No Label Nonsense: The Truth About Not Labeling Relationships

not labeling relationships

The way we date in 2019 is way different that how we dated in the past, a shift that’s fascinated me for awhile; I even wrote an article about how much dating has changed over the years. But the new trend in the relationships world that I’ve noticed recently is that people just aren’t labeling relationships anymore.

Are we shying away from labeling our relationships because of the way dating culture has changed? I’d say yes. It makes perfect sense that we don’t really have labels for our romantic relationships because we’re just hooking up, no strings attached.

There seems to be more of a desire for laid-back, casual, responsibility free relationships, hence the increase in popularity of not labeling anything. And while this sounds like getting the best of both worlds, commitment free but still romantic, it’s really something that can weigh on you.

labeling relationships
Not Labeling Relationships

Going into a label free relationship pretty much sounds like going into a commitment free relationship. And while this could be commitment in the sense of fidelity, it could be other commitments, like attending family dinners or attending that important work thing or whatever else couples tend to do together to support each other.

It can also get dicey if one person starts to feel more strongly for the other person and actually wants to commit and begins to have expectations that just don’t get met, leaving them hurt and disappointed. We’ve all seen those movies about people that go into these label free relationships and someone always catches strong and real feelings for the other person. It’s truly emotionally painful when you’re that person and your feelings aren’t reciprocated, so why purposefully set yourself up for that with a label free relationship?

As someone who’s a little more traditional in the dating and relationships world (yes, I like labels), the people I know that have chosen the non-labeled route bring up good points. A no label relationship sets you free! No expectations! No responsibility! And I as a 21 year old who also has fears and doubts about commitment, I get it.

Having a no label relationship means that there isn’t any pressure to be or act a certain way around your sweetheart; you don’t have to change to fit someone else’s “boyfriend/girlfriend” mold. It also gives you the freedom to continue putting your passions and goals first. Additionally, not labeling allows you to really feel things out and keep things moving at the desired pace.

As one of my friends said: “I didn’t have to ask you if you were my friend, I just knew you were. Why should it be any different with a relationship? Why do I have to ask someone if they’re my girlfriend but ask them if they’re my friend?”

labeling relationships

Relationship experts all agree that there needs to be trust and clear boundaries within any relationship, labeled or not. Like all things, to label or not to label really depends on what you and your romantic partner feel comfortable with. Communication is always key to making sure you and your partner are on the same page.

Also published on Medium.