(The following is a re-post from the blog I Hate 2 Date.)
How many times have you found yourself in a situation, a relationship, a dynamic where you are with someone and yet not officially “with” them. Not their boyfriend/girlfriend? This non-committal phenomenon is older than the hills although now we have new ways of describing it. Friends With Benefits, F*ck Buddies, BFF’s, or just Friends without any label.
I seem to find myself in this situation over and over throughout my life. And even with my ageless wisdom, cannot figure out why. The difference as we get older, is to figure out how to make this a mutually beneficial situation….or at least enjoy what you can get out of the no-strings dynamic.
How do we end up or start out in this funk, for lack of a better term? Sometimes you meet someone, like them, but for whatever reason, realize there is no future or potential for anything but friendship. Other times, we come out of a relationship where we still really care about the person and want to keep some sort of ties. And the other explanation….that’s when one person wants all the good stuff but none of the obligations, labels or commitment of a full-fledged relationship.
As I’ve gotten older I’ve come to realize that relationships are hard. Finding them, keeping them, staying in them, not wanting to end them, and not wanting to kill the other person involved. I’m amazed how anyone gets together, no less stays together these days – and not at all surprised by the 50% divorce rate. Now take a person out of a bad relationship, they’re cautious, they’ve been burned, they pray they won’t make the same mistakes again. So does the subsequent love interest get a learned man/woman or damaged goods?
This brings me to another interesting thought….how much should you reveal to your current love about your ex-love? How much do you really want to know (and are prepared to know about) an ugly relationship gone south? All I know is every story has two sides, but surely you are only going to hear the version that undoubtedly blames the ex-monster, villain or she-devil. So if she was a controlling shrew or he verbally assaulted his ex, what’s the chance those behaviors are set to repeat themselves at some point down the road? How much do we really learn and how much do people actually change?
Getting back to the original topic, I suppose the conundrum only comes when one party wants something more than the other and the un-boyfriend situation is just not going to cut it any more. So until that point in time, labels are useless, and friendship, trust and respect are paramount. Isn’t that what we’re all looking for anyhow?