Relationship Status: It’s Complicated

Life's Journey, Through The Looking Glass, Path of Promise, Road Less Travelled

When did “it’s complicated” become a status alongside married, single, divorced, widowed? I confess to having rolled my eyes a time or two or even chuckled when seeing this status on a few social media walls, shaking my head and thinking, “really?” However, relationships really can be complicated. I’m not sure it’s worthy of a status but when two human beings come together and try to make a go of it, it’s never quite that simple.

Let me be clear and point out here that I’m referring to REAL relationships,

  • “It’s complicated” because we slept together after dating a week and now I’m not sure where we stand doesn’t fall into the real relationship category.
  • And certainly not, “it’s complicated” because we broke up but I keep getting a booty call and responding to it so now I’m not sure if we’re back together or not.
  • I’m definitely not referring to “it’s complicated” because he’s married although it’s not a happy marriage and he’s working on getting a divorce.
  • Nor am I referring to “it’s complicated” because we get together often but never with friends and never in public.

I’m referring to what I like to call a term you may have heard before…A COUPLE.

  • Two people who are thinking long term together or can at least see a future together.
  • Two people who are married or planning on marriage.
  • Two people who are living together as a couple…not roommates.
  • Two people who are dating exclusively.

All couples have a once upon a time, a story of how they met, their beginning. The thing is when we are in a relationship, we are not alone. We are part of a whole. Yet, we each come with our own individual once upon a time. Both parties did not begin this race called life at the same START line, even if we hope to end at the same FINISH line together.

Each party has their own unique set of experiences that has shaped them gradually into the person they are today. Each half of the couple had a different and unique upbringing that has contributed not only to the adult they’ve become but also how they interact with others. This is never more evident than when an individual becomes a plus one. It is then that all the years of molding and kneading, tweaking and shaping comes to light because it is then that love for someone other than themselves comes into play. This is where it gets complicated folks.

I believe couples get in trouble when we forget that the person we fell in love with had a story all their own before we came into the picture. Instead, we get frustrated when they don’t behave a certain way. After all, we, personally, would never do things that way or handle a certain situation that way. Why should they?

We don’t understand why our other half is less affectionate than we would like, and I don’t mean in the bedroom necessarily. We each have our own way of showing affection, and holding someone else (especially someone we claim to love) to our own set of standards isn’t fair and certainly isn’t realistic. Maybe the other person was raised in a family where hugs and kisses weren’t the norm. That is sad and shocking to those of us who were smothered with physical affection as kids, but it doesn’t need to be and it certainly doesn’t make that person love any less…just love differently.

There is no formula, no rule, no instruction manual to follow, though following your heart is a great start no matter what your heart has been through in the past. Being in a relationship means give and take, understanding, patience, compassion. It also means there is room for anger, hurt, frustration, blame. Keeping those scales balanced…therein lies the key.

Sound complicated? That’s because it is, but you don’t give up on life when the road gets a bit bumpy do you? And, if it really, truly, is that “complicated” then get off the road before you get run over. It’s your status.

14 thoughts on “Relationship Status: It’s Complicated

  1. LittleMiss, It is in fact complicated, and even after 35 years of marriage it remains complicated. Very thoughtful post which I appreciated greatly. Also thank you for stopping by my blog and liking my current post. I hope you find other reasons in the future to visit. Take care, Bill

  2. […] Relationship Status: It’s Complicated – The Young One swears she is never getting married. I suspect that is a phase she will eventually grow out of especially when she finally learns boys don’t really have cooties (at least the good ones don’t). I’ll save this post for her and pull it out when she starts dating. […]

  3. I love this post. I’m happily married, but the “complicated” status aggravates me. If you’re in a relationship, it’s like airing your dirty laundry. If you’re single and just hooking up or any of the others you listed…you’re single. That’s it.

    Everything you had to say about relationships always being complicated was well written and beautiful.

    (here via A Mother Life Hump Day Hook Up)

  4. This just goes to prove how out-of-it I am, since I’ve been married 32 years and, aside from the movie, have never seen anyone refer to their status as ‘complicated’. It seems to me that if you do- you’re not really in a relationship worth pursuing.

  5. Having been married for 19 years now, I really have no idea what it feels like to navigate the waters of the Singles Ocean. My heart goes out to you, my friend. I see no reason to change things if you’re happy with your current arrangement, but you deserve more from a lover – and life in general.

    1. We’ve been happily married for 19 years as well and together even longer. Thankfully, this post wasn’t referring to my marriage. Just an observation of what I’ve been seeing and hearing a lot of lately. Congratulations to you and your wife as being happily married as long as we have seems to be quite the feat these days. And, thank you for your kind words too!

  6. Relationships are complicated. They require work from both partners. Sadly, too many people jump ship when things are no longer easy and smooth sailing. Relationship have to grow and change as the people in them do – we just have to be willing to take the time to make them a priority. Great post!

  7. I think in a society that is getting more and more “me” based, the term “it’s complicated” is a direct reflection of how people are becoming less capable of empathizing with their partners. What you said about forgetting that people have lived their own lives before they came together is incredibly important. If you want to “uncomplicate” your relationship, you need to appreciate the differences in your partner that make you something more than you would be without them. Until you can recognize and appreciate those things, things will always be complicated.

    1. This.”I think in a society that is getting more and more “me” based, the term “it’s complicated” is a direct reflection of how people are becoming less capable of empathizing with their partners.” – Exactly what I think is happening. We claim to fall in love with someone, then the moment they act in an unexpected or disappointing way, we want to tear them down, change them, complain about who they are. Those differences may challenge us, but they also may side of ourselves we may never have discovered otherwise. Could that be the problem? We then see a side of ourselves we’re not proud of?

      I so appreciate you dropping by and sharing your insight as well! Thank you.

  8. Once again you nailed it♡
    I think relationship status started out being something the under thirty crowd started. But then as the older crowd started getting into Facebook (to my daughter’s alarm and then total embarrassment, lol.) It seemed only natural to add MARRIED if you were registering at the time. But as for… COMPLICATED well, maybeee for some youngster, I understand. Life IS complicated. But us adults don’t need to be sharing personal information like that. Even though it still is very complicated no matter how old we might be. We don’t need to be giving our kids an actual reason to be embarrassed. I guess we do that enough without adding Facebook to the mix! 😉

    1. Ah, if it were only Facebook! The alarming thing is I’ve heard “it’s complicated” so often lately from folks that claim to be in a relationship. Maybe I’m just getting to be an old married woman, but while I definitely believe relationships are complicated it seems like a bit of a cop out. I say figure out where you stand and take it from there. Of course it’s complicated! We’re only human after all and all come with flaws and “pre-existing conditions” of the emotional kind. If two people truly love each other, they will accept each other completely and work through the differences. As always, I love your insight! Thanks for stopping by!

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