This has become of the most dreaded questions for us, not quite adults, that are part of the dating scene, and it has become harder and harder to answer over the years. You can see it now; you're in the car with your girl friends who are talking about their inconspicuous romantic encounters. And then they bring up your latest interest by asking, "So, what are you two?" leaving you in an extremely awkward position as you actually have to face the million dollar question. What do you say when the guy you're into doesn't fit the typical categories of talking, boyfriend or even friends with benefits?
Well luckily for us, our generation has created a word for this awkward phase: a "thing". The perfect alternative for uncommitted men when they want to keep the same girl around without any of the so called hassles a relationship contains. The phase where you both realize there is a clear mutual interest between the two of you, but one person (or sometimes both) are not ready for a full blown relationship. But the "thing" phase comes with so many pitfalls, that I can hardly see why anyone would want to be in one.
First of all, there comes a point where one of the two people (typically the girl) sees that it's time to DTR (define the relationship), but with that comes a fear that if such thoughts are spoken aloud that you will "mess things up". And speaking from personal experience, it's not necessarily an irrational thought; I have no desire to initiate that conversation again. No one should feel scared to ask the person they're invested in what they mean to them.
Also, another issue, and the main reason I despise this phase in dating, is that exclusivity isn't always promised. You're put into a position where you feel as if you have no right to get upset if he fails to text you back or is flirting with another girl at a party. Sure, this may be alright to some girls but definitely not me. Why would I ever want to put myself in the position where I am constantly put into situations that make me secretly jealous but can't really do much about it besides ditch the guy. I don't want to get emotionally invested in someone who can simply disappear on a whim. But in college dating, there appears to be a trend that whoever cares less is winning, and let's just say I'd always be the loser in this game.
So long story short, absolutely none of this appeals to me.
Call me old fashioned, but I actually prefer and enjoy committed relationships. Maybe I'm crazy, but a relationship that offers mutual respect, devotion and admiration sounds a lot more enticing. While casual dating is often see as the gold standard in college and everyone says it's more fun to not be in a committed relationship during these years, it's not my cup of tea. Who says I won't have just as much fun with one person who provides me with the respect I deserve and won't make me feel like it's only a matter of time before I'm disposed of.
Casual dating doesn't work well for me, I can't deal with balancing several guys at once. I want to give the guy I'm interested in my undivided attention; that's what he deserves and what I feel like I deserve as well.
Now I'm not saying I would want to dive into a relationship really quickly. I understand that several weeks are necessary to test the waters with someone; no one is going to jump into a relationship right of the bat, but there comes a time where if he really wants to be with you he will commit, not make you suffer through the awkward and uncomfortable phase of being a "thing" for a prolonged amount of time.
While this dating phase may work for some people, I definitely do not belong in this dating limbo. Any guy I actually want in my life wouldn't need several months to decide whether or not he wants to call me his girlfriend.
Then again, maybe I should just stay single and live happily ever after with my cats.