Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Last week I was talking to a friend I haven't seen in a long time. We were going to be working on a project together but I told her I couldn't for the next two days because I had plans that night and the next day. It was when I tried to explain those plans that I suddenly found myself hesitating. What do I call this guy? What is he to me? For those who I talk to regularly I just use his name and they know exactly who/what I am talking about, including just how weird the relationship is at times. But what do I say to everyone else? I found myself hesitating to refer to him as a boyfriend, because that really didn't explain it at all to my mind. I'm pretty sure I just used his name in that conversation and figured she was smart and could decide what she wanted about it.

But it got me thinking.

For all the different types and stages of relationships I myself have been in, not to mention the countless types and stages everyone else on the planet has experienced, we seem to have woefully few number of words to describe them. Basically you are either friends, boyfriend/girlfriend, engaged, or married. But it seems to me that there is just so much that happens between friend and boyfriend/girlfriend and then between boyfriend/girlfriend and engaged that we could use several more terms there in the middle.

So I asked him what he calls me when he's talking to other people. Just because I was curious, not because I was expecting anything deep, but because I was curious is all. Part of my curiosity is because of how we both just automatically change how we act depending on the location we are in. On dates we are always holding hands or he has his arm around me. At church he just barely put his arm around me this month. But none of that seemed strange or out of place, it's just how it was, and I was fine with it. But what do you call that?

Ask and ye shall receive.

It turned into a deeper conversation than my surface level curiosity. We talked about our goals and our concerns. And, in the end, he's going to call me his girlfriend and I'm going to call him my boyfriend and we are officially exclusively dating.

Now I'm curious how that is going to change things. Probably changes what I should do for Valentine's day huh?