How “Just Go With the Flow” Relationships Are a Trap [Diary of the Undateable]

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diary of the undateable

Fun fact about me: I’m a world-class social media stalker. Seriously. If my alma mater offered a minor in Facebook , Twitter and Instagram creeping, I would’ve graduated cum laude. I was spying on a former classmate’s timeline when I found a tweet that almost caused my typically deft fingers to double tap.

“Understandings > titles.”

I didn’t know the girl who composed the tweet, but I wanted to find her. Hug her. A real, two-armed, sistagirl, “Iyanla: Fix My Life”-style hug. And tell her no. Just…no.

I’ve heard the “titles aren’t important, just go with the flow!” song and dance many times over…usually from guys. And at first, I agreed. If you know that you care about someone and the feeling’s mutual, who needs a title or even a Facebook status? Just be. But that’s how girls get caught up. The no title guy isn’t easy-going and carefree and probably doesn’t have hope for the future. Nine times out of 10, it’s just a trap. A trap that I cannot let myself fall for once again, no matter how cute he is.

I’m not knocking the girls and the guys that are okay with living life without titles. If you like it, then I love it. But I’m the kind of person that needs clarification. I hate the overarching feeling of instability whenever I go with the flow. I want someone who’s going to be there, guaranteed. Promises are one thing, but I need to see the receipts.

Carlos “just go with the flow”-ed me, as well as Mitt.  I was in situationships with these boys (not men) for months, constantly wondering what the next move would be and waiting for the other shoe to drop.

“Why would he spend so much time putting in work and effort with me if he weren’t interested in taking the next step?” I always thought, impressionably.

Yeah, I’m sure that these guys were marginally interested. And maybe, just maybe, they really did like me. But not enough to seal the deal. Sucks, but I have to be realistic.

Titles create solid boundaries. If someone’s just your something – you know, the “we’re not exclusive, but we have an understanding”-type situation – then it really doesn’t mean anything. There’s plenty of clearance to flirt with other people and sleep with them and basically do whatever you both want. Which is fun. That’s the point of being single. But at day’s end, you know you don’t want to be single. You just want them and only them. And you think that you have them and only them. It’s a false sense of security and unfair for both parties. One person will be putting in more work than the other. Roving eyes will turn into actions and someone WILL get hurt.

It’s happened to the best of us. We do girlfriendish things and put in relationship-like time and effort into these situationships for months and months on end…and we’re still “technically” single. But he has my heart, and I have his. It’s not enough, baby girl.

What’s the point of being with someone unofficially – talking to them consistently, seeing them often, getting to know them mentally and physically – but not putting a title on it? Anything that doesn’t have a title after a long period of time is nothing more than a friendship with daintily-wrapped benefits. And we’re all so much better than that.

CollegeCandy folks, what say you? Are you for or against titles?

When she’s not watching for Blue Ivy sightings or doing some serious Facebook creeping, Khalea, a recent Howard University graduate, moonlights as a magazine intern and a freelancer in New York City. Follow her on Twitter at @letsbeKHAlear, or feel free to Twatch. Whatever works for you.

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