How the words ‘Relationship’ and ‘Dating’ Can ruin everything

On a personal level, there’s a lot of confusion for me surrounding the word ‘relationship’. I probably use it more casually than I should, but I think it’s only a problem because men and women have such different ideas on the definition of the word. As a service to all of you, I have included several definitions as they appear in the dictionary.

1. The condition or fact of being related; connection or association.
2. Connection by blood or marriage; kinship.
3. A particular type of connection existing between people related to or having dealings with each other
4. A romantic or sexual involvement

Please note definition #4 as it pertains to my impending tirade. We spend so much time focused on what the proper label is for whatever clusterfuck we’re currently involved in that we lose sight of what’s really important. I know that I’m guilty of this without question. It doesn’t take me long to figure out whether a guy’s right for me, and not many pass the initial entrance exam. For me, the issue is the fact that I’m often too confident in my selection process, so I bypass a lot of the unnecessary bullshit. If I meet someone and the connection is there, I really don’t have a rulebook as far as how long we need to be together before it’s considered a relationship. If I’m digging someone and want to see him several times in one week… fuck it, I’m doing it. As evidenced in definition #4, having repeated sexual experiences with someone is even considered a relationship. I don’t think any of you would be comfortable disputing the word of Webster.

No woman likes to think that she’s just a piece of ass, but at what point does it evolve into something more? Dating to me has always been the very first step. You meet some jackass, start going out to dinner and spending time together. Dating? I think so. Guys seem to differ on that terminology and use the word only when it’s a much more serious thing. That confuses me. I get the difference between fucking and dating, but this has been a stumbling block for me. The time frame can be very misleading as well. For example, if you’ve been seeing someone for two months and the total number of dates and/or encounters is six, you’d be hard-pressed to consider it much more than a casual thing. My question is this… given the same two month time period, what if you see each other three or four nights a week on a consistent basis from the very beginning? In my opinion, I’ve logged the course hours to start speculating on my relationship status. I could be a god-damned flight school graduate at this point. It’s not as if I walked in and stated that I’m only interested in learning to fly the plane straight. I’m not requesting that we bypass the take-off or landing portion of the class.

Dudes also have to consider the female mind and how it works. Once you start building furniture, hooking up DVD players and helping us with our taxes you are putting yourself squarely into boyfriend territory. You’re giving a distinct indicator that this woman is much more than a sexual conquest. You can’t be surprised if she jumps to that conclusion. Being a boyfriend can’t be all that bad, but men seem to be horrified by it. To me, it would seem that you’re getting regular sex and all kinds of attention. You might even have someone willing to cook for you or iron your shirts since a lot of men don’t appear to be all that comfortable with either thing. Most of the guys who are complaining about the labels of relationships, dating or boyfriend status aren’t even all that interested in other options. They simply don’t want to feel tied down in case the opportunity should present itself. In my opinion, even if I consider someone to be my boyfriend it’s merely an affirmation that that’s the person I’m interested in being with… right now. There’s certainly some wiggle room here. Someone who eats, sleeps and shits at my house on a very regular basis is my definition of a boyfriend, and I don’t think that’s presumptuous. I’m actually thinking of submitting that to Webster’s tomorrow. It might clear a lot of things up and serve as a monitoring tool of sorts. We all need to learn how to focus on the person we’re with and the qualities they bring to the table or we risk potentially losing something amazing. If we spend too much time obsessing over status in either direction, we’ll just end up home alone eating spaghettios and masturbating… although not necessarily in that order.


1 Response to “How the words ‘Relationship’ and ‘Dating’ Can ruin everything”

  1. 1 Sweet Trouble
    April 20, 2010 at 10:34 am

    Ah.. I like it. I’m kind of in the middle of this dilemma myself. I was just thinking the other night – what’s the difference between what we do/ have, and being boyfriend/girlfriend. And all I could come up with was – we are not committed to go to eachother’s family functions (although I’d be more than happy to go to his if they lived in this state). And, we don’t HAVE to talk to eachother every single day, or see eachother every free second we have – we live 30 minutes from eachother anyway. We have our own lives and do our own thing. I wouldn’t want that to change just because we added a label to our relationship. But sometimes, it’s nice to have the label. Like a little pink fuzzy blanket that makes you feel comfortable. Because I have to say, it can be awkward when you run into someone who you haven’t talked to in a long time and you have to introduce the person. Sure I could say “This is so and so” and just use his name. But you WANT to let your old friend know – This is the guy I’m with now. So if you just say a name, they have no idea if it’s just a friend or what. I do chalk it up to being a girl thing, and ultimately, as long as he’s not dating or sleeping with anyone else, I’m good. Still… I do love a good pink fuzzy blanket.

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About the Broad

A humorous look at dating in your mid-thirties and the other hilarious things that happen around us on a daily basis.

April 2010
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