Monday, July 28, 2008

Love and Labels

So let's talk about labels today, well not designer labels, stereotypes, or those you find on a soup can. Let's talk about relationship labels. So the crew was having one of our typical e-mail chats. Yes we chat via e-mail during the day, I'm over 4,000 miles away.

Well, doing our daily chat we had a brief discussion about labels and how some men need them. I have to say it's very annoying. I have come to find I am not a girl who likes them. I am not a girl who needs them. I am not a girl who's dependent on them to move her life forward. The thing is I have never liked them, I think this is the first time I realized how much I don't need them. I was thinking back to the last time I was single. And how much I hated when people would ask me if my ex was my boyfriend. I would be like no he's just a friend boy. Wow I haven't used that term in a long time. Back then, in my gloriously stupid twenties, I had friend boys. It was my term of someone who was a friend with benefits who really had managed to be a friend. I guess if you had to order them you would meet a guy, kick in, move to fwb, friend boy and then boyfriend.

I mean after boyfriend there are only two more spots to the top. I guess that is why I don't like labels because in my life a boyfriend has always been a scary thing, it carries a lot more responsibilities and expectations than I have ever wanted. Even back then, I was afraid of being able to be a girlfriend. I guess that's why I don't worry about labels, because I don't like them. They feel confining. A label from a man is nothing more than a straight jacket to me.

So in our chat we were talking about why do relationships need a label. Why do we need boyfriends/girlfriends, fiancee, husband/wife? Actually I know why we need husband/wife, but I still don't know why we need boyfriend/girlfriend why can't we simply just enjoy one another until whatever comes no matter if whatever is the decision to become bf/gf or a decisions to part ways. It just seems to me when you spend any amount of time trying to define your relationship, you spend less time defining your relationship. Does that make sense.

I mean you spend so much time worried about all the things that the label list, instead of actually enjoying time with that person and learning all the things that will make the label meaningful. I think any time youspend worring about what you call a relationship is wasted time.

I like to think that if you are truly a couple You would know when it was time to make the move to the next phase of the relationship. If you find yourself arguing about what you are with your friend, then you should examine where you are. Whyis the label is so important and is arguing about having it more important than doing the things it takes to get it?

Spend more time being a friend, so a man feels like she really is my gal and my friend or so your woman says he is my home Boy and my friend. Then when the time is right you will both look around and see you are there. I by no means am saying don't ask for the label if you feel you are there, but if you arguing about getting the label. Then the problem is one of two things, your moving too fast or your moving too slow.

(To Be Continued )...blogger issues


it's spelt: j.e.n.i said...

"It just seems to me when you spend any amount of time trying to define your relationship, you spend less time defining your relationship. Does that make sense."

Wow, I completely agree with this post. This idea has been on my mind for the last 2 weeks. To me, the need for labels translates into a need to have the world know where we stand, like he feels a need to beat his chest and make sure everyone knows I'm claimed... and I don't need nor want that. 2 people should feel so secure in their connection that it doesn't matter what people think they are, what they're defined as, as long a they know, after all, they're the ones kicking it.

Torrance Stephens - All-Mi-T said...

well said
dont label me
makes my flesh crawl

Big Man said...

Don't labels tell people whether a relationship is exclusive or not? Isn't that the big use for them?

When you're just kicking it with someone, monogamy is not typically expected. But, when they graduate to boyfriend or girlfriend, it is.


Plus, different lables denote certain levels of committment. the higher the label, the more committed you are to a relationship.

OG, The Original Glamazon said...

Actually Big Man, no not at all. Labels do not do that your relationship does that, now someone may label you as someones girlfriend to get around the pure fact that you two are always with each other and don't really kick it with anyone else as hard. The reality is that you two could be labeled bf/gf and not have given the title to one another.

What a relationship is doesn't have to do anything with what its labeled. I have been someones wife and not had my husband live up to the Title he got or even had my marriage labeled as a good one when it wasn't. Labels are based on what others see and expect.

I mean if I am comfortable with loving someone and not having to be his girlfriend or wife and he is comfortable with that then who needs us to be bf/gf.

The world because we must classify and define instead of think about how we feel. When I am in love with a man I don't need him to be my bf to stop me from dating I natural just slow down and stop because I realize he is the one I want. Why rush that by pasting a label.

I have found the people who are quickest to label are the people who want to have some steak in things.

I guess all that stuff doesn't matter to me, what matters to me is the content of the relationship. Its taken me along time to get here and truly understand what makes me the happiest in a relationship is being happy and not being one's girl.

Hope that made some sense. There's more to come in the next two days about my journey to this spot of zen. *lol*

-OG said...

Hello there!

I know exactly what you mean about labels... and no... they are not necessary... BUT defining the relationship IS VERY necessary...

It is important for black women to stop falling for the okey doke... ASSUMING that there is a commitment just because homeboy is in her bed four nights a week...

Most men would not feel that there is an exclusive, serious romance happening JUST because he's in her bed four nights a week...

I know someone who used to refer to his child's mother as "my associate"...*LOL* Now THAT is just wrong...was she an associate when she was carrying your baby nine months?

Whenever someone has asked me "is that your man?", I say "when a man puts a 12-carat rock with a platinum band on my left finger okay THEN he can have a title!"

[3 snaps in z-formation]


OG, The Original Glamazon said...

Lisa I have to say I agree, that's why tomorrow's post is about how if you find yourself fighting for or against a label you really need to examine your perception of the relationship because it may be off.

I like you think the only important title is that of wife and husband and to you get to that level this all just an experience for one to enjoy and add to one's life.


Keith said...

As a male I was confused during my
late teens and most of my early twenties because of labels..There were girls I was dating (spending money on, but not sleeping with.) who said that we were "Talking"..I guess todays kids would call that "Kickin it" There were girls I was sleeping with, but who I didn't consider my girlfriend who were called "Friends with Benefits"
(Still applies today) and there were a few who I was dating and sleeping with, but who still didn't consider me their boyfriend (and who had the same arrangement with maybe another guy)who referred to me as an "Associate"
It was enough to give me a complex.
My wife was the first girl who actually referred to me as her boyfriend. That later got upgraded to fiance and of course husband.
Not one of the others ever did. To tell you the truth, NOT having a label to the relationship often made me feel a little insecure and ill at ease.
Just giving you another perspective.

Keith said...

Sometimes a relationship does need
a little clarification. Just my opinion. Good Post. It made me think. It's still got me thinking.
(lololol) God Bless You O.G.

OG, The Original Glamazon said...

Keith I think you make a great point. I am more talking about getting caught up in a label. Really a label is for the world. I mean I think if its right you would have that label.

I mean did you push to make any of those girls your girlfriend?

I know as woman I don't push because I feel if a man wants you to be his girlfriend he will ask. And if I want him too and he doesn't then I move on, because otherwise I will be caught up in why he hasn't made me his girlfriend instead of just enjoying the course of the relationship.

I am convinced some relationships are to preparing you for the right relationship if you pay attention. AB4AD. A day that is coming really soon! *lol*

I think you make a point about the label but really what you needed was the definition of the relationship. I don't think there is anything wrong with having discussion about how you feel about each other. If you both feel committed to one another but aren't ready to take on the responsibility of being bf/gf then why not just continue on "kicking it".

Actually I would consider kicking it fwb trending towards a relationship. I don't think I had ever heard associates before today when both you and Lisa mentioned the term. Interesting.


sdg1844 said...

Good post OG. It is definitely up to the individuals to determine what the relationship really is. Labels are very deceiving and as Black folk, we should know that.

As long as the 2 of us are clear about what we are, labels can piss off EXCEPT Husband & Wife. I def co-sign on that one.

I can't stand anyone trying to stick me in some box.