Homegirl, this is the tenth time you’ve showed up to a family gathering with the same man. You two are strolling into the barbeque while holding hands, eating off of each other’s plates, and can’t keep your hands off of each other. To everyone on the outside, you look like a couple. But every time you introduce your new boo, you tell everyone that he’s just your “friend.” Truth be told, everyone including you and Prince Charming know that you and him are more than just friends. How long will this person remain your “friend”? What are your future intentions? If you can relate to this scenario, this post is for you.

Let’s keep it all the way real: you and your “friend” are arguably exclusive and have been for some time. You share a lot of quality time together either at his place or yours, you’ve met one another’s family, you talk on the phone all the time, you think of him often, and you are intimate, too. (Between you and me, you’d even flip out if another woman intruded upon your territory.) From the outside, your friendship has all the trappings of a romantic relationship, but it is not because you two are simply “friends.”

This phase of a new relationship is healthy. You are getting to know the other person and deciding if you can take the relationship to the next level. I advocate taking your time in this phase of the relationship; however, I do not think it should linger for too long. How long is too long? Only you and your significant other can answer that question. However, there are signs that will let you know that this friendship must end and either progress into a committed relationship or regress to a true friendship with no added benefits which are listed in the previous paragraph. (Please note that the list above is not all inclusive.) If you or your boo begin to ask the following questions, you have to make some decisions: “When are we going to become more than just friends?”; “Do you ever see yourself in a committed relationship with me?”; “How long do you expect me to wait?”; “You don’t want me to see someone else, yet you won’t make a commitment. When are you going to make up your mind?”

All too often, one lover will soon want more while the other lover would rather keep the status quo for various reasons. I refer to this lingering phase of a romantic “friendship” as purgatory. It’s not heaven or hell, but it’s not a good place to be chilling in either. You are in limbo, a very precarious situation. It is only human nature that two individuals who share their time, minds, and bodies with one another will develop strong, territorial feelings for one another. In addition to the intense feelings, certain expectations and desires develop which must be met and fulfilled at some point. If these expectations and desires are not met, as my sister would say, “Somebody’s gonna get their feelings hurt!”

Here’s an example of why I don’t advocate staying “friends” for too long. Your “friend” decides to go on a date with another woman. Now, this is a no-no in this phase of the relationship. You find out and are about to catch a case. You feel betrayed and are hurt. Technically, you should not feel this way because you are not in a committed relationship with the other person, but you do.  Please note that “friends” don’t have too many rights in these kinds of situations. Tread lightly.

Many people, especially guys, cringe upon hearing the word “titles” when it comes to being in a relationship. “Why do we need titles anyway?” they ask. Titles are important and a necessity for some. They give lovers assurance that parameters and boundaries are placed upon the relationship. But most importantly the lovers become accountable to the other for their actions. This is what scares many people. They know that they will now have some explaining to do when they slip up. When titles aren’t involved people can easily say fall back on the excuse that they aren’t in committed relationships.

Don’t fall for this “friends” crap especially when you’re acting like you’re in a relationship. New lovers can not remain in the “friendship” phase for too long because someon’es going to get hurt. There are a few outcomes in this scenario. You will either become a committed couple, extremely frustrated (trying to stick it out as “friends”) or decide to call it quits.

I would love to hear what you think of this topic. All comments are welcomed and greatly appreciated.

Be blessed!

ShalenaD.I.V.A

P.S. Remember, everything has beauty including YOU! It just takes a true D.I.V.A to see it!

© 2013, Shalena D.I.V.A.- Author| Speaker| Life And Business Coach. All rights reserved.

4 comments on “Who Needs a Title? by ShalenaD.I.V.A”

  1. I concur. It’s funny because I myself am in this same situation. I am dating someone for 5 months now and we are “friends”. I am cautious of saying “boyfriend” because I know that will change everything. I am inclined to wait until the 6th month to be “boyfriend/girlfriend” because I feel this is ample time to know if this is the real deal. I agree with what you said as far as the ‘in-between’ it is not a good place to be-but it’s safe and worst comes to worst as “friends” we both can walk away unharmed.

    • Deja, thank you for visitign my blog. I think you’re doing the right thing by taking your time in your current situation. This friend stage is cool, just don’t stay there too long because although you don’t put titles on it, you’re going to start acting like his woman and quite naturally develop feelings associated with it. And he can’t get mad at that. Give it some more time and then decide where YOU want to take it.

      Thanks for commenting!

  2. I understand your precaution maybe from your experience, quite frankly S.Diva it depends on your age and stage. I have a friend I even refer to him as a brother. We talked about marriage early in the relationship and it’s been over 10 years. I’m glad that circumstances prohibited me from moving like a train into a marriage because when we connected I was in a vulnerable state. He’s older and more experienced and he moved with precaution of what he knew about himself and what he wasn’t sure about with me. I can be difficult to read. He was engaging the topic at first and I thought even the idea but when I received my divorce decree he seemed to have changed his mind about the concept. I was crushed at first but not brutally because I had not even considered God in the plan or process. I was in my own way. So it was a wake up call for me. I had to regroup on my emotions. I had to re-evaluate my motive. I had to be honest with myself. I eventually had to return to my first love. I even had to repent. I still love this brother, no doubt. I must admit it’s even a safe place for me to have him as a friend but that is the way we began the relationship, from brother and sister in the Lord to friends. I am someplace in my life and he is another place in his, we are about 10 years apart. I have a lot of respect for him and have always admired him. He’s a friend in deed, no strings attached. He respects the fact that Jesus is my first love. However when we yoked up I just knew he was my Jesus in the flesh. I don’t even take that from him now. I call him my pastorial poet. We are connected although we are apart. It may be just a dream for me to anticipate one day we’ll be married, however it’s a good dream and if I ever wake up I’ll testify like Phebe Snow, you may be too young to know her this song, “No Regrets”.
    Good Topic, remember age and stage. I no spring chicken.
    Friendly Christian

    • Friendly, Christian, I totally agree with you in that one’s age, circumstances and experience all play a role in this situation. When I offer advice, I never assume that it’s a one size fits all solution and alwasy interject myself into the picture because my advice is based largely upon my own experience that I have found to be common among other women.

      Question for you: why is it that as soon as a woman in the church finds a man she’s attracted to, she’s almost automatically out of Gopd’s will. In the church I grew up in, it seemed like a woman was automatically backsliding as soon as folks got wind of her being attracted to a man. The go-to answer is always about being unequally yoked. In today’s church, what is a good black woman to do when the men in the church barely take up the first two pews on the left side fo the church? I pray she doesn’t date a man who attends another church ’cause that’s just as bad as dating a sinner in some church folks’ eyes.

      This is a sad situation for many women in the church. Part of your comment caused me to go off on this tangent, but I’d liek to get your thoughts on this.

      Be blessed!

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