It seems that the more I push myself into the world of “dating,” the more I realize that “Relationshipville” is a really ambiguous hamlet next to a very nondescript town — and all of its residents are ignorant to the laws that govern their society.
Confession: the most romantic way I’ve ever been asked out is through an automated Facebook e-mail that said, “Lazy McScaredpants requests to be in a relationship with you. Sign-in to confirm.” I only saw this email because he logged off of my computer in my tiny dorm room and said, “Go check your Facebook.” It was all very subtle.
Let’s all take a moment to be jealous of my swoon-worthy love life.
This Facebook proposal lead to a very interesting conversation with Mr. Lazy. You see, I thought we were already “in a relationship” because, you know, he bought me dinner, we went to movies, we met each other’s parents, we exchanged gifts, and we even did the horizontal mambo.
Apparently all of this doesn’t a relationship make. According to Mr. Lazy we were “dating,” which he describes as a relationship minus the commitment. We were only “in a relationship” after he sent the oh-so Shakespearean Facebook request.
“So how long have we been together?” I inquired.
“We dated for 2 years, but now we’ve been in a relationship for two days,” Mr. Lazy said.
“So you’ve only been my boyfriend for two days?” I said.
“Yes,” he said.
It’s no wonder that Facebook has an “it’s complicated” option because it’s ALWAYS complicated. Somewhere past my moderately feminist exterior, I wish it were still the 1950s, and the start of a “boyfriend-girlfriend” relationship was as simple as him slipping you his class ring at the drive-in and asking you to “go steady” — and then maybe you would “neck” in the backseat. Sigh, where are Cory and Topanga when you need them?
Relationships are so much more of an issue these days. There’s no way to tell if that guy you’ve been “dating” is really your boyfriend or just a “hook-up” unless you have an awkward conversation, in which you generally find out that one person is more invested than the other.
It seems that the Gen Y-ers fit into one of two categories. They’ve either been with their significant other for years (high school, early college, etc.), or they’re out playing the field.
People don’t just “become” boyfriend and girlfriend overnight anymore. It’s usually a long time coming — like my situation with Mr. Lazy.
I still say my longest relationship has been three years, but I guess it’s really two years of dating and one year of relationship. But it’s not like I can tell people that complicated mess because (A) they don’t care, and (B) who sticks around that long without confirmed commitment, anyway?
Ever since that conversation, when I discovered that my boyfriend had never really been my boyfriend, I always wonder if he hooked up with or spent some emotionally significant time with other girls while I thought we were together. He probably did, considering many of my male friends have told me some version of “unless there’s a ring you can still have a fling.”
Am I the only one who feels like we need a “Generation Y: Dating and Relationships for Dummies”: an all-inclusive manual which doesn’t rely on Facebook or other social media to forge real-life romantic encounters?
Until there is, I guess I’ll just be looking forward to my Twitter “@” reply break-up.