In this era of dating, things can get easily confusing. From walls and baggages to mind games and commitment issues, there's little wonder as to why we opt to play it safe when we're romantically linked to another human being. And there's no judgement here. After all, it's only normal to protect ourselves from the big bad world of modern dating.
Most of us find ourselves in a kind of relationship where you're more than friends but less than lovers, and the boyfriend-girlfriend label seems to be a concept that you try so hard to dodge in order to avoid rocking the boat. Well, if you've ever experienced this kind of dating trend, then you're familiar with the insane struggle of keeping that boat afloat especially when one person is already in danger of deep diving for the other (A.K.A. falling head over heels in love.)
Being in a "no label" relationship can be ridiculously complicated, but the good news is that you can tread this path in a smarter way, possibly with less pain and casualties. Here, we're breaking down six essential tips to keep in mind when you and your S.O. are taking a slower pace when it comes to your dating status:
When you don't have a "label," it's easy to feel insecure, anxious, and even paranoid in your relationship. The key is to be able to communicate with the other person and to make sure that you're on the same page. If commitment is something that one or both of you can't promise, then it's better to verbalize it than to play guessing games with each other. Understanding why they prefer this setup can further give you peace of mind, so talk to each other as much and as often as you can.
2. Manage your expectations.
Once you've both established that you're taking things slow, then you should be able to manage your expecations from each other. Are you allowed to date other people? Do you have to know their whereabouts all the time? Do you want other people to know about your relationship? By setting boundaries for yourself and the other person, you'll also be able to take better control of your emotions, and feelings of unnecessary attachment can be regulated.
3. Don't put pressure.
If the other person is not ready to fully commit, always remind yourself that you agreed to this kind of setup which means that you can't put too much pressure on your relationship. When they need space, give it to them. When they don't feel like smothering you with affection, let them be. You can't hold on to them tightly, and you have to be okay with it.
4. Remember your self-worth.
Just because you're in a more carefree setup, it doesn't mean that you always have to go with the flow. Remember that you are still your own person, and your principles should remain intact. Don't lose who you are just to keep someone around. If you're the kind of person who wants a more stable relationship, then perhaps having no labels isn't for you. The same goes for those who can't commit; don't push yourself to be ready just because you don't want to let go of the connection that you already have.
If you think that you can make a "no label" relationship work without getting hurt, then the secret recipe that you have to master is called compromise. This requires a lot of maturity and open-mindedness. You have to find what works for each party and learn how to abide by those boundaries. At the end of the day, there has to be genuine care and respect between the two of you in order to have a real and satisfying relationship, labelled or not.
If you're still curious about the ropes to a non-labelled, commitment-free relationship, Cinema One Originals' Tayo Muna Habang Hindi Pa Tayo might just strike a chord in your marupok heart. Starring Jane Oineza and JC Santos, this cinematic story about a beautifully complicated connection will surely hit home and get you evaluating your own relationship whether it's worth it or not. Catch this and more Cinema One Originals films only until November 17!
ALSO READ: The Six Fix: Ways to be Less Marupok in Today’s Dating Scene