How do you live life in your mid-20’s without having a complicated relationship status? Whether you meet someone out at a bar, for example Uptown Tavern on a Saturday night, or you spend your nights swiping right or left while watching the Bachelor. The relationships we fall into tend to be complicated.
Even if you meet the person offline, we are all too well aware that most of our peers are on some sort of dating app or website. Therefore, the chances of that person dating other people is very high. And if we are really honest, you are the one who is dating around and are on two dating apps.
Of course, that’s not an issue until you’ve been dating the guy for awhile and have dropped the other guys from the line up, deciding you would like to become “exclusive.” That’s when the real problem lies because anxiety pops into your head and you ask yourself, “I don’t think he is dating anyone else, but we really haven’t talked about it. I don’t want him to think I want anything too serious and scare him away, but I do like him and want him to know that I only want to date him. Shit, what if he is dating someone else? I really shouldn’t have let that other guy go. Seriously…stop thinking about this; it’s fine.”
Then you may call or text your girlfriends asking for advice on what they think. Whether if they think the guy is dating anyone else, which typically the response is “No way! When would he be able to have any time to see another girl.” Then you respond, “Yeah, you’re right.” but don’t actually know if you believe yourself.
At this point, my friends, you’ve graduated from the initial flirty dates into the complicated relationship. Once those anxious thoughts creep into the vortex of your mind and you feel like you aren’t acting yourself, that’s when you’ve hit it.
Another way to know you’ve entered into the complicated relationship is when your friends or family ask if you have a boyfriend and you don’t know what to say. Depending on your confidence in the relationship you can answer in a variety of ways:
- “No. I don’t have a boyfriend.”
- “Nope, he’s just a friend right now.”
- “Kind of.”
- “Umm…no?”–My favorite response
- “I’m dating this one guy, but I’m not sure where it’s going…” –Then she tells you the whole story from the beginning.
Now that you recognize that you’re in the It’s Complicated Facebook Relationship Status, there are a few ways of moving forward.
- You can stay in this season of the relationship and go about the dates as you always have been. This may be a good solution to see how the relationship progresses without an official conversation. In time, the relationship will develop as it is meant to and there may be a knowing between you and your partner there isn’t anyone else involved.
- You can pretend to be okay with the questions in your mind and hold off having the conversation. This may end in an awkward way depending on if you are out drinking one night and have one too many. Then the thoughts may flood out of your mouth from the liquid courage, which may freak out the person.
- You can have a conversation with your partner to officially DTR (define the relationship). This may end up one of two ways, the person tells you that they don’t actually want to continue with you or they could say they haven’t been dating anyone else either and would like to be “exclusive.” This option may be the scariest, but at the same time could be the most freeing because at that point you’ll know where the relationship stands. Therefore, when Grandma asks you if you’re have a boyfriend you can confidently answer.
Without a doubt, most young adults enter into several complicated relationships as we maneuver through our 20’s and 30’s. I think the trick of it all is to become comfortable with the ambiguity that come with relationships. As we become more comfortable with the ambiguity of relationships, we can learn to be more content in whatever complicated relationship we find ourselves in.