Merriam-Webster defines dating as going out on usually romantic dates. Makes sense. A simple term with a simple definition in a world where relationship jargon has become extremely messy. Jargon isn't the only thing that has become complex, but defining boundaries and types of relationships has also become highly involved. When did this all happen?
Going steady. Talking. Hooking up. What does this all translate to? The dynamics of courtship are ever mutating and honestly I'm confused. I still don't know what hooking up really means. And as many other women do, I hate grey areas. The act of dating already consists of its own set of intricacies, so clear definitions are a necessity to me.
I am amongst this set of 21st century women who are talking. Many times a simple, "How do you know John?" results in a, "We talk." We talk can mean anything from literally just being on speaking terms to openly dating to a full blown relationship that just doesn't have titles. Why do we accept these made up, overtly vague terms? Requesting definitions doesn't mean marriage, it's just a friendly, "So, what exactly is this?" Is that so terrible?
I know that too many questions scare off men my age, but if a simple question like that cannot be answered they probably needed to be dismissed anyhow. Figuring out what the relationship is helps to build the crucial boundaries needed to weigh out your options. The secret is that when no one knows what to call it, no one knows how to treat it. And there you are, trapped in a murky relationship that was no direction.
Courting, seeking the attention or affections of someone with dating potential. Dating, occasional dates and spending time with a person. Openly dating, then I'm free to see other people with potential. Exclusively dating, then I'm seeing one person. Wasn't that easy?! I thought so.
So, what exactly is this?
I refuse to be wandering in the shadows of shapelessness! However, once you define what you're doing you have to keep true to form. Only boyfriends get "boyfriend privileges" and only husbands receive "husband privileges" in my book. Date smarter, not desperate. Someone will respect your definitions and boundaries.