The Gray Area of Relationships
When we’re talking to or dating someone, how many times have we posed the following questions after a few weeks, months, or even years: “What are we – as in are we boyfriend/girlfriend? Are we just talking, dating, or exclusive? Is he talking to someone else, or should I be talking to someone else just in case?” This is what I like to refer to as the gray area. It’s not as obvious as black or white; rather there’s a little shade, or fogginess, that needs some clarification.
Think of it this way. The white area is like a blank canvas with two people meeting and getting to know each other. The black area is where you’ve filled in the blank canvas with things you’ve learned about each other, and the moment when you’ve decided to move to the exclusive level. The gray area, however, is everything in between the two where it can get very tricky. Thus, you have to be careful and keep your eyes open.
This is why it’s important to clearly know and define your expectations at the right time with the right person. Does this mean from the first moment when we meet we should immediately share everything about our future wedding and family plans? Not exactly because we have to let things flow and refrain from pressuring men when it comes to love and relationships. However, it does mean that we have to be clear about our own expectations and we have to be honest with ourselves.
Based on conversations, experiences and observations of men throughout the years, I’ve noticed that the gray area isn’t as complicated for men as it is for women. Naturally, for the most part, most of us want to be exclusive with just one person. For men, however, that’s not always a top priority and we have to be mindful of that.
Men will do what you allow them to do. So, you have to find balance between being realistic and staying true to your own standards even when it’s obvious that you two are not on the same page. If you don’t clearly define your expectations with the other person, then you can’t get mad when months have passed and you’re still wondering if you’re exclusive or not. If you have no direction, you’ll keep driving in circles. Never assume what has yet to be acknowledged.
If, however, you have effectively communicated your expectations and both of you are on the same page, you have to trust that what is meant to be will be. If he wants to be with you, believe me it will be obvious. He will make it known to you and everyone else, and you won’t have to assume anything.