Here’s a love story from the times we live in.
Once upon a time, there was a girl who did not care two cents about love. She had a kickass career, a nurturing family life, and a Snapchat story full of happening friends. In short, she was happy.
And then, she swiped right.
Enter smart, cute, ambitious, moderately sexy Mr. Charming-guy, who made it his life’s mission to impress our girl. There were long late-night phone calls, flirty Whatsapp messages, and a string of “awwwww”-inspiring dates. Intimacy levels rose, inhibitions went down, and a Facebook relationship status change was due any day.
Only, nothing happened. Things stayed exactly the same. Why? Because neither of them wanted to ruin what they had by asking the question first: “What are we?”
This frustrating ‘impasse’ phase is what we now call an ‘Almost Relationship’. You like each other, maybe even love each other, could be physically intimate too, and want to be with each other. Except, the lines are quite blurred.
Crassly put, you haven’t Defined The Relationship and won’t be doing so anytime soon. For all intents and purposes, you’re single.
The ‘Almost Relationship’, much like the internet slang it sprouted from, is a fairly modern phenomenon. It’s known by a few other names too, each with its own set of rules: Situationship, Friends With Benefits, No Strings Attached, and so on. Call it whatever you like, but the fact remains that more and more couples are falling into its patterns.
In fact, this arrangement is perfect for lonely singles who seek company for elaborate weekend plans but want to remain unattached and undisturbed on the weekdays because they’re in a relationship with their careers. But what about the resultant encroachment on the grounds of ‘true love’?
True love is a Utopian ideal with such unrealistic standards that it pretty much drives people away. Understandable, considering it’s rare, intense and not for everyone. And that’s fine, as long as neither party wants anything to do with it.
But what happens when one of them wants true love and the other is happy in the ‘Almost Relationship’?
The pain of being in an Almost Relationship with someone you want the real deal with is perhaps more excruciating than unrequited love.
Of course, there is oodles of frustration. Constant questions like “What are we?”, “Is this going anywhere?” and “Do you even love me?” get raised a little too often then either of them might like it. Neither of the two is wrong. One wants commitment. The other wants thing to be exactly the way they are. And amidst all this oozing vitriol, the original sweet essence of the relationship is lost forever!
Now this could go three ways: the couple could either admit their real feelings and happily update their Facebook statuses. Or they could realise they don’t want the same things anymore and go their separate ways. But the worst that could happen is if they cannot figure out what to do and continue being stuck in the same limbo.
Barring the first outcome, the scorecard does not paint a very happy picture.
Almost Relationship: 1 True Love: 0
Now the question isn’t “Which one is a better option?” The real question is whether you’re going to be okay being with someone who can never be completely yours.
Sure, the search for true love is a difficult mountain to climb. But when you’re faced with pain and heartbreak over the uncertainty about your relationship status, zero accountability from someone you love so much, and a hazy future, isn’t the former a better bet for your heart?
So how about we write a new ending for our love story here?
The happy girl and her Mr. Charming had a delightful couple of dates. But before things got serious, they discussed and DTRed (Defined The Relationship).
And well, whatever the outcome was, they did live happily ever after!