How Do You Know You’re In A Relationship? – Denise Li

“I thought we were exclusive two months ago!”

In a non-Cosmo-approved poll done among my attached friends (like, um, 5 of them), only one say for certain when she entered a relationship.

That person is me.

I admit, it took a few pints of liquid courage for me to ask him, “So, I’m leaving for Singapore tomorrow. Are we, like, exclusive?”, but the fact remains: I asked. And I got an answer (pretty obvious by now what it was).

The thing is … I really don’t get how other people do it. And by “it”, I mean, coast along in this grey dating phase, then one day … BAM! You’re in a relationship. At least, you think you are. I mean, because you’ve been seeing each other every weekend, texting every day, holding hands, and he’s been affectionate, and not just in bed.

I really don’t know how so many people can deal with that sort of uncertainty. If there is no verbal agreement of exclusivity, how exactly do people celebrate anniversaries? Is it the day they met? The day they first tumbled into bed together?

To me, if you don’t have “The Talk”, there’s so much potential for your mind to be screwed with. For instance: how do you know he’s not seeing other people? After all, if there’s no mention of commitment, then he’s technically not doing anything wrong. See how dangerous that is?

A lot of women say, “It’s a pride thing”. They don’t think they should be the ones making the move to make it official. I’m sorry, but I think that’s stone-age thinking. It just doesn’t make sense, based on logic alone. Wouldn’t you have more to lose if you started thinking all along that you and your guy were in a relationship, only to find out later that he was actually seeing – or worse, sleeping with – someone else on the side? The worst thing is, because you didn’t actually make it official, you actually gave up your right to go ballistic on him in such a situation.

I know, I know … if Hollywood started thinking the way I did, there’d be no more romantic comedies. But, seriously … real life is complicated enough as it is without love coming in and creating a huge mess of things. To me, love is like a good piece of grass-fed beef. If it’s of good quality, it doesn’t require much embellishment. And drama is unnecessary dressing.

Anyway, if my poll is anything to go by, up to 80 percent of you are, or have been, trapped in an almost-relationship. Whether it’s because you’re not quite sure how to bring up the subject to your guy, or because you’re using him as a “crutch” while waiting for someone to better to come along, I say, ditch the uncertainty once and for all. Check out “What To Do When You’re In An Almost-Relationship” on p70 of the August issue to find out how exactly to deal with this delicate situation.

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