotions on where you stand with someone – you’re setting yourself up for not only possible disappointment, but a long road of struggle when overcoming hurdles in your relationships.[Related Read: 13 Vital Communication Skills That Will Save Your Relationship]
i don’t need your respect, and you don’t need mine
A genuinely good person knows how to simply be a good person – one who understands and shows respect for the significant other they invest in through both words and behavior. But that’s not to say some don’t have the mindset of, “I do what I want, and I don’t care if it hurts you.”
By not defining the relationship, it is saying there are no set standards or expectations as far as your emotional needs and desires being met, and ultimately respected. It’s important to make your needs known, him aware of your needs and you of his.
we don’t need to slap a label on it if we’re already good
First of all, that phrase puts defining a relationship under a negative light, and anyone who uses that terminology probably isn’t looking for exclusivity in the first place – let’s be real here. Because a “label” ultimately means “girlfriend” or “boyfriend“, which then to most means “settling” in all derived aspects of a relationship. Bottom-line is, some take the word settling negatively in terms of having to be monogamous and sacrificing their independence.
Here’s what I think: defining the relationship is a choice. It’s about having the ability to share, compromise and set mutual boundaries and expectations – so as in, yes, making the choice to remain monogamous, while understanding that a relationship isn’t simply all about you. But none of that means losing your sense of self, either.
Sure, there can be unhealthy boundaries and expectations (that of which destroy relationships and people’s perception of defining their relationships down the road), but its also about being open and allowing for change.
Defining the relationship is the way of verbally and definitively moving forward emotionally and mutually – not for “slapping on a label“.
i can’t exactly commit and don’t expect him to, either
I’ve heard this too many times to count, “He hasn’t told me he loves me, so I don’t know how where we are in the relationship.” Granted, those words are so easily spoken nowadays, actually expressing what and how you feel is much, much more difficult among relationships. Either way, verbal validation is still so much required and necessary in our emotionally driven lives.
It’s another way of showing commitment. Of course, words and actions need to be balanced, but everyone and their mother knows that too much of one and not the other just doesn’t cut it. I’m not saying to go throwing around I Love You left and right, it’s about maintaining clarity – verbal clarity – as far as your emotional intentions, and where you stand emotionally with that person. And if you simply can’t or refuse to talk about your stance in the relationship, it sounds like there may be the reluctance in commitment.