The ‘talking stage.’ Just ‘seeing someone’. Not ‘officially’ dating. No labels, no expectations, no limitations. This world of “what are we?” where no one really asks for fear of coming off as desperate, or no one is actually in a relationship because of x, y, or z. This language has become so standard in our generation; in the culture around us.
I don’t understand any of it.
I mean, obviously, I understand what they mean in the context of dating and navigating the single/relationship world. But I don’t understand why it’s become so normalized.
In the past week, I’ve had conversations with friends about relationships they have that sound a lot like they’re with the other person, calling each other bae (which is another thing altogether, but anyway). But they’re not. They’re not official – they’re just seeing each other, they’re not putting a label on it.
It’s one thing if there’s no romantic connection in the relationship, or if it’s purely a physical, casual thing. What I’m talking about is skinny love, defined by the Urban Dictionary as “a type of relationship between two people that are very in love with each other, or are crushing big time on the other; but are far too embarrassed to express their feelings. The relationship is ‘skinny’ because they have yet to come out and explain their true feelings.”
I’m talking about the relationships between people who have been “seeing each other” (again, this is a whole other thing) exclusively for a significant amount of time and who’ve said “I love you” – but won’t say that they’re together. I’m talking about people that spend forever in the talking stage with constant reassurance that this is serious, this is for real – but it never progresses past that. I’m talking about the people who have been exclusive with someone for a while – but still won’t label their relationship as official.
If this is you, I’m calling you out: what are you afraid of? Stop hiding behind shaky words and make things official with the person you want to be with. No more skinny love, my friends. Profess your affection, make things official, go live a fulfilled romantic life. Life is too short to do things halfway.
And before someone comes at me for saying no one should need to “claim” someone to be “theirs”, think about how reassurance and knowing you’re secure in a relationship is necessary, and how it makes you feel safe, loved, and wanted.
Graphic by Loreanna Lastoria