Why doesn’t my partner want to put a label on the relationship, what’s the big deal? Why can’t they just understand that I don’t want to label it?
If you have ever found yourself asking either of these questions then this article is for you! (Or maybe you can subtly send your romantic interest over here to read about it.)
As long as you are open and honest about what you want in your romantic encounters there is nothing wrong with not wanting to put labels on your romantic encounters. Without further delay here are 4 Reasons People DON’T Want to Label Relationships.
Just like with the 4 Reasons People Want to Label Relationships we are going to be looking at all of these reasons from the perspective of the Labels: Dating, In a Relationship, and Married. For definitions of these terms please click here to read the 4 Reasons People Want to Label Relationships.
Labels Come with Rules and Expectations
Labels come with rules! There is no getting around this the only way to have 0 rules and expectations is to have no labels. There are a lot of people that are not ready to give up even a portion of their freedom to be in a relationship right now. Just know that it is important not to force a relationship if both parties are not committed.
Dating: The likelihood of this happening with the dating label is pretty unlikely. With the definition of dating that we are using there is very little commit, but there is some loss of freedom that your romantic interest might not be into.
For example maybe you are asking them to go out every week and they just don’t want to give you that time. Or maybe you have decided you want to know about their other romantic partners. Meanwhile, the person you’re dating doesn’t think it is any of your business.
In A Relationship: When you move into the relationship label there is a much higher chance that one or both partners will feel the fear of commitment. At this point you are basically saying that you want to devote all the time that you allot for romantic encounters to them, because you aren’t allowed to see other people anymore.
Marriage: Marriage of course is about the biggest commitment you can make in a romantic relationship. As such it is the stage that the most people are afraid of! Committing the rest of your life to someone is a big step… I literally cannot even imagine it at this point in my life! Obviously you don’t have to be together forever. but this is definitely the hardest stage to get out of so it makes sense that people are the most hesitant to get into it.
Labels Send a Message to Everyone Else
Without a label you are just two people that happen to spend a decent amount of time together. This is good enough for some people. There is no real outside pressure. You’re friends and family might tease you but they won’t really know the nature of your relationship unless you tell them. This all changes when you decide to label it because now people outside the relationship have expectations.
Dating: When you say that you are dating someone people want to know things about the situation. When did you meet? How serious is it? Where are you going tonight? Your friends might also poke fun at you to see if they can get a reaction from you!
In A Relationship: Imagine the same thing as the dating stage except now it’s not only your friends. Your family is also trying to be involved in the relationship. When are we going to meet your girlfriend/boyfriend?
Your friends may also start to ask you intimate questions about the things you do together, such as,”Are you having sex yet?”
None of your damn business!
Marriage: This is the most public of the three. You wear a ring to signal it to the world! I think people have the most “advice” and questions for people who are married. All of a sudden everyone you know is an expert on love and relationships when you tell them you are married. Everyone and their brother will tell you what you are doing wrong and how you need to fix it.
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Labels are Expensive (Guys)
No I am not calling anyone a prostitute or gigolo, but if you have ever been dating, in a relationship, or married (especially my guys) then you know that it is EXPENSIVE! (This one is going to be written from a guy’s perspective. It seems pretty ingrained that the guy pays for a lot of things, at least that has been my experience.)
In the unlabeled friends with benefits zone you are a free agent. If the two of you go somewhere, you tell the server before they ask for your drink that it is separate. But all that changes when you get into a relationship.
Dating: Guys when you are taking someone on a date I would say 80% of the time you are going to be expected to pay. You at least have to offer to pay so that she can refuse. This just seems to be the way of the world. I’d say throughout the dating phase you will be paying for around 68% of the dates in total, and probably 85% of the food dates.
In A Relationship: Things might become a little more even at this point. I noticed that I would pay for about 50% of the dates, and still about 75% of the food. What is it with you girls and trying not to pay for your food???
Marriage: This of course is very different from the others because you share finances. So at this point I guess you could say everything is 50/50. Not really sure about this one, you married people will have to let me know!
“Now’s Really Not a Good Time”
Yeah this is waaaay overused! In fact it is to the point that when you want to break up with someone this has become one of the “go to” clichés! Assuming that they don’t just want to end things out right this tends to mean that they still like you. The current situation whether that be in their life presently or in yours makes them think that the label is either not necessary, or not worth it.
This one is basically the same at all levels of commitment!*
*Now I’m going to say something that a lot of people need to hear, but are not going to like.
Be very clear that I mean it…
THIS IS NOT YOUR CUE TO TRY HARDER! If someone says this to you believe them! You need/want someone who has time for you.
You are thinking that the right person can make someone look past all this. Just know that someone can really like or even love you, but still not want to put a label on things. Whether you are or are not their soulmate doesn’t really matter.
There are times when people will hold out on labels because they don’t feel that strongly about you. That is one reason that I wrote this list. However, the other reason that I wrote it is because sometimes you have to decide what is more important to you, the label or the feelings behind them!
So do you like labels? Do you think there are other reasons that people don’t want to label relationships? Let me know in the comments below!
Funny enough when I was writing 4 Reasons People Want to Label Relationships I was still dating my now ex-girlfriend. Maybe “funny” isn’t the word but it’s kinda funny because I had this article already planned out. I did that one first because I was worried that she would think I wanted to break up.
I did, but I didn’t want to tell her so passive aggressively.
So as it happens she recently realized that I didn’t really want the relationship label right now (at least not super long term) and we broke up 6 days ago. Which is still sad…my first break-up…its sucks, but to be honest I thought it would be a lot worse! Maybe it just hasn’t hit me yet?
I’ll get a post out about it soon, a debrief of my first “labeled” relationship. Until then the blog is going to be all about Christmas!!!