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Sex + Relationships

We Need to Talk About “Talking”

Ladies and gentlemen, I’m over it. I’m so fed up with something that I feel the need to go on a rant to air my grievances. For the longest time, I took pride in the fact that I didn’t have any particular pet peeves (yes, surprising). Well, now I do, and it comes in the form of a common phrase said everywhere around campus: “We’re talking.”  For a while, I was unbothered by this ambiguous term for courting a possible lover, but now after experiencing the “talking phase” for over a quarter of my life, it’s time I speak up and hope for change. 

The biggest problem that I have with those two words is that they mean absolutely nothing, and everything, at the same darn time. When that phrase comes up in a conversation no one knows what it truly means.  Are you flirting, f-buddies, exclusive, broken up, dating or all of the above? The whole thing just gives me major anxiety (not surprising). When I’m waiting in the line with a girlfriend from class for my Thursday afternoon Southwest Salad using “talking” to describe my relationship status, neither I nor the boy on the other end of my unopened Snapchat knows where we stand. While I hate using “talking” to describe my love life, I feel like there’s almost no other way to describe my almost non-existent love life. 

This leads me to my next question: what would we say in place of this? I understand that we’re in college and everyone is very into the non-committal hookup, but maybe casual dating should be a thing again. I know everyone is broke and exhausted, but if you want a significant other, maybe it’s time to put some effort in. Now, I’m not saying go out right now and pick out a spouse⁠—that’s absolutely terrifying. But I’m suggesting that we start being more open about what we want and how we want it. If you’re really looking for a companion, ask them out. Keep it light and see where the date goes. Then, if you’re really into it (after an appropriate, I repeat APPROPRIATE amount of time), talk about it with them. Don’t just leave it open to misinterpretation and bad feelings. 

On another note, banning “we’re talking” from common vocabulary will make holidays easier. When you’re sitting next to your least-favorite aunt at the Thanksgiving table, what are you going to tell them when they ask the dreaded questions about your love life? The older generation is even more unaware of what the phrase means and can be judgmental when you’re trying to describe your relationship with the cutie next to you in philo class.

Now, don’t get it twisted, I’m not saying we should get rid of having “flings.” I’m just saying maybe we should be more transparent about what we want, rather than going 5 months not knowing where we stand with a romantic partner in our lives. Do you want me? Are you over it? Please just tell me so I can move on with my life, thanks! Over the past 20 years, relationships have become pretty shady, and hiding behind the screen seems easier than committing or having a harsh convo.

It’s time for change ladies (and gentlemen). Let’s actually have a conversation about what we want in our relationships instead of just “talking.”

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