The Complications with “It’s Complicated”


There was once a time when relationships could be easily defined: you were either single, or you were taken. Now, it seems that relationships are no longer black or white —there’s an all-encompassing gray area that shrouds many relationship statuses. In fact, the label of “in a relationship” almost seems as archaic as proclaiming you and your beau are “going steady.” More and more, I’m noticing that clearly defined relationship labels are few and far between. Here’s my breakdown of the gray area between single(-ish) and wifed-up.

Label: “Hooking up”

If you are “hooking up” with someone, you either (a) sleep together after drunken nights and only contact one another for booty calls or you’re (b) hanging out, hooking up, maybe going out together for dinner and drinks, and sleeping together on a regular basis exclusively, but haven’t established yourselves as a “couple” yet…so you think. Hunny, you’re not fooling anybody. If you and your hook-up fall under the latter category, you’re essentially unavailable and might as well make the relationship “official.”

Label: “Friends with benefits”

If you have a platonic guy/girl friend as sexy as Justin Timberlake or perfect as Mila Kunis, then it’s acceptable. But if not, I don’t understand why people even try to make the “friends with benefits” situation work. It starts out fun, with both parties unattached and emotionally uninvolved. But at some point, if your charade continues long enough, feelings will surface. After that, your casual fucking falls under the “it’s complicated” category. You’ll either be sporting the new label of “girlfriend” or “boyfriend” soon, or you’ll be minus one friend when all’s said and done. Which is the lesser of two evils, pray tell? Pick your poison.

Label: “Together when together, apart when apart”

Couples that fall into this category are perfectly happy when they are physically together, but distance doesn’t make their hearts grow fonder. The belief is that long distance relationships are “too hard,” so when these couples separate, each individual is free to get with whomever they please. Basically, individuals in this scenario are either greedy or needy; when away from the other, one half of the “couple” is either constantly seeking to get it in to be satisfied, or hates the thought of being alone so he or she cuddles up to anyone who is easily accessible. It might work for a while, but eventually the infidelities come out and multiple individuals might end up hurt. It’s rare that couples in this situation can have their cake and be able to eat it too, without any complications.

I could go on about all of these labels. There are even grayer areas within some gray areas, but eventually all of the “it’s complicateds” boil down to one or the other: you’re either available or unavailable. Basically, if it looks like a relationship, smells like a relationship and feels like a relationship, it’s a relationship. Just call it what it is.