Slapping Labels On Each Other

datingWhen you’re “seeing someone” the great debate that will pop up, 9 times out of 10, is whether you are “boyfriend and girlfriend” – this debate can be a tricky one and can have side-effects such as: hurt feelings, clinginess and maybe even a “run away!” response from one of you, but sooner or later it’s a conversation you’re probably going to have.


To put this into context, I’ve recently started “seeing someone” who has now decided he would like me to be his “girlfriend” and, harsh as it might sound, I’m not sure that’s something I want to be. When it comes to labels I try and limit myself to Prada and Ralph Lauren rather than “girlfriend” which personally, I find a bit of an uncomfortable label to throw on. A big fear, not just of mine but of various other people, is that in becoming someone’s girlfriend you lose a bit of yourself – I would no longer be Charlotte, I’d be so and so’s GIRLFRIEND. Where has my own name gone? Your guess is as good as mine, but for fear of losing my identity and taking on someone else’s, I think I’ll swerve being stamped as someone’s other half for the time being.


The drawback of this attitude is, understandably, that the other person will always presume you have some deeper meaning behind your reluctance and that deeper meaning is usually presumed to have something to do with your need to see other people. On the contrary, I don’t need or want to see other people, in fact I’m quite content just seeing this one person, but why does seeing one person mean I suddenly have to be transferred into their assets pile?


A little bit of me wonders whether that’s what relationships are about for some people, maybe even for most people. Are relationships just another bragging right of how successful we are?


In the interest of making my argument more fair and less cynical, it seems like I should include some sort of rebuttal statement before people start lynching me for being a relationship-phobe! It seems fair to suggest that another reason why people are reluctant to get drawn into the labelling process is because of how things change. Arguably change isn’t always a bad thing, and when you look at it from a less-bias perspective, taking out the fear of losing a chunk of your person, relationships can actually be wonderful things, whether they’re labelled or not.


The important thing to be aware of seems to be that if you’re already acting like a couple, what is there for you to be worried about? And I suppose the most logical answer to that question would be “nothing”. If the relationship exists without the labels then the labels probably bare no impact at all, only to you, the person who actually notices it. I imagine to other people it’s just a normal thing for someone to say, “this is my girlfriend”, might bring some of us out in hives, but in the grand scheme of things, how much does it really change anything?