6 REASONS TO: Define the relationship - Daily Nation

6 REASONS TO: Define the relationship

Wednesday January 23 2019

 If the relationship status is hazy so will everything else about it be, that is guaranteed.

If the relationship status is hazy so will everything else about it be, that is guaranteed. PHOTO| FOTOSEARCH 

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I watched an old episode of the Wendy Williams Show the other day and it left me shaken!

A lady of African descent asked Wendy to advise her on the way forward regarding her relationship.

She had been seeing this man for two years and their relationship was blissful.

One day, a friend requested her to accompany her to an event that was out of town.

When they got there, this lady realised that it was actually a wedding. They arrived just in time to witness her boyfriend reciting his marriage vows.

At this point, I gasped along with the audience and Wendy's mouth formed a perfect "O".

How do you date someone for two years and then walk up to a random wedding to find him exchanging marriage vows with another woman? I mean, when did they even court? He went for all those marriage ceremonies--you know how we Africans fuss over weddings--right under your nose?


That episode brings us to today's topic of defining the relationship commonly referred to as DTR.

Although I was shocked by the woman's story on the show, that could very well be me. I have shied away from the DTR talk so many times in the past in an attempt not to rock the boat.

Things are going so well I don't need to ruffle any feathers. It's not like I am ready for marriage anyway. I don't want to rush him and appear desperate.

And the mother of all these excuses? I don't want to scare him away. Sigh.

That episode was a wake-up call. I couldn’t imagine what that woman must have been going through at that moment.

Two years is long enough for her to feel ' married'. I bet all her girlfriends and relatives knew that he was the one. They were probably waiting for him to pop the question.


Imagine the horror of getting back to the dating jungle. Exchanging pointless pleasantries and asking questions whose answers you don’t care about; How was your day? Have you eaten? How did you sleep?

It is little wonder some people have decided to embrace the single life and flee at the vaguest scent of commitment. Others are suffering from extreme dating phobia, but this is no way to live.

I have vowed to DTR in every engagement I get into from now on and save myself some pain. Here's why you should too:

It helps you save precious time. Instead of being stuck in a stake-out hoping he pops the question, take back the power with this simple phrase; “Darling, let’s DTR.”

He will act the fool and ask what you mean. Don’t be discouraged. Explain that you wish to know the exact status of the relationship. What is it that you are both doing?

Now, if that clashes with what you need in life then that could be your cue to hit the road. That way, you redeem precious time and spend it on finding someone who wants the same things as you.

It protects you from disappointments. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you could be deliberately setting yourself up for heart wrenching disappointment by expecting too much on the upcoming Valentine’s Day.

Has he made it clear that you are his girlfriend or wife? No? Has he expressed any romantic interests in you yet? No? Is there a possibility that the relationship only exists only in your head?

It enhances commitment and confidence. Once you know what it is that you are doing, a sense of belonging in that relationship kicks in. You know what is expected of you and who you are in the relationship.

If a petty person comes to inquire about your status, you will certainly not be tongue-tied giving them the pleasure of bursting your bubble.

It helps you plan for the future. Understanding where the relationship is headed ensures you make better informed decisions. The last thing you need is to get a mortgage for a three-bedroom house hoping to fill with babies only to find this man you have dated for six years is engaged to a girl he met at church. You didn't even know he goes to church.

It promotes effective communication. You become open and vulnerable in expressing your feelings and thoughts to each other. This extends to other aspects of the relationship such as decision making, finances, needs and so forth thus nurturing a fulfilling relationship.

If the relationship status is hazy so will everything else about it be, that is guaranteed.

It is the mature thing to do. Now that you are an adult, the days of silly high school crushes and playing hard-to get are far gone . Being an adult comes with a lot of responsibilities, calls for great sacrifices and serious investments. There's the possibility of other human beings (children) springing up from a relationship.

As such, it is important that each party understands what they are signing up for by partaking in the relationship. Playing cat and mouse games, fake promises and being stuck on the guesswork wheel is plain childish. Put a label on it and act accordingly.


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