Why do we need labels?

14:46 Lissa Reed 0 Comments


   Friend, boyfriend, fuck buddy, husband, partner… Friend, girlfriend, mistress, wife…. Why do we always need to use the labels? This is my first post that I don’t tell a story about myself, but instead about my friend Vivi and her experience with someone. Maybe I sound too self-centered, so I realized it’s about time I give other peoples' experiences as well!! Yesterday, while we were out shopping in London and stopped for a nice Mcflurry, Vivi decided it was about time to tell me her concerns over a guy she’s seeing, which brought up a lot of questions in my mind, which I naturally decided to share with you.

   At the beginning of this year Vivi was going out with a guy named Dan. Their relationship was short and brief and never clear how it ended. The closest thing she could come to a conclusion was that he wasn't ready for a relationship.  Months after that ended, she met a really nice guy called Ed. Since she met Ed I remember her being quite happier and smiling more often, but when she talks about him she always says ‘we are just friends’.  When I saw them together  a couple of times, they were being really flirty with each other (I didn't stalk them, I just bumped into them! I always need material for my blog, but I wouldn't go that far… hopefully!), but she always kept saying that nothing was going on and they were just friends. That was until one day, she came up to me while I was in the library revising (no way to get out of exams!) and she told me that she spent the night at his place. I knew there was something more to it than ‘just friends’, but she seemed quite skeptical about it. “We had a really nice time, he cooked for me and he makes me laugh… .we made out and then fell asleep together, but I don’t want to have sex with him or be in a relationship with him”. She kept saying that nothing more was going to happen and that he was great and made her laugh but they should just be friends. I didn't want to contradict her then because I knew the subject would make her uncomfortable and waited until she came to talk to me about it.

   So yesterday, somewhere between Urban Outfitters and Topshop she turned and told me “I still spend a lot of time with him, I miss him when I don’t see him for a few days and we talk every day, but  I don’t know what’s going on”. Naturally I asked her what she wanted from him and she frowned for a minute until she said “Well, I know I don’t want a relationship with him, or to have sex, but  I like him,  I like to hang out with him and I like to make out with him sometimes and sleep together… I don’t know what this is! I have to figure out if I want him as a friend or a boyfriend”.  Now it was my turn to frown and ask her “Why? Why does it have to be one or the other? Why can’t you have fun the way you and him want to?” , to which she answered “Well, I don’t know what to tell people, are we friends or are we a couple?” By that point I was in deep thought and I pointed out that none of it matters, it doesn't matter what she will tell people, they can do whatever they like in their own privacy. I remember her saying “Deep inside we all care what other people think, even if we pretend not to” … I had to admit she was right. So I gave her the best advice I could “Do whatever you want, tell people you are just friends. Whatever you do in the privacy of your house is your own business”. Just when I thought the conversation was over and I had solved the problem (maybe I shouldn't think too much of myself!) she turned and said “But I don’t feel comfortable with it. I don’t know what we are, we are not just friends, we are not boyfriend and girlfriend, we are not fuck buddies… we are just something!” That was when I started thinking about labels.

  As much as I would like to think so, it’s not just Vivi that wants labels, it’s most of us. If we don’t know what’s going on with the guy, if we can’t point our finger and name it, then suddenly we get uncomfortable. What will everyone else think? What are we doing?  Truth is, most of the time we don’t have everything clear in our minds; if we are not somewhere between dating and a relationship, then we are somewhere between friends and fuck buddies, and if we are not somewhere between couple and friends, we are somewhere between a relationship and a break up…. Why does it always have to be something?

  We girls are, by nature, perfectionists. We need to be able to define and explain everything perfectly, so it is only natural that when it comes to relationships we want the same thing. But after my afternoon of shopping with Vivi, I couldn't help but wonder: Why do we need labels to make it work? Why can’t we just go with the flow? Maybe, labels, just like in fashion, make us ‘wear’ it comfortably and with confidence, enabling us to show it off and share it with the world. Boyfriend, friend, fuck buddy, lover, husband… maybe it’s like Prada, Chanel, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and so on. Maybe it’s because of the way we grew up, in a society that judges everything, we need to be able to explain ourselves to anyone that asks for an explanation.  Later on, after contemplating on the subject for a few hours, I got a text from Vivi saying “I just realized, that’s exactly what I did wrong with Dan. I tried to put a label on him (boyfriend) that he wasn't ready for. That’s why it ended so soon!” and I had to admit, she was right! Dan ran off because Vivi wanted to jump into something that he wasn't ready for. I guess labels aren't always good after all. If Vivi had gone with the flow back then, maybe she would have hit it off with Dan, but we’ll never know.

   So my advice to all of you out there that are somewhere between relationships, dating, friends, fuck buddies and so on, is: if you are enjoying what you are doing, then just go with the flow. Don’t be in hurry to put a label on it; that will come on its own. Right now, there might not be a label for it; it might as well just be… something, or anything. Eventually all the pieces will fall into place... Until then, laugh at the confusion and live for the moment.The important thing is if you are enjoying it, then that’s all that matters. And when it comes to what others think… well, the less they know the better!
By the way, please send me your stories to get inspired from and I will create posts from your stories as well, with conclusions and advises (if I can find any!). You can contact me at livefornow1992@gmail.com
Comment and tell me if you are experiencing something similar, and how much you like labels! 

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