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When Is the Start of a Relationship?

Hey, hey folks!

I was just talking with one of my most faithful readers after working out with her yesterday. And as I was giving her some of the most banging gumbo I ever made, ever, she looked at me with an oh so serious and chiding face and said, “Um, Ima need you to write a new post.”

I explained to her I had a hard time coming up with material as of late. My lack of inspiration was really bringing me down, because I love writing this blog. And usually when I post, it’s because I’m given a thought I just can’t shake and the words just flow naturally.

I usually write about my relationship mishaps, and recently things have been going well with Renaissance. Like scary, well. We saw each other twice this week and I didn’t break out into hives, and I was happy to see him. He made me dinner one night during the week and I made him that awesome gumbo Saturday night and then we went to the movies to see “Prisoners” (Please go see it. It’s an awesomely done suspense film, which had me going nuts the entire time. The entire cast was fantastical.) I found myself snuggling with him and repeatedly hitting his arm throughout the movie and reacting to the madness unfolding.

Things are going so well, I’m feeling superstitious about writing about him and us and how things are progressing. So while I figure out how to deal with that, I was thinking this morning on my drive into work about how relationships progress. How they start and grow and where they come from and then boom, you look back and realize you’ve been with someone for a year or two.

I started to let my mind wander about where relationships come from and how grown folks decide to make it official.

I joked with a friend the other day about whether or not grown people say to one another, “Ok, we are officially together now.”

It seemed like in a lot of cases, folks don’t make that declaration, or when the declaration has been solicited, it usually comes after a discussion from the woman who wants the man to put a title on their meandering relationship so she can feel secure and remove all doubt and ambiguity. Ok, we’re together now.

We are on the path to the future. Together. You said it, no going back now, sucker.

Or, for some women, the moment happens as soon as her man actually introduces her to someone else as his lady, his woman, his girlfriend, his girl, etc. And in that moment, she has to play it cool in front of these people, because this title is just as new to her as it is to them.

Some men tend to take the tack that if they have been spending time with you multiple times in the week, talking everyday, usually ending the night with a phone call, peppering each other’s day with text messages and starting to know each other’s schedules, it’s pretty much a done deal and nothing really needs to be said.

You both are already in it hard-core. He is doing things a boyfriend would do, if he didn’t see you in that way, he wouldn’t do it .

But women, Oh, women. We want it signed, sealed and delivered. We need that confirmation.

We want the verbal contract so that now you can’t back your monkey ass out of the deal, and if and when you slip up, you can say, no, no sir. You said and agreed we were in a relationship, therefore you are held to a higher standard, therefore you clearly agree to be a responsible participant in this relationship and the nonsense men get away with and women allow because they don’t have a title, yeah, you just can’t do that anymore. And you sir, need to verbally acknowledge that and be held to that.

It seems these days, that when the male publicly acknowledges the relationship, that it is in fact a relationship and he is officially all in.

Some people mark the moment when the other person says I love you as the official start date of the relationship.

Some people believe getting to meet the family is the point where things are really starting to get real.

I’m not sure where I fall in this. I know that when know I love someone, there are times I fight to hold the words in my mouth until I can’t anymore. And I blurt it out and take cover. Especially when I know if the other person may not be the one to say it first. I’m actually the one who doesn’t say it first.

But when I’m ready to say it, it’s almost like when a kid looses a tooth. There are times where that tooth is just hanging and hanging and either you let it fall out, or it’s going to come right out eating a peanut butter jelly sandwich, or even though you are scared as hell, an anxious family member, knowing that tooth is ready and aching to just come right out is going to help you tie a string, tie it to a door, tell you to look the other way and yank that sucker out.

There is a word that Renaissance keeps saying in regard to relationships and it is helping his case a lot in terms of winning me over. That word is responsibility.

He said as a man, in a relationship he has to realize he is responsible for someone else, and their feelings, besides himself and be honest with himself about whether or not he has the ability to do that. Renaissance believes ALL women want a relationship from age 14 on, whether they say it, deny it or whatever, they want and hope that their situations with whomever they are dating, will turn into a relationship. I’ve argued that that is not always the case. He still disagrees and says at the core, all women want and prefer having the relationship. He believes women want to be in relationships and won’t ever turn it down if the right situation presents itself. He said the trouble with men is “there are a lot of men who really love sex, but don’t really like women.” Meaning, men at certain points in their life don’t want to take the time to get to know a woman and really like her, they love the act of sex way more and women end up getting hurt.

Well damn sir. Interesting thought.

We talked about a lot of things this weekend. There was a moment I had a thought cross my mind and he sensed it. We were hugged up and relaxing at my house. I didn’t want to say it. And he looked at me with a serious look and said, “Tell me.”

And I grunted and groaned and heavily sighed.

And he said, “Be vulnerable.” First of all, that was brilliant. Those words shot through me. Here is this big, strong, giant of a man, holding me in his arms (physically creating a safe space) creating a safe space for me to speak my mind, encouraging me to enter.

Now that’s some new shit. And it’s scary. Who does that?

And I looked up at him, and after a long 40 seconds of me fighting myself and trying to decide to say nothing or tell the truth, I chose the latter and said. “I don’t want to be played with.”

“I know you don’t. And I won’t. I really like you.”

And softly, I said. “Ok.”

Tweet “Proceed”

Question (s) of the day: for people in relationships did you have a definitive starting point? Or did it just happen and you both basically knew you transitioned into relationshipdom? Do you have to speak it for it to be real and for everyone to be on the same page?

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8 thoughts on “When Is the Start of a Relationship?

  1. Ebony Rose on said:

    **three cheers for the workout friend**

    You’ve been missed….A lot!!!

    For me, I like to have the verbal confirmation. I just went through a situation where I didn’t have that and it made me feel uneasy about where we were going. At the end of the day…and his foolishness….I had to let it go. I want a relationship where we are both participants.

    He sounds nice….Love that he creates a safe space for you.

  2. I just wonder how soon should one require a verbal confirmation? Men and women are different in how they view things. I tend to think if you are talking to some one for like three months, at that point, he would have verbally said something to indicate things are getting serious and you are in fact in a relationship. I know after two weeks, personally I wouldn’t feel right about a man saying, hey, you’re my girlfriend now. But there has to be a happy medium. Yes, my workout friend is pretty dope. If only she’d open her own fitness studio. Or popup exercise party.

    • Ebony Rose on said:

      I think it depends on the speed the “couple’ is going. If you are spending almost every day together and talking for hours on end, then I believe the confirmation would happen sooner than later. I am a 3 month person, but I have has it happen in 1 month and in another case 10 months. At some point, maybe around 2 months, both parties should have some discussion. You want to ensure there is a purpose for dating. I’m at the age where I am dating with the purpose of getting hitched, lol. Dating just for fun was something I did in my early 20s.

      As for your friend, I’m sure she is working on it or needs a little push/help, lol.

  3. Well….he sounds pretty damn good!
    I just asked Tom when he considered our relationship to have started and he said from when we met. I said from the night after we met after I dropped him home (we met at a housewarming and I was driving past his door to get home).
    The day after that I knew he was The One and we have been together ever since, just over a year ago. I pretty much moved in with him and this year we got our own place, the cat and we had a very underwhelming proposal for an eventual getting married.

    I guess it depends on the relationship…but I hope he treats you well and you are happy, and loved and safe.


  4. Fingers crossed! I do have a good feeling about this one, which makes me a bit scared because I’ve met so many guys lately that I knew didn’t have “it.” So it seems like for you and Tom, you knew right away that there was something between you. From the way you describe it both of you just knew and there wasn’t a need for a grand statement of relationship purpose. I think that’s cool. Everyone has a different style and it looks like it’s working for you two! That’s awesome!

  5. dbaham on said:

    As someone who is not in a relationship right now, but enjoying what I’m calling something that is becoming a thing (lol), I find this conversation very interesting. It does seem that my girl friends are the ones who keep wanting me to find out “what we’re doing” while my guy friends are just like, “are you enjoying yourself? Is he being consistent? Well then keep doing what you’re doing and you’ll know when it actually is a relationship without having to ask.” I’m leaning towards the latter as my approach for now, but Lord knows if that’s actually the right thing to do.

    Also – this? “And he said, “Be vulnerable.” ” <– Yes ma'am! That whole interaction? I'm all about it!

  6. Something becoming a thing! Now as usual, you have labeled something in a creative and spot on way! It’s just funny because I think once you are in a thing, the line gets blurry as to where the transition happened, but it did happen. Something did shift and you decided to be serious and exclusive whether it was said or not. I think we’d all be truly on to something if women played a little more cool and if men were a bit more forthcoming.

    Yes, the be vulnerable statement threw me all the way off. All the way off. We got a live one folks. LOL

    • hahaha, well feel free to use as needed! And I think you’re absolutely right about that transition/shift, as well as the need for women to cool it a bit more and men to be more forthcoming. I just think when we tend to let things happen organically, and folks aren’t afraid to be honest and open, it all works out in the right time and that shift seems so much more seamless.

      Uhhh I’m sure! But hey, being thrown off your game can be a good thing… a very good thing. 🙂

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