If There’s Going To Be An Us, I Need To Know What We Are

Kessy Silva
Kessy Silva

“I don’t like labels,” he said, leaning across the center console of his car to kiss me on the cheek. “Labels ruin things. And I like where we are right now.”

I mulled that over in my mind for a second. He was right, I guess. Right in the fact that sometimes labels can restrict how two people really feel about each other, pigeon-holing them into these expectations of ‘love’ and ‘dating’ and being ‘together.’ He was right in the fact that labels can ruin the ease of two people getting to know each other, making it stiff or strange or uncomfortable.

But he was wrong, too.

He was wrong because ‘what we are right now’—that’s a phrase I still can’t make sense of, can’t grasp, can’t put a finger on.

It’s not that I need to be his and his only. It’s not that I need some sort of title to make it all real. It’s not that I’m demanding something more than what we are just to be sure, to feel safe.

But I need to know what we are. I deserve that.

See, I’ve always been a label type of girl. I need to know that what we have is real. I need to know that it’s going somewhere, that there’s a purpose. I need to know who the two of us are, both when we’re together and apart.

And that’s not something I should feel bad about.

I’m the type of girl that likes to know what my relationships are defined as. I don’t need to be a girlfriend, but I need to know where I stand. Am I the only girl he’s talking to? Am I one in a line of many?

I need to know what I mean to the guy I’m with.

I think there’s such an expectation in today’s dating world surrounding labels. Labels are seen as unnecessary, that it’s better to keep things casual than try to label it too soon. That it’s better to be the ‘chill girl’ than the girl who wants to make things serious.

But I don’t want to be the chill girl, and I’m not.

Because I need to know, beyond a doubt, who I am with someone else and what it means. I need to know where we’re going, what the purpose is, how he feels about me and me about him.

Maybe there doesn’t have to be a set label, but where’s the honesty in that? What’s the point if there’s not something defined between us? Some sort of direction to know who we are and what we mean to each other?

Call me crazy, but I like labels.

I like knowing that when I’m with a guy, I’m with a guy. And that he’s with me. That we’re established as each other’s, or that it’s very clear we’re not.

Call me crazy, but I want it to all mean something. I want it to all matter.

So no, I won’t keep it casual, keep it ‘chill,’ keep it open ended.
I want to know where we stand because I care deeply.

And I think we all deserve to know where we stand. TC mark

Marisa Donnelly

Marisa is a writer, poet, & editor. She is the author of Somewhere On A Highway, a poetry collection on self-discovery, growth, love, loss and the challenges of becoming.

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