Tap here to turn on desktop notifications to get the news sent straight to you. It's hardly news that conventional dating norms have gone out the window and, with them, so too have traditional dating labels.
It is now expected that a couple will first hookup for a significant -- albeit unsubstantial -- period of time, only to then qualify their pseudo relationship with vague promises of monogamy. Sounds like a girlfriend to me. And that's okay because, contrary to those bemoaning the supposed death of monogamy , it's clearly not the monogamy that freaks him out, but rather, monogamy's prescribed terminology.
Indeed, labels are often black and white, imposing undesirable norms upon huge swaths of people to whom rigid conventions cannot and should not be applied. Labels do well, however, to simplify and clarify -- to provide boundaries and set expectations.
But what about exclusivity itself? It's a little more than just hooking up, but not exactly full-blown dating. With absolutely no parameters beyond "don't hookup with anyone else," how do those in exclusive arrangements know what to expect from their For instance, do you invite them to your holiday party? And, if so, how do you introduce them? Meet Craig, my friend with whom I am consistently physical but don't yet call my boyfriend because I'm not percent convinced he's worth my time.
Do you turn down other dating prospects? Or perhaps, keep your options open without ever letting things with someone else accelerate beyond flirtatious conversation?
But then, what if they do? Does that count as cheating? Talk about shades of gray. I mean, honestly, why is it such a big deal to call someone your boyfriend or girlfriend? Unlike married couples -- or even cohabitating, unmarried couples -- should a boyfriend and girlfriend breakup, there are few -- if any -- financial or familial troubles to navigate. Apart from some emotional anguish, there's really not much involved in terms of post-breakup fallout.
It's funny to think that such innocent terms as "boyfriend" and "girlfriend," that floated so effortlessly around the halls of high schools, now imply some sort of deep, long-lasting, sticky commitment of the utmost seriousness.
The fallout or perhaps, benefit from this aversion to labels remains to be seen.