How To Not Make “Defining Your Relationship” More Awkward Than It Already Is

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Commitment is scary. It’s why choosing a place to go out to dinner is 40 times more difficult than it sounds. It’s also why when people hear the word “relationship,” they sometimes jump out of bed, fly through the window, and run 40 miles into the wilderness never to return.

Defining a relationship is an art that’s very difficult to master. Despite the premise being laughably black and white (should we be monogamous in exchange for emotional and sexual backing?), it’s also something that’s inherently situational. Age, career-related concerns, and whether or not they chew on ice will all inevitably play a major role. That said here’s a few tips on making the process slightly less awkward.

1. If You’re Gonna Have A “What Are We?” Talk, Don’t Do It:

  • After having sex (this is cruel and manipulative)
  • In public (a very scary proposition)
  • AFTER you’ve asked him/her to meet your parents (you’re doomed)

2. Ease Into It As Much As Possible

I was at the movies last week and saw a really funny trailer for That Awkward Moment, a bromantic comedy of sorts starring Zacky-Zac Efron. It’s a movie about two dudes who make a pact with their recently dumped roommate to stay single together, only to find themselves falling for their hookups in the process.

I bring this up because this is pretty much how things seem to happen now; you initially start casual, you slowly progress while “not ruining a good thing,” and then you hit the point of no return. As odd as it may sound, defining the relationship during that second phase can often spell doom. Best to ease rather than to press.

3. Don’t Antagonize

Being too accusatory can have some pretty unfortunate consequences. It’ll put the other person on the defensive, which establishes a bad tone for the relationship in general. Choosing the right words when confronting the issue is probably the most important thing. And if you have to do too much convincing, you’re probably in the wrong pseudo-relationship.

4. Don’t Forget That You’re Supposed To Be Having Fun

Going back to That Awkward Moment, Miles Teller and Zac Efron’s characters don’t seem to want a relationship. It’s just that they’re having the time of their lives, and have zero intention of doing anything else but having as much fun as possible.

When you’re having that much fun, why wouldn’t you want to just hang out all the time?  Sometimes, less thought is more.

5. Don’t Want It For The Label’s Sake

Wanting to “be in a relationship” just for the sake of getting to say that you are in a relationship two minutes into every conversation intrinsically means that you care more about the prospect of being in a relationship than you do the actual relationship. This is something that spells serious doom, not matter what side of the gender coin you’re on.

As long as you really care about the person, and the other person cares about you, things will tend to label themselves. Hopefully.

Catch That Awkward Moment in theaters January 31st. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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