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