Fill in the blank

Hey, this is my ____________.

a. girlfriend. b. friend. c. lover. or d. person I spend a lot of time with but have no idea what to label her. 

We are a consumer nation. We like our brand names, and we like our titles, so it’s no different in relationships. My name is Liz, and I’m a journalist. “Hi, this is my boyfriend,” or “Hi, this is my roommate.”

Progressing in a new relationship can be just as tricky as filling in the bubbles on some standardized tests. Is the answer a, b or even d? Unfortunately, the answers to these sorts of questions can’t be found in the back of the book. 

Most girls don’t want to be “that girl,” and they certainly don’t want to be the one to start “that talk.” So Jane avoids the conversation. She goes along with the fun, enjoys Joe’s company and secretly wonders how he will introduce her.

It is a dangerous game to play. Not because you might get ninja kicked, but because you may find Joe doesn’t think of you as anything other than a friend. (It works both ways, too. Joe may find Jane isn’t into him “that” way despite all their talking and hanging out.) 

The best solution is to feel it out, i.e. read between the lines. If Joe starts calling often, asking to meet up, giving Jane lots of compliments, chances are he’s pretty into her. But if Joe only returns phone calls every-so-often and seems distant, he’s probably not thinking long term. 

Take off the rose-colored glasses and examine the small stuff: how often he calls, or what sort of attitude he has. And then put it to the test. I am not suggesting going crazy here. Don’t take every comment to heart; just think about it.  

If he brings up his friends, but doesn’t offer Jane a chance to meet them, something may be up. There could be plenty of reasons why he doesn’t want Jane to meet his friends. So try to pinpoint why. Make clear you are available, even drop some hints. If Joe isn’t too sharp and doesn’t quite “catch your drift,” well, that’s about all you can do short of starting “the talk.” 

It can be worrisome thinking about titles. But if you are content with the relationship, then forget what the outside world thinks. Does it matter what you call it? It is what it is. 

And if you can’t bring yourself to be “that girl,” well then maybe you don’t really want that title after all. Having those sorts of tough conversations, no matter how unpleasant, are key in maintaining a good romance. If Jane and Joe can’t discuss their whatever-it’s-called now, how will they ever communicate about the really tough issues?   

So maybe you don’t need try and de-code what he is thinking. It just comes down to how comfortable Jane feels being just Jane, no title. 

2 Responses to “Fill in the blank”
  1. fel says:

    i take it syd told you my little mishap…

    but surprisingly i feel like that awkward situation actually bought us closer together. i think that split second can do a lot for a relationship, good and bad. as awkward as it can be i think it is a moment that should be embraced, it really tells people a lot about how to interpret their relationship.

  2. Liz says:

    Sorry, Fel, I don’t know the story. Will you enlighten us?

    But I can already tell you have a great idea. Its true that putting it to the test may be the best way to get the answer, it might not be what you want to hear, but then again, you never know.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

  • Calendar

    October 2008
    M T W T F S S
        Nov »
  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 1,278 other followers

  • Archives

%d bloggers like this: