Growing up on romantic comedies and experiencing the big bad crazy world of dating makes us overly eager to ask “what are we?” as early as possible in love. We think it’s impossible to have a good thing going without putting a bold title on it. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned from years of dating, it’s that labels don’t guarantee security, faithfulness, respect, or even affection. I’ve come to discover that the best relationships are often the ones that you don’t feel the need to label.
There’s no pressure to live up to certain expectations.
A relationship without labels allows you to create your own rules about what you want from each other and what you’re willing to give. Rather than blindly inheriting the assumptions and baggage that society forces on titles like girlfriend and boyfriend. You don’t have to feel like you have to act a certain way towards the other person or you’ll be considered a bad partner.
It allows you to see and love each other the way you really are.
Let’s be honest, labels are meant to show other people that you’re a couple. It’s our way of proclaiming our love to the world. But it doesn’t do anything for the actual relationship. It won’t make you love someone more than you did before. What matters is how you see each other and what you feel deep inside. Not having labels allows you to explore these things without external influences.
Your feelings can grow and evolve naturally.
Things are so much better when you’re not worried about how many dates you have to go on before you put out. Or when it’s acceptable to say “I love you” or move in together. Or thinking about the “right time” to get married and start a family. Your relationship can blossom and thrive on its own without societal norms influencing how it unravels. Without labels, you won’t have to worry about these things and you can focus on simply caring and being there for each other.
It prevents you and your partner from being forced into a box.
There have been times when I said “I love you” and agreed to do things like moving in with a partner because it was expected of me. Even I didn’t really love them or want to do those things. I just let myself be pushed in that direction because that’s what boyfriends and girlfriends do. Labels don’t show what you really mean to a person. Without them, you can be who you are and love the way you want, at your own pace.
You do things from the heart, not out of obligation.
Labels can make relationships seem like a chore that you’re bound to do. Instead of inviting your partner to a social gathering because you want to spend time with them, you’re doing it because you feel you have to. Or you’re worried that people might think it strange if you show up without your partner. You start to feel pressured to do date nights, talk to them on the phone, and other things you do when you like a person.
It reduces your chances of ending up with the wrong person.
When you attach a label to the relationship right at the beginning, you’re basically shutting out other people. Then a few weeks later, you realize you’re stuck calling someone you don’t even like “boo.” And now you have to stick it out and wait for them to break up with you or for you to get the courage to end things. No labels prevent you from investing too much in a relationship that might not be right for you.
It takes away the need to play guessing games.
As long as you both go into the relationship fully understanding what you’ve signed up for, there’ll be little room for insecurity, paranoia, or anxiety. You just need to be open about what you want and why you want it, then set boundaries for the relationship. Knowing why they prefer to not attach labels to what you have will give you peace of mind and let you know exactly what to expect from them.
It makes commitment seem less terrifying.
It’s normal to be a little scared and anxious about getting serious with your relationship. It doesn’t mean you’re about to hit an iceberg. When you’re label-less, you can discover how much you like a person and how compatible you are without messing things up. There are no timelines or deadlines. You can take a few days off to be by yourself and come right back to them without starting a cold war.
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