Sex + Relationships

Defining Your Relationship

When you’re in a new relationship, a lot of the time you don’t want to rush into defining or explaining what your “thing” really is because of the pressures it causes. While it’s never fun to be the one to bring up the talk with your partner, it’s very necessary. You might not seem as easy going as you want to be, but laying your cards on the table saves you from the embarrassment of finding out you and your partner aren’t on the same page.

With buzzwords like “bae,” “thing,” “open,” “exclusive,” and “FBO” (Facebook official), a relationship is not as simple as it used to be. The term, DTR (defining the relationship) is often dropped during television shows and has recently become part of society’s vernacular. Nowadays it seems like defining a relationship doesn’t lead to the typical “single” or “in a relationship” on your Facebook profile page, but rather the “it’s complicated” category.

If you don’t define what type of relationship you’re in and make it clear with your partner, then how will you ever know if he or she feels the same way? While it’s easy to assume that if you talk on a daily basis and hookup weekly that you’re in an unspoken exclusive relationship, until you talk to him or her you’ll never know if that’s what your partner considers it. For all you know, he or she may be casually hooking up with someone else or might consider you a girlfriend or boyfriend. It’s all about having that one, sometimes uncomfortable, conversation to agree on what you both want.

The conversation doesn’t need to be had immediately with your partner, but the sooner the better. Especially with a month-long winter break coming up, it might be better to know what to call your partner when talking to your friends and what the restrictions of the relationship are. The worst thing that could happen when having the talk is that you realize you’re both on different pages and need to figure out how to continue. But coming back from break thinking you’re one thing, and finding out that your partner thought you were another will hurt a lot more, especially if they hooked up with other people. Though this talk will always be met with an anxiety of sorts, ultimately, it is better to define what you are rather than saying, “Hi, this is my friend/person I talk to/constant hookup….it’s complicated.”

By Jessica Levy