Facts about labeling relationships

By on November 14, 2002

Relationships are not easy and the titles used to describe them may contribute to the confusion.
Society tends to communicate best when they can clearly understand a situation and put a label on it.
While these labels do not always follow the same meaning, titling the status of a relationship helps form a common ground.
“Everyone’s got their own definition,” said freshman Mike Zavodsky
Understanding the created definitions of labels such as “hooking up”, “going out”, “together”, “seeing each other”, “talking”, and “dating” may promote clarification in future relationships.
“I believe there should be more clarity on “hooking up”, because it could mean kissing or having sex and, then rumors could be spread and that’s not cool,” said junior Val Pensa.
Defining this topic is not easy without a universal description.
“I don’t think there can be a general definition,” said junior Tricia Lucente.
Even though the boundaries between all the relationship steps are shady, there are clear distinctions between them all.
“Talking” is literally talking about yourself and getting to know each other.
It is a process and a friendship that may possibly be the developing stages of a further relationship.
There is not a commitment involved and there are not any physical relations.
“Hooking up” is physical.
“Anything that is at least an extended make-out session and beyond is the basic essence of hooking up,” said senior Glenn Giangrande.
“Hooking up” can occur randomly with a new acquaintance at a party or with someone who is more familiar.
Hookups are not always explainable and can cause tension and awkwardness between people.
While committed couples are physical, it is not as nonchalant as “hooking up”.
“I hate random hookups. I don’t think it’s a good thing,” said senior Kristin DiNicola.
“Seeing each other” is another common term used to describe dating in the sense of trying eachother out.
“Seeing each other” can be physical and emotional without being as committed as “together, ” but in the progressive stages.
“Together” is physical, mental and emotional. It is not necessarily exclusive, but generally is.
“Being together” is a less pressured title of being girlfriend and boyfriend, but has the same essence.
There is a thin line between “together” and “going out”.
“Going out” is the whole enchilada. It is extremely exclusive. The relationship is physical, mental, emotional and dedicated.
“I think it’s easy to see the line between “hooking up” and “seeing each other”,” said senior Ryan Jones. “It’s much harder to see the line between “seeing each other” and “dating”. Dating is much more exclusive.”
The meanings and purpose of these titles may further complicate things.
“People are too quick to judge if you’re with someone or not,” said freshman Laura Kilroy. “In high school, if a guy and girl were walking together, it was assumed that they were an item.”
The question of a relationship’s status can be intimidating causing a partner to feel overwhelmed about where the relationship is progressing.
Often times, a person will avoid defining the relationship too early, for fear of things being uncomfortable.
Discussing feelings may be a difficult step, but is a popular response to handling the situation.
“If you’re confused in a relationship, you should ask them what’s going on,” said freshman Andy Yaworsky. “If you’re not comfortable with the person to be asking, you shouldn’t be “hooking up”.”
Regardless of the different titles and definitions discussing the topic in an open an honest way should be strived for.
“The two things that ruin a relationship are miscommunication and dishonesty,” said Giangrande.
Keeping the lines of communication open should help define the various labels given to relationships.


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