Labels, Labels, Labels…

Is this a date? Are we a couple? Are you my boyfriend? Am I your girlfriend? What are we? You know the kind of questions I’m talking about. Most of you have either asked some of these questions or answer them. The question I want to ask is why are we so preoccupied with classifications of relations instead of just relating. The truth of the matter is regardless of what a persons tells you what you are to them, it will not change how they decide to treat you. It seems like most of us are brewing with latent insecurities ready to break out any minute which forces us to be in demand of some form of security. But ask yourself this question. Has declaring someone your boyfriend, girlfriend, or even wife or husband ever stopped the relationship from breaking down? In fact you will find that most of the time issues start to come up after whatever you have has been made ‘official’. This is because giving it a label comes with a set of rules and expectations. Before it’s official every act and gesture is voluntary and void of expectations. I don’t have to buy you something on your birthday, unless I want to. I don’t have to take you out for dinner, unless I want to. People appreciate each other a lot more in this phase because they have no expectations. But as soon as it’s official we are expected to do certain things. Expectations lead to let downs, let downs lead to quarrels, quarrels lead to breakups. Giving relationships labels also breeds possessiveness because you feel this is ‘my’ boyfriend or ‘my’ girlfriend and now you start to dictate what is acceptable to you for a partner and so begins the emotional smothering.

Far be it from me to ride in on a high horse as I have once been in the shoes of dictator (not as bad as most), but I suppose the whole point of growing up is learning from mistakes. I have also been burdened with expectations (thanks to the ridiculous high standards I initially set for myself). In an ideal world I would vote for absolute freedom in love but we do not live in an ideal world so I would say until the point of marriage we should learn to give people the freedom to live without expectations. Nothing terrifies me as much as someone saying they can’t live without me. That is just too much pressure. Instead of rushing into relationships hoping that this other person will make us whole, maybe we should consider being whole in ourselves already. In other words if you ever find yourself thinking that you ‘need’ someone, you are doing something wrong. Our parents generation enjoyed a lot more freedom because they didn’t suffer from over communication via cell phones and social media. Besides the moment they shared in person they were free to live their life as they wanted to. I will leave you with a saying from the great philosopher that is Jay-Z:

They say if you love it, you should let it out its cage
And f*ck it, if it comes back you know it’s there to stay


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