So You Want to Define the Relationship…

Dear Kit,

I’ve been talking to this guy since the start of school and I really want to be in a relationship with him. I’m not sure how he’s feeling and I just what to know where we stand. What should I do?

So it’s fall break and you want to define the relationship. Understandable. It sounds like you know what you want, but pump the breaks. There’s really no rush. Labels can make you feel secure, but often times they unnecessarily complicate things. The best part about a relationship can be the beginning when everything’s new and exciting. If you put pressure on him to be your boyfriend, he might enter the relationship unwillingly, which is never a good thing.

I advise you to spend more time with this guy without worrying about where the relationship is going. Just enjoy his company. Figure out if he’s actually the person you want to be with, because you might change your mind. If you enter a relationship too quickly, you might find out a month down the road that it’s not right for you. If you don’t have a label, it’s a lot easier to back out.

Due to the increasing use of social media, relationships have become extremely public. Defining the relationship for some people means posting it on Facebook. You may want to show off that you’re officially dating, but this guy might not be there just yet. Give it some time because if you really like him, waiting a month or two isn’t going to hurt. Remember that a label is completely arbitrary. The words “girlfriend” and “boyfriend” only mean something because society attaches meaning to it. If you’re happy with the way things are going, give him a chance to approach you about a relationship down the line.

However, depending on your definition of “talking,” there might be more than just talking happening between the two of you. If you are involved intimately and are uncomfortable continuing a relationship without a label, that’s a conversation you definitely need to address.

New York Times Modern Love essay winner Jordana Narin writes, “By not calling someone, say, “my boyfriend,” he actually becomes something else, something indefinable. And what we have together becomes intangible. And if it’s intangible it can never end because officially there’s nothing to end.”

Keep in mind, if this guy is just looking to hook up and you want a relationship, you probably want to look elsewhere. As much as you’d like to think otherwise, he might be seeing other girls. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Becoming too invested at the start of relationship can be dangerous. Keep your options open. There’s nothing wrong with that.

Photo by Kit Maher


About Kit Maher 13 Articles
I am a junior at Albion College studying journalism. I play defense for the Albion Women's Lacrosse team and write in my spare time. I love to workout and be outdoors. My favorite quote is the motto for LIFE Magazine: "To see the world, things dangerous to come to, to see behind walls, to draw closer, to find each other and to feel. That is the purpose of life."

1 Comment

  1. Kit, I’ve noticed your advocacy for monogamy prevailing in most of these relationship advice columns. While it doesn’t work for everyone, I feel you should address the viability of polyamory and open relationships. In many cases, genuine feelings for more than one person are not only possible, but preferable to having to cut yourself off and break a heart.

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