What Do You Want More — The Title or The Relationship?

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In college, life was in a stage of transition. We are transitioning in our academics, and we’re transitioning within ourselves. We go through so many changes and these have an impact our relationships. Our wants and needs in relationships can change as well. In college, we forged many new relationships with each other. It is also often said that you’ll meet some of your lifelong friends in college.

In college, we built strong bonds with people; some of which are translated romantically. The nature of your relationship with someone really depended on whatever medium the two of you meet. When I say medium I am referring to an agreement or compromise. To be clear; relationships and titles were two totally different things.

Were you engrossed in the feeling and validation of a title? I.e. being a boyfriend or girlfriend — or do you appreciate a companionship more? The truth is, back in college, there were many people with titles on their relationship so that others could define what they had. It gave you a sense of security if you were not sure what you meant to someone.

Titles offer validation, some authenticity; just like a title on a car or deed on an apartment. By no means am I against the institution of a relationship between a boyfriend and girlfriend, but such relationships must be forged in the right spirit. You want both parties to be willing and able to contribute the way that they should.

Your relationship is really where things happen. Your relationship is the foundation, which should be higher on your priority list. Your relationship is the bond you share with someone and to me, is the core of anything resembling a title. I say that to say this, a relationship may allow more flexibility than a title. Believe it or not, titles conjure up some obligations that aren’t always able to be met. Although these obligations may be few they may be hard to always keep up.

Does that mean that if you have built something with someone it goes down the drain simply because there’s no title? I don’t think so. I did an article for my college newspaper a few years back, I asked around and one person told me, “No matter the circumstance I wouldn’t simply rush into a new situation, I would still have to build something similar to what I may potentially leave.” I have trouble understanding people who are in love with a title rather than a relationship. The title seems to have an allure, but less emphasis seems to be placed on the finer things. Nate is someone else whom I interviewed who did not like the fact that he felt women pressured the title issue, and hated the feeling of being rushed. I remember asking a sophomore named Jasmine and she simply said, “Most women want a title after a certain period of time.” A reason for that could be what sophomore Shanel said, “Most women just aren’t comfortable with a guy they’re talking to dealing with many others.”  I think if you’re being respected and enjoying time it should be just as good. I am more geared towards companionship than anything else.

Look at it like this, when you buy a house you’re now called a home owner. And with that, people give you the glory saying, “Wow, you’re a home owner”! It sure feels good to be called that, but what people don’t see is the amount of effort it takes to upkeep a home. For instance, you have to heat potentially two or more floors, you have to take care of landscape, you have to pay insurance, you have to hold down the mortgage, and you have to clean the house. Let’s say for argument’s sake that you’re just someone who rented out a nice apartment. Your list of responsibilities greatly decreases, now you pay your rent, and utilities, while your basic needs are still covered. This isn’t to say you won’t be a home owner one day, the potential of that remains in tact.

It takes a whole lot of effort to make a title situation work. It feels great to be called a boyfriend or girlfriend. It’s great to share in that whole realm of happiness. It’s something both parties have to be able to really bring value to. For the relationship to work out the way it should (work out well), it has to happen organically.

Are you obsessed with having validation, or obsessed in being in a genuine relationship? That’s my question to you, because before you jump the gun pressing the boyfriend or girlfriend buttons, take a look at what you do have and see if it’s really worth giving up. You have a situation in which you have many of the amenities titled relationships offer. The difference is just some of the responsibilities.

Titles are not always what they seem and if you put relationship first you’ll begin to see what the foundation really is. In my opinion relationship should be placed first, and people will always want to question what’s going on. It makes sense that you define it yourself. Try to set up standards that both of you will agree to and don’t get caught up in the title game. I promise you there are people in title situations that aren’t as happy as someone you took time to build something solid. What’s more important to you?

How many of you all have struggled with this sort of situation? I think both men and women relate to it from both angles. The mentality I presented was just of a devil’s advocate. If someone feels they can’t be all that they would like to be with you as yet, how would that effect things. When deep feelings are involved a whole lot of ish just isn’t as clear as you’d like them to be.

There was a time when this was a struggle for myself. This was my best illustration that I could give. I encourage you to share your story.

What wins when it comes down to titles versus relationships?

These are my words, and I make no apologies.

DamnPops is a guest writer on the staff at SBM. His bio: “I’m not a biter, I’m a writer for myself and others. ” Brooklyn born dude trying to figure out this life just like you. Come on this journey with me. Follow me on Twitter @DamnPOPS 

“Damn He Got A Point” (My Column) http://viralstatus.com/category/kahlilhaywood/

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From Our Partners

  • Adonis

    Give me a championship quality relationship over any title. You can have it.

    And for you in-between negroes.

    Either you are Single or you are Married. Engaged means nothing.

    • Adonis

      Another things, outside of being a wife/husband, women should not care about titles. I say that in response to this rampant single mother problem, where women are trying to you s*x & children to get men to commit.

      And with the whole title thing, I guess women are trying to get the men they like, to be convinced that they would be the best girlfriend for him. Which is risky & selfish if you make a child out of that.

      I am of the school that men know immediately whether they want to wife you up. Doesn’t take forever.

      But unless you are trying to get married. These titles mean nothing.

      If you find yourself in a good situation, be thankful. Maintain. Slowly evolve it.

  • Zoey Bishop

    "Are you obsessed with having validation, or obsessed in being in a genuine relationship? That’s my question to you, because before you jump the gun pressing the boyfriend or girlfriend buttons, take a look at what you do have and see if it’s really worth giving up. You have a situation in which you have many of the amenities titled relationships offer. The difference is just some of the responsibilities."

    This question made me think….I like what I have but definitely wanted more but I won't get it because I have no title. Our relationship definition is ambiguous which offers freedoms and less responsibility but also less reliability. I won't get priority until I am the "girlfriend". My question is how do you get more as an addition? Meaning I want to add to the relationship by having a title not make it more of responsibility in the negative sense.

    • http://stanoffewwords.wordpress.com Tristan

      it comes down to what you want vs who you want, do you want a boyfriend who does x,y,z or do you just want him? If you want more, demand more, you are your own leverage, if you are just so afraid of scaring him off that you concede expectations then…..welp.

    • uNk

      I think that question depends on who you are dealing with. You have plenty people out here who will give you everything you need….trust, willing to commit, emotionally available, and they're so wrapped up in the positive light, title is the last thing on their mind. Then others go along with the societal normand abuse all of that simply because there is no title. The new generation mindset on relationships is crazy these days.

  • http://twitter.com/DoctaPOPS @DoctaPOPS

    I think that comes with your guy's comfort with it. He has to believe that he's in a space to live up to the title of boyfriend. There's nothing negative about that. If that's what he aspires to be in it's fullness, he could very well just be wanting to make himself right for you. I'm sure your situation is more involved. In a general sense though, don't think obligations are negative. There necessary though and shouldn't be taken lightly. They should be handled with great attention.

  • kimmy

    But if the relationship is solid I feel like there should be no issue in giving it a title. I think people who are afraid of titles generally have some insecurities about the validity of their relationship. It's a set-up lol.

    • http://stanoffewwords.wordpress.com Tristan

      the inverse could be the relationship is solid why add the title….but i do agree, people seem afraid of titles as if relationships are some sort of daunting gauntlet, only thing u lose is freedom you wasnt using anyway….or was you….

      • Sasha

        OMG Tristan. Your response definitely mirrored a lot of my concerns. I am in a situation with a guy and I understand that he had a terrible past relationship and the way he broke up with his girlfriend was more of an abandonment issue with no closure. But i feel like we both carry a lot of the baggages from the past into this one. He claims he isnt too keen on titles i feel as if i may just not be the one for him to start with. That is just my problem. I tend to always gravitate towards the ones that have a lot of issues and it leads me to wonder am i to blame for this? I mean we are supposedly in a monogamous relationship but the title is just not there.

  • Dee

    I totally agree with Kimmy. A lot of people have issues with titles because they are scared of or don’t want the commitment a title brings.
    Most people crave companionship. The question is why: are you just lonely or are you in love?

  • http://stanoffewwords.wordpress.com Tristan

    I wrote a lil while back about titles here stanoffewwords.wordpress.com/2012/11/06/titles/ #nopromo

    My position then and now is while I personally don’t care, I’m more of the mindset, if we’re both content, dont listen to what people say, they dont know about you and me, put it out ya mind cuz its jealousy n sh t. If i like you i will try to make you happy, i dont need a title to do so but tomato tamotto. However, I understand her perspective, titles define said roles and expectations and theres no gray area. Either way i feel like its one of those pick your battle things, if you really like the person give them the title, or if that person really doesnt want that enjoy their company and be happy. Its a minor detail.

  • http://stanoffewwords.wordpress.com Tristan

    I wouldn’t go that far, like last week we talked about men putting off marriage but a relationship? Nah.

  • Smilez_920

    Titles and relationships work hand and hand. Everything has a title , just because its not boyfriend/ girlfriend doesn’t mean some type of title isn’t involved .

    1) I think before people worry about a tittle they should work on the foundation of your relationship People rush for a tittle from people who they haven’t built a true foundation with.

    2) While you don’t have to yell your tittle from the mountain tops, usually if your in a situation with someone and they fight not to have a tittle, they’re not dedicated to working on more than what you guys currently have.

    3) I’ve never seen a man have an issue with tittles unless

    - he feels at the current point in his life he can’t fulfill that tittle .

    - he feels his partner can’t fulfill or is worthy of that tittle from him. IE your cool to kick it with, but I wouldn’t to lock you down completely .

    3) titles = responsibility and accountability .

    Do what ever feels comfortable to you and your partner, but if a tittle is something you want along with the relationship, that’s fine too.

    • Peter Parker

      Very well said…I definitely co-sign coming from a male's point of view.

      • Melina

        so do you men, feel like if a man keeps saying he isnt at a place to fulfill that title, that it isnt simply that they just dont want the accountability but would much rather just have fun?

  • hollyw

    This is such a trick question. The question shouldn’t be which is more important, but are you content being with someone who makes you choose, or makes you feel like something you want, e.g. validation, a show of commitment, or a definition ( something NATURAL) is wrong. If not having a title means nothing, than the reverse is true; incorporating a title should not matter to them. So, whenever a guy gives me a hard time about establishing a relationship w/o one, I just flip the question. Point is, they wouldn’t have to exist if most guys did not use their lack of existence as a scapegoat for their misuse of some women. This is obvious. And this story, while written in good spirits, was set in college…which speakd for itself as for the maturity of this kind of behavior.

  • http://whatyouallow.com/ Wildflower

    Ummm… can I have both? I know the relationship is more important than a title but to me they both go hand in hand. A title is not a deal breaker but it is important to me.
    My recent post Closet Freak

    • http://stanoffewwords.wordpress.com Tristan

      No, no you cannot lol

      • http://whatyouallow.com/ Wildflower

        @ Tristan.. this is not a man's world hunni lol.

        @ Smilez, my sentiments exactly!
        My recent post Sugar Daddy

    • Smilez_920

      lol men try to scape goat with the "we don't need a title" but are the first one's to bring up a "lack of title" when it's convenient. In 99.9% of the time a man isn’t against given a title to a woman he WANTS to give it to, key word wants. If he’s hitting you with the “titles aren’t that serious, he’s not that serious about you”. Relationships and tittles go hand and hand.

      Example: Titles that describe relationships other than GF
      “FWB”, “Special friend”, “Dating” , “Fiancé”, wife, “Booty call” … all titles, your situation probably falls under one of them.

  • payne well

    Isn't that what a FWB is? You doing everything a couple does, without the title? You see how far that gets many people (woman particularly, lol) Why are people so against titles? That's what I do not understand. If she is what you want, or he is what you want, then it shouldn't be an issue. You should be happy to lock that down. Without a title there is too much gray. Yes, you are with me all the time, and we go out to dinner and have all these amazing conversations, but if someone comes along that tickle your fancy one may go after that, because we weren't "in a relationship"(a wonderful scapegoat).) Same thing with marriage, people, and I won't say just men, but people are afraid of what they might miss out on. When titles come into play, people become afraid of the obligations that the title holds, which once again if this is what you want, i do not understand the fear.
    My recent post Yeah I’m single…….

    • Kelly

      Well said if I'm not worth the title you are not worth my time!

  • http://www.opinionatedmale.com cortonio

    Some people live by the mantra 'if it aint broke don't fix it" they're together for years w/o being married and they just leave it as that. They don't really care about a title, especially once children come in the picture, it's just what it is we're together and we don't necessarily need a title. However if there isn't some sort of validation or "title" tings become very confusing. If you were with a female and you guys did all the bf/gf stuff without a title or some sort of understanding, what happens when you see that same woman out with another guy what then? If you say something she can turn right around and say "you're not my man". Same goes in a vice versa situation. So I guess all in all it's better to put that 'title' on things so there won't be any issues. With the title though comes the actual 'rules' to follow while being in a relationship.
    My recent post Want A Better Life? Follow These 10 Rules And Thank Me Later

  • http://Ambercabral.com Amber

    The perspective presented in this article is simply one of someone who is commitment averse. I’ve been there. It happens. And then you grow up and realize that whether you call Eric your bf or Shay your gf, everyone still sees you as that and ultimately, the confusion created by acting a part you don’t want labeled the part blows up in your face and you move on to the next dysfunctional situation where you can explore as you wish on your main girl/guy because you don’t have a title. Eventually you grow up some more. Maybe. And you realize you want the title and the relationship. But the participant needs to meet very specific criteria. And you get mature enough to not expect people to emotionally invest while you are unwilling to commit. If marriage isn’t the goal, then don’t get in a relationship. Be clear about the terms and don’t expect that level of investment. What you allow, you teach.

    • Dr. J

      You know I can somewhat agree with this but then what ended up happening was basically some Harper from the Best Man (prior to the movie) type relationship history with me. I had a bunch of girlfriends who only alsted for 3-4 months and nothing much longer because I basically said, once we're exclusive and wanting things to go long term, let's be in a relationship. And then 2-3 months later when problems starting popping up I had to just ditch it. If women are cool with that, then sobeit, they'll get a title as soon as the topic of exclusivity is agreed upon.

    • Melina

      Well said Amber :)

  • http://twitter.com/tygr__lily @tygr__lily

    Maybe I'm "old school", but the two ought to be mutually inclusive. If we are in a relationship, we both have "titles" that reflect that. To break that apart & look at the two as separate entities indicates fear of commitment.

    • larnelw

      Agreed

  • tccarr

    When women ask for "the title" what they really want is the relationship without having to worry about if you're seeing other people. The title makes the level of commitment clear internally and externally. Without the title we're left with the ever-dreaded question, "What are we doing?". The title is the validation we need to know we're not crazy or making this up in our heads! It says we're both in this together.

    • bellatrice1

      Perfectly said.
      My recent post Shame

  • MandyPandy

    As previously stated, I think titles and relationships go hand in hand. Although I firmly believe that you should have a strong foundation first before you add any "titles". This is the predicament I'm in right now. The man I am dating wants a title, but I still want to build a foundation. How can I explain this to him without him thinking that I am just trying to have the "benefits" of a boyfriend with no title?!

    • amicus82

      It seems to me you're making too big of a deal out of the title. It doesn't have to last a year, a day or even an hour if you don't want it to. So, it's not really the type of commitment you need a foundation to enter into. Remember, when you make someone your boyfriend all you're saying is—>I'd like to get to know you and only you romantically, for now. You can end that agreement as soon as you see something that you don't like. IMO, you should try to see the BF/GF relationship as a safe place to build a foundation with this guy. A place to learn whether or not you want to make the relationship more permanent.
      My recent post The Split: Surviving The Love Hate Relationship

  • Tiffany Ray

    This post is right on time. I'm currently going through this. The relationship was great, we were friends for 2 years before we started dating. We took our time developing our relationship as we were dating and after a certain time period I expected a title to come along with what we had already established. He was unable to commit, due to a 2 year relationship he was in prior to us dating that went sour…..basically home girl broke his heart and he didn't want to be accountable to anybody. He was willing to treat me like his girlfriend (dates, gifts (Christmas and Bdays), knew the family, included me in some of his future plans, took me to work/picked me up from work, spent nights over my house, trips, etc.) but not give me the title. When I finally decided I was going to talk to him about our relationship and taking it to the next level, I was going to give him this long spill about how my feelings had grown for him, how I wanted us to build on what we had, and how I wanted to be there for him during the good and bad times, I just simply told him I was walking away from the relationship. If I have to explain to you why giving me the title as your girlfriend is important, you were not that in to me to begin with.

  • Peter Parker

    "For the relationship to work out the way it should (work out well), it has to happen organically." This above statement clearly defines the true foundation of a "home run" relationship. Every successful relationship I have been in and see amongst friends, were all organically evolved. To me, establishing the relationship first is very key. I am looking for that homie, lover, friend which takes time, but is established during the relationship phase. After establishing these key ingredients, then we both should be ready for the true title (for me marriage).

    • SMilez_920

      "For the relationship to work out the way it should (work out well), it has to happen organically."– 100% agree. When things happen organically a title is never an issue.

  • http://twitter.com/ana_i_am @ana_i_am

    My personal opinion is this. For most people, a title is a crown of validation, the official “stamp” of approval. A man giving the title of girlfriend to a woman, says, “I choose you, and not them” which is somewhat a raise in the hierarchy. Dating is a competitive game, that is where the frustration of titles enter. However, it is a game that has been long played. I don’t think it is necessarily a fair statement to say that one is more important than the other, however. Fact is, one is completely inoperable without the other, it simply cannot function. I suppose a more fair question is, At what point in one’s relationship is a title expected?

    • Adonis

      @Ana_I_Am

      So, I can choose you, proclaim to the world you are my wife, but yet, treat you like the trash in my yard, sleep with ever other willing woman on the side, and treat them like my girlfriend, without saying it.

      Or I can just kick it with you, treat you like a quality gf/wife, and never call you as such, and be faithful.

      Both scenarios are VERY plausible & go on more often than we like to admit in America.

      But you tried to demonstrate how “inoperable” the title & relationship, like as if the TITLE is the CAR & the RELATIONSHIP is the GAS. And that is DEFINITELY not the case.

      It seems like it takes women to completely withdraw or get kicked out of the dating game to get how the game works

  • cynicaloptmst81

    I like what Smilez said above…titles are about responsibility and accountability. When a man rejects a title, he is rejecting responsibility and accountability…and I begin to question why. Those reasons may vary. Some reasons are not bad or malicious. Once I determine what the reasons are and whether or not its worth it to give it time and see if the relationship organically evolves to a place where he's willing to accept responsibility and hold himself accountable to me, I do what's best for me…put me first…as the dude is clearly doing.

    I believe that relationships should evolve organically, yes. But, that doesn't guarantee that all our organs are gonna get there at the same time cause its organic, lol. It's still possible to be flowing organically and decide "he/she is it for me" before the other person.

    • http://whatyouallow.com/ Wildflower

      +100

    • SMilez_920

      But, that doesn't guarantee that all our organs are gonna get there at the same time cause its organic, lol. It's still possible to be flowing organically and decide "he/she is it for me" before the other person. <—- THIS…. sometimes you think you and that person are on the same page then that "title" conversation comes up and you realize that yall are'nt even in teh same book.

      • Peter Parker

        Yup. I have definitely learned to let chicks know upfront or sooner than later what my intentions are. Too old to be wasting any time.

    • Adonis

      @Cyn81

      I like what Smilez said above…titles are about responsibility and accountability. When a man rejects a title, he is rejecting responsibility and accountability…and I begin to question why. Those reasons may vary. Some reasons are not bad or malicious.

      Either she is not the best girl, or she is more trouble than she worth or there are extenuating circumstances.

      But he is attractive, he know she is replaceable & it is her move.

      • cynicaloptmst81

        Agreed!

        His hesitation alone def tells you that the reason carries more weight than your presence, that's for sure…

    • WIM

      "Once I determine what the reasons are and whether or not its worth it to give it time and see if the relationship organically evolves to a place where he's willing to accept responsibility and hold himself accountable to me, I do what's best for me…put me first…as the dude is clearly doing."

      In a nutshell, this comment and larnelw's comment below summarize my thoughts. I mean, who are we trying to fool, ourselves? This isnt to say Pops is wrong, he's simply advocating what's best for him – and that's not inherently bad. It's only bad when men (or women) expect women (or men) to indulge activities that are not best for them for the benefit of the other person. For any woman (or man) to stay in a situation that is not ideal for her (or him), is frankly, pretty stupid.

      Mind you, we're talking about relationships (or the ever popular pseduo-relationships) in this case. If you're married, you have to make sacrifices that benefit the whole over the part. Up until that point, I say be as selfish as you want to be – but don't act shocked when the other person is equally selfish.

  • uNk

    I agree with the foundation first, title second mindset. Hate to compare this to vehicle, but i mean treat it as such. Most people will want a new car(relationship with a title), and take their time to save up enough money to put a down payment on the car (foundation), ensuring a better monthly payment in the long term (Happiness lol), which in turn will allow you to maintain the life of your car loan(relationship)…comfortably. Like Dr. J said above, by all means you can have that title upfront without the foundation (downpayment) but dont be mad when you start experiencing some serious issues( arguments, deal breakers, ect) with this car. Then people wana refinance(break up and get something new) lol you get the point

  • larnelw

    I personally find it comical that our society has become so overly intellectual, or at least is trying to, that it is trying to, for lack of better words, "re-invent the wheel".
    Titles are nothing more than words to describe what the item/situation is. I laugh when I read posts like these because I equate it to a person saying, "well I don't want to call it a car. I have a motorized automotive machine that is fueled by gasoline that powers an engine and is steered by a circular wheel". You have a car….just call it a car. same thing with relationships. If you are in a committed, monogamous relationship then guess what….you are boyfriend/girlfriend. Who are you trying to outsmart by spewing some long, drawn out description of your relationship that describes exactly what a bf/gf is? Is it that denying a title allows you to keep one foot out the door? So if for whatever reason you don't want to be apart of it anymore you can slide out free and clear? I am inclined to believe that is more the case.

    • WIM

      +1

    • Larry

      "… I have a motorized automotive machine that is fueled by gasoline that powers an engine and is steered by a circular wheel.."

      Sooo….you have a speed boat I presume?

  • Uncle Hugh, BP

    Just to play devil's advocate here: Many are saying the lack of a title means you're relationship averse. Which could certainly be the case. But what is the point of having an official title if the other person is still seeing other men/women/both? They are being deceptive and cheating, but you still have your title.

    I know I'm approaching this differently than most of the commenters here, but there must be some mutually exclusive difference between "title" and "relationship". Otherwise the question would be: What do you want more, "relationship" or "title and relationship".

    • Adonis

      @BP

      A lot of people care about more about “how it appears” vs “how it is”.

      You try to put people up on game, but a lot of people are stubborn.

      Let them cook!

    • Adonis

      @BP

      A lot of people care about more about “how it appears” vs “how it is”.

      You try to put people up on game, but a lot of people are stubborn.

      Let them cook!!!

    • Larry

      I'll go ahead and drop my co-sign here as this is the perspective I was looking at it from.

  • FeeSimpleAbsolute

    I get what you are saying, but it depends on what the person is looking for. To go with your owner vs. renter analogy, you neglect one more category — rent-to-own. There are also renters who are ready to buy once they see the right property. So if you are interested (and ready!) in owning in the immediate future, then you shouldn't have an issue with having a girlfriend.

    If you think that THAT title is a big deal, then marriage likely isn't one of your immediate goals. When I was in my early 20's, not having a title wasn't such a big deal, but if I am dating a man who has reservations about defining our relationship after a certain time (no, I don't have some arbitrary time frame) then I take his indecisiveness as a clear indication of him not choosing me over all others. I don't take offense, I don't give ultimatums, I don't argue, I simply exit stage left. I don't put myself in a position to make compromises that I will later regret and resent him for.

    I have only adapted this approach since I've been "grown", no offense to the younger men and women still figuring themselves out. I believe that a man's behavior early on is an indication of how things will continue to be. While I agree that the title of girlfriend/boyfriend, respectively, come with some responsibilities, it doesn't hold the same cache that it did in my younger years. Been there, done that.

    I strongly believe that there is no sense in trying to change a man. Accept him as he is or move on. A man knows what he wants and will make it happen. Some men don't want to be committed…or just not to you. That shouldn't be offensive, just a fact of life.

  • uNk

    So the biggest trend I am seeing from women here is the accountability aspect of the title. You want a man to be held accountable if he decides he no longer wants to be with you, rather then him just exiting stage left without any regards for you. So do you really need a title for validation? or Insurance?

    • Adonis

      @Unk

      So the biggest trend I am seeing from women here is the accountability aspect of the title. You want a man to be held accountable if he decides he no longer wants to be with you, rather then him just exiting stage left without any regards for you.

      I smell entitlement & hypocrisy coming from the women on this aspect.

      If a woman wants out of dead relationship, accountability & responsibility goes out the window. They wants out. The man’s opinion/feelings mean nothing

      But when a man checks out & the woman is invested & all-in. It is different. A different standard applies.

      That is why I love the Internet, and men get to see women who they really are, and act accordingly.

    • cynicaloptmst81

      Accountability in relationships is about much more than how you exit stage left.

      I'm certain I don't have to explain what that means to an adult who has been in adult relationships, LOL. So, I won't waste my time…

      …and responsibility and accountability should go both ways…so there is nothing entitled or hypocritical about it. I don't want to be with a man who doesn't want that from me. A man that is really about YOU does…

      • Adonis

        @Cyn81

        Accountability in relationships is about much more than how you exit stage left.
        I’m certain I don’t have to explain what that means to an adult who has been in adult relationships, LOL. So, I won’t waste my time…

        But young lady, I need you to waste your time, because I can be deliberately obtuse so I can to the bottom of where women are coming from, so I can learn to better serve them.

        —-

        So, here is my scenario, I am with a girl we like each other, title or no title. How does accountability & responsibility work? Especially since we have no marriage

        I owe you nothing, and vice versa.

        I am not trolling (I am never trolling BTW)

        I really want honest visceral answers.

        • cynicaloptmst81

          LOL…I actually respect you…cause I think I have an idea of why you are the way you are thanks to the backstory you provided a while back. I may not agree with what you say sometimes, but I believe you actually are being honest about what you think and how you feel…can't knock that. I admire people who are confident enough to think what they think and be who they are despite what others may say.

        • cynicaloptmst81

          Now, I am a wife…an unmarried one, yes. But, I'm a wife. So, I don't just date for the sake of passing time. I'm dating to meet potential husbands…and not in a forced, fake kind of way. So, agreeing to be in a relationship with me means that you are commiting to take the relationship as far as it can/should go. Meaning, we answer to each other concerning major decisions, issues, etc…and not in a parental kind of way but a respectful, "you are important, your opinion matters, I want my life to be something that you can be comfortable with" kind of way. We work through things until we decide we've hit a wall…and it's best to find a more suitable match. You don't get married and then act like somebody owes you and you owe them…no guarantee that'll happen. You get married cause the relationship IS that way…and it works. You get married to seal and keep what a relationship IS…not to then make it what you potentially want it to be.

        • Adonis

          @Cyn81

          And I adore you, you turn me on in ways, I care not to admit.

          I love how you try to hog up all the husbands. Which means go get a negro from the south. LMAO.

          How we feel about each other personally, (which I tried to educate Keisha Brown awhile back on this site,) has nothing to do on how I feel about other women who look like you & doesn’t mean I am going to overlook your politics and/or BS.

          The American Dating Arena is very serious, and I treat it as such, and men & women need to be extremely clear on where they stand.

          Because as for me, you act like I supposed to read your mind, I am just going to telepathically re-interpret your hidden thoughts to mean that whatever I want it to mean to benefit me & my bottom line.

        • cynicaloptmst81

          LMBO! Awww, thanks, Adonis!!!

          …and I told you…I just want ONE!!!! Not all, lol…

          LOL @ the bolded statement. Fair enough…

          Being clear should def be priority #1. But, do I think sometimes both men & women purposely act like they don't get/understand concepts in order to muddle points in an effort justify their thoughts and actions? Absolutely. And, if I question whether or not that's happening, I always hesitate to engage. Those type games get on my nerves, lol…

        • Adonis

          @Cyn81

          “I am a wife”

          I agree with that sentiment.

          Personally, If I know a woman who had walked down the aisle. I address them like any Former US President.

          I digress.

          My point is simple

          Titles mean nothing outside of a wife. Wives have legal benefits that other titles don’t have.

          Any person who is fighting to be anything less than a married person is a dumb@ss.

          And I come from the “Blink” crowd.

          You shouldn’t have to “convince” anyone to be with you legally. You are going to get your feelings hurt with that approach

          However titles mean nothing if your relationship is trash.

          I can have a wife & I can lose my money can she can bounce. I, personally understand where she is coming from, but “for better or worse” is more BS than scripture.

          So, if a woman is in a good situation with a dude, but he doesn’t want to claim you. You just going to have to enjoy it while it lasts.

          Unless you think you can get the same experience from a similar man who will claim you, which I doubt.

          The marketplace is harsh to average men & women with entitlement issues.

          Quality Relationship > Title = Wife/Husband

        • cynicaloptmst81

          "Any person who is fighting to be anything less than a married person is a dumb@ss."

          "You shouldn't have to "convince" anyone to be with you legally."

          Truth.com! BUT…lol…

          You don't just meet someone and automatically know you are the wife for HIM…or he's the husband for HER. You gotta figure it out. So, you date. Then, you court..or court and date…whichever, whatever, lol. Then, you court exclusively (via a discussion or not…basically, you get to the point where the other options are getting no love and you don't even care to entertain them). Then, the marriage-minded man is like, "yo, I wanna make a go at this with her"…so he asks for a relationship (here comes the responsibility and accountability part). She most likely answers yes. Then, after a few cycles of life…growing in understanding, respect and love and such, he says, "I don't want to live without this woman", goes and buys a ring, and pops the question. She most likely says yes, lol.

    • SMilez_920

      Nope it’s not about exiting. It’s about the work you do while you’re in the relationship. Not to say people always get the title and continue the same work ethic, but at least with the title you and I both have an idea of what type of work we need to put in and what we want the end product of our work to look like.

      Fellas ;be honest, on this site the majority of you talk about the treatment, actions etc… you would give to a girlfriend/ potential gf vs. someone you’re just kicking it/ FWB, casually dating with no intentions of an upgrade. It still comes back to that title/ label you think that particular young lady falls under.

      From a woman’s prospective; a man will tell you a title doesn’t matter until that ish matters. A title for the most part (in a healthy relationship) represents your placement in his life. A man will let you know your place in his life by the title or lack of title he gives you. Men have no issue throwing out the “But you ain’t my girl or were not in a relationship” real quick.

      • Peter Parker

        "Men have no issue throwing out the “But you ain’t my girl or were not in a relationship” real quick". Yeah, pretty much..I can't even lie, I definitely have thrown this out before.

  • http://www.greaterunderstanding.net Anthony Brian Logan

    Most single people want a relationship that has all of the good qualities, none of the bad qualities and none of the work that goes into making it successful. Maybe a product of the instant gratification / lazy society.
    My recent post AN OPEN LETTER TO THE SUPERSTAR ATL MALL COP

  • J. Crawford

    This comment thread- to me- sounds like another "Follow the Masses rather than Define Yourself" spiel, in the same way as Deciding IF/WHEN to Marry, Shack Up or Not Shack Up, Date, Have/Not Have Kids and other parts of what a Relationship actually is.

    A Person and His/Her Partner will or should Know WHAT they are to each other and WHEN that moment comes (granted, Men Approach Women 95% of the time and Women ALLOW what Men Do or Say towards them), and if a Couple or Person doesn't get dramatic over a "title" then Let it Go. People Cheat regardless if they are Married or Not, as well as if Kids Exist or Not, so in all honesty, is a Title REALLY Important???

    • J. Crawford

      I've been in relationships where a "title" was Important and it Wasn't; Either Way I KNEW I was With and Involved with a Woman- Exclusively or Not. I was a Cheater as a Boyfriend and as a Boy/Guy that was Courting a Woman/Girl; I don't Deny it nor Sugar Coat it, and I was also Cheated On by Women/Girls who were my Girlfriend or a Lady/Girl I was Courting, so I call complete BS on the statement of "a Title shows Accountability and Responsibility".

      I say Define YOUR Relationship, not subscribe to rules that are broken, bended and are contradicted by Society on a daily and nightly basis. There isn't a Universal and 1 Way Only path to Dating, Love, Marriage and Making/Raising a Family- IMHO

  • Lovely

    This is a very interesting subject for me….particularly because I am having that issue right now.

    I'm from the old school, so of course it was ALL about the "titles". But since my divorce and 2 relationships later, I find myself dating a guy who as well is divorced. We had the "so where do we stand" conversation,…. and he said he didn't think a title was necessary, he has been married for 20 yrs. with a title, and not ready to be labeled again. He wants to be with someone he is comfortable with, and see were things go, take one day at a time. I never thought I would understand something like that…but I do. He made me realize that, that is exactly what I need for myself as well.

    Don't get me wrong…It does leave a lot of grey area, basically the freedom to do what you want, when you want.

    But this is the way I look at it:

    I like his company, we laugh and talk about anything, we have lots of common interest, and I can be myself without any pressure or feeling of obligation. I'm with him because I want to be. I like his companionship, more than I liked the men I dated with a Title…and as you can see, the relationships ended. Leaving me with the feeling that I wasted a lot of my precious time.

    I choose Companionship over a "Title". If the person is right for you, than you will eventually get both.

  • cynicaloptmst81

    Important point here, folks…

    Whether or not people live up to roles and expectations does NOT devalue the importance of or use for the role or expectation.

  • bellatrice1

    I'll just say this, I've never seen or heard of anyone not becoming possessive of someone or something they really want in order to keep others away from it. When a guy is out, and another guy asks, "is that you?", referencing his girl, if he is into this girl, best believe he will answer in the affirmative.

    In what scenario would a couple decide to be monogamous and exclusive, but not have a title?

    As said above, a title just helps to put things in perspective, so that both parties are on the same page. Usually, when there's no title, there is confusion and the party who does not want a title is not that into the person wanting a title – plain and simple. It's not rocket science.
    My recent post Shame

  • Larry

    Not sure if anyone brought up this point of distinction….and maybe it was implied and everyone knows…. but "having a kind of relationship" and "being IN a romantic relationship" are two very different things.

    Two people can have a "friendly" relationship, "business" relationship, "chexual" relationship, "casual" relationship or a combination of either of these. Then a person can be IN a "romantic" relationship which usually comes with some sort of title.

    In short you can have a relationship with someone and that can eventually lead to a committed, romantic relationship. At least that's the perspective from which I saw the post through.

  • RandomRN88

    I want the title and the relationship. Knowing how a lot of men are with women they really like/love, if the guy isn't trying to put a title on your relationship, it's not serious. Just my opinion. I like men that claim what they want and if a guy says that he doesn't want "titles" then I interpret that as he doesn't want anything serious with me. and I only do serious relationships. The men that want a relationship without the title, I don't want them.

    I don't want any confusion or gray areas in my relationships, I'm either your girlfriend/wife or I'm just a friend.

  • Kopa

    I'm very adverse to calling my significant other, who I am currently living with, my "boyfriend". I also feel very awkward anytime someone calls me his "girlfriend". I often go with "my partner" if I have to call him something other than his name. But generally, we don't need titles. We know what we have and that's all we need. That's why I don't want to get married either; I have no need to shout from the rooftops that "this man right here is mine, come and see, he's mine" as if marriage somehow guarantees ownership. I would much rather be with him because I want to than because we promised to some years ago. I don't want him to stay around longer than he wants to either. Forever is a long time to promise. All I can promise is I will try.

  • Truth Be Told

    This post is funny to me. And not in a disrespectful, I-don't-take-it-seriously kind of way. It's just funny to me that we have actually gotten to the point where we have to choose between being in a relationship and having a title, whatever that means. So how exactly do conversations like that go? "I want to have some kind of relationship with you but I don't know what to call it, therefore let's not call it anything." Are these the people who have the "It's Complicated" status on their Facebook profile? Because they don't know exactly what they are to the other person? And if you don't have a title, what do you call your relationship? Newsflash: EVERY relationship has a title. You can't have one without the other. What exactly that title is, remains to be seen. It's not that they want the relationship but do not like titles. It's that they don't want you to get the wrong idea for whatever relationship you're in. He doesn't want to call you his girlfriend NOT BECAUSE he hates titles but because he doesn't see you as his girlfriend. And vice versa. You have a title in that relationship alright. It's called a friend with benefits. Here are others:

    Girlfriend/ Boyfriend
    Fiance/Fiancee
    Fck Buddy
    Wife/Husband
    SideChick/Whatever the male equivalent is
    Good Friend
    Roommate
    Chilling
    Occasional Date
    Etc. etc. etc.

    Oh, you have a title alright, trust me. If you're smart, you'll figure out what it is.

  • 12 Point Buck

    I don't care what we call it as long as the vibe is good and I still get to dip my nacho in her cheese.

    Once I even accepted a petition to be her boyfriend just so I could smash that night. Shortest 'relationship' ever. We had titles tho! lol

    • Uncle Hugh, BP

      12 Point Buck: "Once I even accepted a petition to be her boyfriend just so I could smash that night. Shortest 'relationship' ever. We had titles tho! lol"

      This is exactly the point I was trying to make (although I probably wasn't clear). What is the point of being a "girlfriend" or "boyfriend" if the person is really just giving you the title just to shut you up and they are still messing with other people behind your back? So if the question is title OR relationship (or, as in meaning not both), obviously relationship is more vital.

  • onmyway

    I dated a guy back in college for several months and it was going great. I knew his friends and he knew mine. He paid for every dinner/outing and was available to me if I ever needed him because he wanted to be. We basically saw each other 5-6 days a week. Obviously I thought I found a good one! When it came down to having the talk he said he didn't want to give me the title of gf because he didn't want to be "obligated" to me. I was dumbfounded. Through his actions I felt he had already obligated himself to me. So I couldn't understand why he couldn't bring himself to give me the title. I think its because he liked having an out so he could leave if/when he got bored. Needless to say that didn't last much longer. I require a title because I don't like grey areas.

  • langwichartz

    Wow this thread makes relationships look like some complex algebraic equation and ish…lol. Seriously though, any title outside of a marriage to me is implied by the behavior. Some people just have to hear 1 party exlclaim that "You're my…I'm your…" I get it thats cool if it works for you. I think one of the reasons why this conversation is necessary is because titles dont carry the prominence in today's society. We have more single people in the world than evere because the people who have the titles DONT ACT LIKE THE TITLE THEY HAVE. Thats why some people dont exactly believe in titles, just like the growing population of agnostics and aetheists we have today. Im all for the relationship foundation meaning more because imo the title is for show, the relationship is for real, just as to me a wedding is for show, the marriage is for real. Too many people today put more emphasis on the title/wedding to make it look good, when the relationship/marriage is all jacked up. Priorities people!

  • Melina

    i think some very profound comments and insights have been made here. However, I am not as "grown" as some people who have commented, but I do feel that certain things need to be established. A lot of relationships tend to focus on simply titles quite alright but why shouldnt a title be important?! yes asd people we want to eat the proverbial cake and have it to, but dont do things that mimic relationships if you arent ready to put on big boy and big girl panties on. I want a title, I want a solid and trustworthy foundation but I also should know that all these amenities do not come over night. That being said the concept of title should definitely be important and not a choice between one or the other.

  • kaye

    +100.. A man puts a label on something he really wants. Otherwise he just not that into you.