Thought Catalog

How To Date With No Labels

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Nathan McBride

I’m in my early 20s and I cannot count how many times I have been asked out. On the contrary, I have struggled with the current dating trends, not that I get too attached easily, or that I actually fall in love, but because these trends are really a complicated.

I used to hear stories from my parents, on how they would ask a girl out or how they are being asked out, and right now, it seems like the “in” type of relationships are those who have no labels at all.

So I’m writing this for young ones out there, our even those in their 20s but still hasn’t figured out all of this. It took me a while to get the hang of it, but you too will surely get it soon enough.

1. Enjoy the situation – A lot of millennials right now tend to overthink the situation especially if you like the person. We tend to over-analyze things and forget that dating is actually fun, and that you’re supposed to meet new people not to stress yourself but to enjoy it. The first tip I can give to new “thing” that you’re having with someone is to just “go with the flow” and allow yourself to loosen up in the process. We wouldn’t want to press a guy/girl to instantly like us.

2. Get to know the person, get to know yourself – Dating in your 20s also allows you to get to know what you want, who you want, how you want things to be. It is the best time to explore your relationships, while building yourself along the process. There will be times that you need to rethink if in the future, would you be willing to adjust to certain things or habits. 20s is the best time because it’s when you are still adaptive and open to change.

3. Stick to what you deserve – If you feel that what you’re getting from this “relationship” is not what you deserve, have the courage to ask for it or at least meet halfway with the person. After all, even if you don’t have any labels at all, it’s still a relationship with a person, and it is only right to get what you deserve.

4. Don’t give out privileges – If the person wouldn’t be willing to adjust, why would you give him/her the privilege of getting more than what is expected. Always take into consideration the things you are not required to do, and unless both of you would agree to call yourselves a “couple”, no privileges should be given.

5. Be prepared to walk away – In cases wherein, it gets too complicated, prepare yourself to leave the situation and the person. This is kinda tricky as you might be thinking “how do you actually break up with someone who’s not yours to begin with“. The thing is, you still spent time and material with a person, so the “breaking up” part should be necessary. Have the courage to do it when needed.

I’m not saying this kind of set up would always fall apart. I have known some who have started with no labels, fell for each other and actually became a couple. The ultimate advice I can give is to know what you want, then make a decision from there. Never ever sacrifice what you want, to a lesser version of it. TC mark

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