He Wouldn’t Make Us Official for Over Two Years
The guy I’m seeing did not want to put a label on it. What gives?!
QUESTION: Recently, a member of the Create the Love community wrote that they’ve “been seeing a guy for over two years,” and although they were exclusive, “he has refused to put a title on it.” (I don’t know about you, but I’m already feeling like there’s a red flag here.) They continued, “The other day he told me a story that happened around the one-year mark, where he told one of my acquaintances that we were ‘just fucking.’ It clearly upset me, and while he never apologized, he did later thank me for being in his life. What’s up with that? Do I have a right to be upset over something from a year ago?”
MARKS RESPONSE: Yeah, you have a right to be upset over something from a year ago, but there’s a lot more to unpack with this question. First of all, two years without a title on a relationship? You are living in ambivalence, my friend. You don’t actually know if you’re being chosen, and there is no security in the relationship. I don’t even wanna know what your nervous system is like. When we are in situations with a lot of uncertainty, or we’re settling for less than what we want, we live in a state of chaos and a state of inflammation. How does that connect to health? Those inflammatory states can lead to illness, anxiety, and chronic depression because we’re not in charge of our future. We’re residing in a state of not honoring ourselves. So, yeah, I’d be pretty pissed.
If you’ve been hooking up with someone for a year thinking you’re in a relationship and then find out they see it as ‘just fucking,’ that disconnect tells me you were afraid to get clearer on what they wanted to make sure it matches what you want. This is low accountability behavior.
This is where we set a low bar because we’re afraid that if we say what we actually want, they’re gonna leave, or they’re not gonna want what we want. But here’s the thing: when you declare what you want and they don’t want what you want, that means they’re not your person.
It’s one thing if, at the beginning of a relationship, you genuinely are just in it for the hookup. That’s great! Yet at some point, you wanted exclusivity in a relationship, and you didn’t express it or even take the time to get clear on what you wanted.
This is a reminder to all of us that when what we want changes, we have to communicate it. We can’t be upset at someone for not wanting what we want when we never actually expressed it. We see this all the time, right? We secretly set an expectation and get mad when someone doesn’t meet it. And if they explain that they didn’t know, we pull the, “If you really knew me, and if you really loved me, you would just know.” All of this sets us up for failure, simply because we’re afraid of actually declaring what we truly want.
Stand in what you want. Stand in your worth. If you’re confused, or if circumstances change, then take the time to figure out what you actually want. Because if we don’t take the time to get clear on what we want, we can’t expect other people to meet those needs (and we definitely can’t entirely blame them for not being mind readers). It’s okay to feel upset, but putting it all on the other person might be masking how you’re upset with yourself. I mean this in the most loving way possible: the pain you’re experiencing is the realization that you abandoned yourself to keep someone, or didn’t stand in the truth of what you actually wanted. It’s a painful gift, to realize you never actually stood up for yourself, but here you are, and now you can change your life.
It can be a great moment when we realize we can get out of our own way, learn new skills and bring a new, better version of ourselves to our next romantic relationship but also improve the ones we have with our family and friends. We are about to launch our newest course Attachment 101 which will help you not only understand yourself better but also your partners and give you tools for how to communicate boundaries from a place of personal responsibility, plus how to discern self-sabotage from red flags.