The talk always begins the same way then dives off in one of two directions. ” is the question I ask — the logical question to ask — when a male friend describes a woman he’s been seeing regularly and exclusively. Sometimes he says, “I don’t know.” It’s as though relationships are the same as good weather, something that just happens to you.Is being exclusive the same as being someone’s significant other? Old me would have said yes too, but now I think I’m changing camps.“Because social and economic circumstances in today’s world are highly unstable, working through these tasks has become difficult,” wrote the Bowling Green State University authors, “leading emerging adults to postpone long-term commitments in favor of less restricting short-term involvements.” This has led to a split in categorizing one’s love life — on one hand you have your “romantic relationships” i.e.official significant others, and on the other you have your “romantic experiences” aka dates, crushes, and hookups.You can’t confidently define these “romantic experiences” as negative.In a 2012 paper, young adults stated they considered “friends with benefits” (FWB) a good way to test drive a relationship — 25 percent of the men and 40 percent of the women hoped it would progress into something more committed. I don't know what it means to really be dating someone. But he says that if someone asked if he was dating anyone, he'd say no. But the fact that he thinks that we're not even dating makes me feel like sh*t. As in, never dated before so we don't know what we're doing. It's just dating and he won't even say that we're dating.
Stephanie Amada, a faculty member in the Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures at Michigan State University, told me that she sees being significant others with someone as entirely separate from being exclusive — because words.During “experimenting” you are realizing you both think fedora hats are stupid. But it seems like the “intensifying” and “integrating” phases are becoming hazy in modern dating: You’re a couple at a BBQ, but you don’t want to use labels.You’re not sleeping with anyone else, but they aren’t your girlfriend.“I don’t know if I can put my finger on what makes it different, but as someone who works with language, I think the words we use are really important,” says Amada.“How we identify ourselves, with words, is important.