Although there are many types of relationships and how they work, what we are mainly concerned with here is one of the very simplest: couples with a romantic and sexual component.
So, to break it down in a way that might be more manageable for us plebs:
The idea of ‘the girlfriend/boyfriend’ (or boyfriend/girlfriend) is a relationship in which the two people in the relationship are single.
You are not dating him/her, you are not married to them, you don’t see each other regularly, you don’t consider your relationship in the long-term, you don’t have children together or any other attachments.
It’s purely a ‘for now’, situational arrangement.
While there are various models of how people look at relationships
I myself tend to view romantic and sexual partners as a package deal, with both parties as equal as possible and being either mutually exclusive or complementary of each other.
What I’m trying to highlight here is that in this model, it is assumed that both people are available and available to both other parties as well, which means that they have equal bargaining power.
Now, back to reality: things rarely work out this way.
Especially in today’s world of modern dating. If a relationship is going to be a relationship and not just a hookup, both partners in the relationship have to be prepared to deal with everything that entails in a relationship
Every other person and situation that you are likely to come into contact with, including some that would never normally occur in a healthy relationship.
A relationship is, in essence, a kind of contract between two people to spend time together and at the same time love and care about each other.
The trouble with a ‘for now’ relationship
One of the main problems that happen in relationships is that one or both partners tend to become comfortable in the relationship.
Their lives go on. They continue to meet up for dates and go out to parties.
They do more than just be together in a committed relationship, without even considering that this kind of relationship might not lead to anything.
So, the relationship has evolved to a state that is less about a mutually agreed upon relationship and more about just another piece of the overall scheme of things.
It might still be a hookup because it has not progressed to a level of exclusivity.
But just because a couple is hooking up does not mean that they are in a healthy relationship.
The real problem here is that one or both people involved become immune to the fact that they are in a ‘relationship’.
They have become numb to all the aspects that go into making a relationship work. They have ceased to consider how much they have to give and how much it costs for them to give it.
To ensure a long, stable, and solid relationship, both partners need to get rid of the mindset of being single.
They need to start prioritizing relationships in their lives and not just their sex life.
To truly care for someone, you have to care about how much they care about you
To make a relationship a relationship, both parties need to consider every aspect of the relationship.
They need to consider what kind of relationship they are in and what kind of commitments they are committing themselves to.
They need to consider what kind of marriage they are aiming for.
They need to consider the consequences of their decisions and how they can benefit their relationships.
They need to question the motives behind the thoughts and actions of each other, and, above all, they need to make a conscious effort to be accountable for their actions and to be aware of the hidden consequences of their actions.
When you place yourself in an insecure mindset where all you are after is a quick hook up, all you end up getting is a one-night stand.
Because, as a rule of thumb, hookups are a brief romantic encounter.
A hookup is not a relationship
Your partner will ultimately become your friend, and ultimately be your teammate. However, that does not mean that your relationship is over.
It just means that you two need to get on the same page about what you are aiming for in your relationship.
This might mean making the necessary compromises for both parties, even if you do not like the outcome of those compromises.
But ultimately, it is worth it. And if not, it is something you can consider later on.
What if a relationship does not work out? You might get frustrated.
You might feel broken. You might feel that your relationship was a waste of time. But, all in all, it is okay.
And that is what you want. You want to feel that you are growing and evolving as a person.
You want to feel as though your values are changing.
While a relationship might be ending, you are still progressing as a person.
And when you feel better about yourself and life, you also feel better about the relationship.