Once upon a time in a not so distant land, boy meets girl. They take an instant attraction to each other. Then they hang out, the word “date” never mentioned. They both clearly like each other, and they don’t see other people. However, nothing official happens. The words “date”, “girlfriend” or “boyfriend” are never thrown out there to be digested. It’s just two people who like each other who avoid having the dreaded talk.
Then, one day it’s over. The girl or the boy stops texting the other. No closure, no answered text messages, nothing. And the worst part is, even though they had a relationship that consisted of romantic elements, the affected party has feels they have no right to mourn. Since not many friends know what they have done behind closed doors, they can’t seek the refuge of friends for comfort as they would with an “official” romantic relationship. After all, it’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt.
These relationship are appearing more and more as millennials such as myself enter the dating world. No more is there going to be dinner and a movie. Instead, dating has become more casual with Netflix and take out. The question here is, is it better than what the previous generation had? Or are we using it as a hard helmet to ward off all of all chance of vulnerability? What ever happened to the days when there’s courting? Is that a thing of the past?
With unofficial relationships, there’s nothing more than confusion. You are in a constant state of label-less limbo. Am I seeing someone? Are we exclusive? No one really knows the answer. One can spend years in this state, only to have it end in a way that’s devastating. However, they smell and feel like a typical romantic relationship. The only difference is really no label to be found.
I can see why these relationships are a thing. The concept of talking about commitment with anyone, especially one in their early 20s, can be daunting and awkward. Especially, when the person is someone you encounter on a day to day basis. The ultimate solution is to live a life in limbo, right?
In some ways, yes. But in reality, it’s unfair to all of the parties involved. I don’t know about you all, but I want a relationship that changes my Facebook relationship status. I want the official thing. The official thing is being able to introduce someone as my boyfriend or a partner, have the status on Facebook and just know that someone is mine, officially.
Being in limbo is something that is just too easy in my opinion. You never know which way you’re going to be headed. Instead, you’re facing a wild roller coaster of ups and downs. You may never truly get out, or if you do, you’ll be hurt or the one causing the pain.
I guess, at the end of the day, these unofficial relationships in the future can be solved with one thing. And that is communication. Yes, it’s scary to talk to your partner or person you want to be with. But, to be with them, you really need to talk to them. It’s the only cure for this insanity. Sometimes, there are scary things that we need to do, just to avoid the hurt and pain later on. It’s like ripping a band-aid off, folks. Once it’s gone, you’ll never have to worry about the pain again.
I may fall under the umbrella category of being the one that is too scared to be the one who initiates those talks. I’ve had a few of these relationships myself, and to quote Ozzy Osbourne, it’s like “falling off the rails of a crazy train.” But, to get to the official things that I want, maybe it’s the one obstacle that stands in my way. Sometimes, to get to the official, you need to take a chance.
So, maybe our parents had something going on after all. We may have Netflix now, but can we bring back the ages when you would have dinner and a movie? Let’s bring back dating and even “going steady.” Trust me, it’s a lot better than being in limbo forever.