Labeling in Relationships: The Truth

Labeling in Relationships: The Truth

The way we date today is much different than a few years ago. The newest trend is the lack of labeling in relationships that formerly would have been labeled within the first few months. This lack of labeling is in part because of the changes to dating culture. The sad part is, that this lack of labels makes sense because people are not so much dating as hooking up. Relationships are no longer relationships. The desire for a laid-back, responsibility free relationship has increased the popularity of remaining label free. While this sounds like you are getting the best of both worlds, it is something that can weigh on people over time. Some call this a situationship. This is an odd, but very informative term that is an in-between phase between friends with benefits and a less than official relationship. It is a relationship without label, but with sex. The people are not totally committed, but are often confused on what they are involved in at the time. Both tend to go with the flow until someone drowns in the current.

Entering a label free relationship sounds like a commitment free relationship. While this could be a sense of fidelity, it could also lead to attending family or business functions that couples tend to do as a couple. It can also become problematic if one person starts to have strong feelings when the other does not. One person may truly desire a commitment and began to have expectations that are left unmet by the other. This leaves the first person disappointed and deeply hurt. It seems to always happen, one partner catches feelings and when they are not reciprocated, it is painful. So, we come to the obvious question, why would someone willingly go into a label-free relationship?

People take two different views. Some would not enter such a relationship. Some prefer the labels for clarity. However, others think the label-free relationship is wonderful because you are free from both expectations and responsibility. For those with fears about commitment, this is wonderful. Having a no label relationship means there is no pressure to behave in a certain manner when you are around the other person. You do not have to fit into the boyfriend/girlfriend mold of someone else. You can continue to enjoy your freedom and passions as you see fit. This also allows for some time to truly assess whether you wish to keep moving at the same pace. One person said that we do not label friendships by asking “if you are a friend”, it is simply known and relationships should be the same way.

Relationship experts agree that whether a relationship has a label or not, clear boundaries and trust must exist. Labeling or the lack of truly depends on what both partners feel and prefer. Communication is at the base of all of it to make sure both partners are on the same page.

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