It’s Complicated

“You let me complicate you.” ~Nine Inch Nails

I find it pretty hilarious when you look at someone’s relationship status, and it says “It’s complicated,” because all relationships are complicated, to an extent. I think the idea of “It’s complicated” came about because of the lack of definition most relationships seem to have these days. It’s hard to find girlfriends and boyfriends anymore because everyone is so intent on being single unless otherwise noted.

But we as a society don’t seem to care about this lack of definition. We are all about labels, so when a relationship is undefined we feel the need to define it, to slap a big label on it so others can sufficiently judge it. It’s like how employees in retail wear nametags so we can call them Sid, and Nancy, so we can feel like we know them just that much better because we know their names. Status is the same.

Remember when you used to hang out at bars, and it was all about trying to figure out if the hot girl in the group at the far table was single. What did single mean to you? Did it mean was she not married? Did it mean she had a boyfriend who you could displace? Did it mean she was totally unencumbered with none of the above? Remember how you wished you could just hand her a slip of paper asking her status? If she had circled “It’s complicated,” would you have continued your pursuit?

To me, “It’s complicated” means she’s probably in a relationship with someone who is a placeholder, or they’ve been through some issues and she’s now unsure if they will go the distance. It means she’s probably in a bad spot, and she doesn’t want some neanderthal chasing her for her number, or for a date, or sending her an inappropriate picture via Facebook Messenger. “It’s complicated” means there is a limit to her patience, and you might just stretch it.

“It’s complicated” can also mean she’s in a committed relationship, but the two of them haven’t defined the future clearly yet. Perhaps it’s understood that they’ll get married, or won’t ever get married, or maybe it’s not. Maybe it’s a sign that she wants more but they haven’t talked about it yet. Or perhaps it’s just a precursor to a breakup she sees coming way before he does.

There are myriad complications that life throws at us, especially when it comes to relationships. I mean, imagine it: how easy is it for you as an individual to do what you want when you want to do it? Now think of the compromises any relationship will ultimately require of you. Are they compromises that compromise who you are as a person, that stunt your personal growth? These things build, and they mortar up a wall between us and the people we’ve knitted our lives to, and they will eventually doom our relationships.

It all comes back to communication. It doesn’t have to be so complicated when we are clear about what we want, for ourselves, and for our relationships with others. When we discuss our problems, our fears, those things we will not compromise on, we can figure these things out. We will come to a satisfactory agreement, or we won’t, but at least things won’t be in limbo. At least we won’t be left wondering if things will ever change. We’ll know, because we pushed past our fears and put it all out there. Sometimes we have to be vulnerable to end those complications.

Sometimes we have to be ready for a relationship to fail in order to truly strengthen it. Then maybe it won’t be quite so complicated anymore.


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