What happened to relationships? You know, relationships like in our parent’s day, in my parent’s day. When guys gave girls their varsity jackets and you could be pretty confident about how someone felt about you. You know, when “courting” was still very much a thing – i.e.: you couldn’t date me without dating the family too. When people actually went on dates – to football games or drive-in movies. In the dating world of Netflix and Chill, I find my generation playing a game of bonds vs. titles and losing on every front. Has “what’s understood doesn’t need to be explained,” come to serve as an example of how connected we are? Or, is it just an excuse to avoid shoring up our “commitments?”
Bond: What's understood doesn't need to be explained
Title: 'Girlfriend' 'Fiancee' 'Wife'
Some of this might be due to age/where we are in life but I’m not sure it’s that simple. I think there’s a larger issue at hand. One I’ll call all-something-nothing. It seems to me that women are willing to be all or something and that if men can’t be all, they’d rather be nothing, unless of course being “something” of their own design is available to them. So many people I know are stuck in dating grey areas. They’re talking to someone but that’s not really, officially their man. He can hit it, maybe even raw, but y’all haven’t been on an actual date, where he picks you up and you do an activity that’s not watching movies on the couch, in weeks. You celebrate Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentine’s and birthday’s on the low because “that’s bae” but god forbid you make him ya #MCM - 5 seconds later you’ll get a text saying “take that down.” And some of us allow this behavior. I’m not sure if it’s because we don’t know what we deserve or because we hope and pray that one-day, they’ll get it together and be what we deserve.
Bonds are great don’t get me wrong. It’s important to have a connection to the person that you’re with. It’s important that you enjoy spending time or that they make you laugh. If you’re having sex, it’s important that it’s good. But, bonds are dangerous. They’re dangerous because it’s so easy to get caught up in them. Caught up thinking that everything is good and y’all are here doing this thing called life together, when in all actuality, you’re thinking ‘we’ and he is thinking ‘me.’ Or, he really likes you and y’all been kicking it for a minute but, all of a sudden when you bring up taking it to the next level, he’s “scared”, doesn’t know what he wants or can’t see how you fit into his plans.
I’m not saying this to say that you should just jump head over heels into a full-blown relationship. But, I think that we’ve got to start being a bit smarter about how we act in the in-between time. My mom used to always tell me, “Why would he buy the cow if he can get the milk for free?” I used to think she was crazy but the older I get and the more guys I deal with, the more I realize just how right she might be. (Joan’s 90 day rule anyone?)
I personally don’t like grey areas that aren’t of my own creation, so why do I find myself in them so often? Stuck in some holding pattern, dying to ask, “What are we? Where are we going?” but afraid to do so because 1) the answer might not be what I want to hear 2) guys always seem to think that means you wanna get married and have his babies tomorrow (HELLO, NO!).
You’re wondering, okay but where does the losing piece come in? Why not just get cuffed, finesse the title? Won’t that solve all the problems?
Erm, no. No, it won’t because I don’t want him titling me simply because he’s afraid he’ll lose me. And I damn sure don’t want a full-fledged commitment before he’s “ready” (whatever the hell that means).
PSA for the fellas: Don’t tell me you love me if you don’t. But, if you have any inkling in your head that we could maybe, be something if we tried, then tell me that and we can figure all the rest out. Don’t forgo being something because you can’t be everything. Let’s just work together to define exactly what that something is.
Ladies, I’m thinking the proper term for the situation I’m describing is “baefriend” (and at least that’s sort of kind of a title). We deserve more than grey areas. Maybe he can’t give you the world right now, (or you two can’t create your own together) but you deserve someone who will cross-oceans and climb mountains for you. You deserve to play a winning game.