I’m not talking about the almost relationship that never formulated into the all-consuming love affair that filled your dreams. Or the friends with benefits agreement you made purely to satisfy your sexual desires, a companion that occupied your empty bed. Or the week-long romance that captivated you, reeling you in with excitement, only to disappear before the Monday morning workday began.
I’m referring to the relationships that you never bothered to define or question. The ones that made your heart feel whole, complete without the complications of a relationship status. The ones that were imperfectly perfect as they were, that you never wanted to change a thing. Having a title was meaningless to you, an unnecessary label on an already molded partnership. A disruption to a life you couldn’t imagine living any other way.
You worried that defining your relationship would begin to feel like a chore. A responsibility or an agreement that you made with the other person. An unofficial vow to go through life with this person until one of you decides it’s over. You’d feel an obligation to attend social gatherings with them, to spend holidays with their family, schedule regular phone calls and date nights. Things that you would proudly do and looked forward to without the pressures of feeling like you had to do them. You enjoyed nighttime recaps and evening walks hand in hand, reminiscent of the first few weeks you started dating, a honeymoon phase that never ended.
The best types of relationships are the ones without any expectations. Where society norms are not influencing your decisions and timelines for marriage and starting a family aren’t weighing on your minds. When the relationship can grow naturally on its own, blossoming or unraveling with no strings attached. When an argument could be just that and not the steppingstones of a breakup to be announced via a Facebook status.
In previous relationships, you emphasized the terms boyfriend and girlfriend because to you, it signified that you were a couple. You thought that was what you were supposed to do to make it real or exclusively yours. A proclamation of your love broadcasted for the world to see. But the titles never made you care for your significant other any more than before. Because the best relationships you ever had were the ones without labels. They were easy, simple, straightforward without any confusion on where either of you stood. You both cared for each other and that was enough for you—no explanation needed.
Labels should be seen as something you put on your unused boxes buried in your closet or to organize your craft drawers. They make items neat and in order, rather than to define people’s personal lives. You might find them useful when searching for a scarf or old treasures you had stored away, but not to indicate what you are to someone.
The best types of relationships are the ones without labels. Where seeing each other for who you really are is more important than identifying how the world should see you. Where the heart can feel what it wants without any guidance or direction from a status forced upon you. When the love you share cannot be tampered with or altered because the bond is stronger than you ever thought possible. The best types of relationships are the ones without labels, because a labelless love is the best kind of love.