So, whenever I enter into a new situation that vaguely resembles a relationship, I immediately freeze. I start to get irritated with the person for saying or doing sweet things – a trait that I normally earnestly admire. I get frustrated by the amount of time I either spend or don’t spend with them. It seems as if there’s literally nothing the other person could do to fix whatever stifled frustration I’m feeling. But I wonder why it is that I dread the point in a relationship where something needs to be defined? Nothing really changes from hanging out with someone to making that exclusive but, yet, every time, I feel the same aversion to labels.
So here’s what I decided: I thrive off of ambiguity. I love ambiguous situations and ultimately, I like the knowledge that there are no stakes or boundaries. If something isn’t defined, I’m not held to the same standards as if we were dating. If something isn’t defined, I’m ultimately not responsible for hurt I may cause. It’s an entirely selfish mindset and one that I’m intrinsically aware is flawed, but it’s still a mindset that I settle into every time I’m on the brink of starting a new relationship.
In case this wasn’t apparent, I’m at that phase in a relationship now. I’ve been seeing someone for a little less than a month and things have gone really well so far. He’s sweet, intellectually stimulating, funny, doting, and essentially all the things I would want in a boyfriend. Yet, I dread having to have that conversation (which I’ve thus far deftly avoided) in which we define what exactly is going on.
Part of me justifies this seemingly irrational fear of commitment to past hurt I’ve experienced or even caused in relationships. I don’t want to experience that anytime soon so if I’m going to be in a relationship with someone, I’m in it for the long haul. Another part of me justifies it by my sheer propensity to be selfish; part of me doesn’t want to give up that freedom. If I meet someone new, I want to save myself from causing lasting damage to someone by the chance that I could get out of this if I wanted to.
It’s funny to joke about DTR talks (Define The Relationship talks): you know, the kinds of talks where someone sits you down in a car and says “So, what are we exactly?” and you make that swift and cute leap into dating, sleeping in the same bed, weekly Friday Flowers, and a honeymoon period that lasts approximately a month until you have your first pointless fight over some miscommunication.
But in actuality, I realize it’s probably pretty important. It’s probably important to make sure that you communicate with your significant other what your boundaries and anxieties are.