Exclusively dating vs boyfriend
“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.
What makes this harder to navigate is the fact that people interpret social relationships so differently.
A man who has chosen to go anonymous but said I could refer to him as a “freelance lovemaker” thinks exclusivity and being significant others are one in the same. “When I’m exclusive with someone I like, it’s primarily my desire that I don’t need to worry about if she is being with other people,” says 25-year-old Bryn.
When you put a label on it, an identifier, it [the relationship] does feel more serious and more important.” When a woman I know, Janelle, first began dating her boyfriend exclusively, she thought she didn’t care if they used the titles “boyfriend/girlfriend.” They joked around that they were “just friends” even though it was obviously not true.
“But one night some emotional trigger goes off in my brain and I finally explain that the ‘just friends’ joke is too vulnerable for me,” says Janelle.
In the debate over whether exclusive relationships are official relationships, the importance of language can’t be minimized.