• Tinukè Olatunbosun

Do Labels Matter In Relationships?

Yes! That’s my answer and I’m sticking to it. As with all my post, I like to look at both perspectives. In this case, the reasons why labels are important but also why some deem it as not so important.


A label in this particular circumstance, is simply what you define your relationship status as. Typically when you initially meet someone and are getting to know them, you are likely to refer to it as dating. As things progress it may now become an official relationship, which is when labels such as girlfriend/boyfriend come in to play.


The first things that come to mind when an individual says “I hate labels” is one of two things. Commitment-phobia or he/she doesn’t want to be monogamous.

However, upon thinking about it in more depth, I understand the whole belief that it adds pressure to the relationship. All of a sudden a new bout of responsibility comes into the picture.


Although I agree to a certain degree, I also believe it’s part of the journey to finding the one. Naturally, as we progress in everyday life, whether it be our personal life’s or career, new responsibilities come in.


I am going to use an odd example: it’s like getting a promotion at work. You start off in a particular role, let’s say admin(that’s your title.)
Over time you may be promoted, to a supervisor which is now your new title. A new role comes with new responsibility. It’s a positive in my opinion, it shows transition and progress just as with a relationship.
 Some view labels as insignificant, a title that just adds unnecessary pressure.


However, others believe it signifies and makes clear what stage of the relationship you are at, which I totally agree with.
The cycle is this: Dating-boyfriend/girlfriend-fiancé-husband/wife. Each of these stages/labels show that your relationship is getting more serious and reaching new heights.
 Labels don’t add pressure to the relationship, individuals associating unrealistic expectations to it does.


Many of us have seen or heard the quote “expectations lead to disappointment”.


Entering any relationship with this mindset is already setting yourself up for something negative. As your relationship transitions, new expectations come in, that’s life. Instead of viewing it as pressure, see it as growth.


Moreover, another question that comes up in relation to labels is ‘does a label stop cheating’?
Let’s be honest, if an individual is going to cheat, they will cheat, with or without the label.


However, a label makes it easier to hold an individual accountable for their actions. If you are with someone but haven’t made your relationship official, an easy cop-out would be ‘but we ain’t technically together’; which in all honesty is a fact.


This situation can be avoided by open and honest conversations from the start. This conversation will consist of both of you highlighting your boundaries. You will also make your expectations known, for instance agreeing not to sleep with anyone but each other.

This now becomes the unwritten rule, regardless if it’s not official. In this circumstance, if the person was to go ahead and sleep with someone else, you have a decision to make!


Do you stay there, because it’s not really official? Or do you walk away, because, quite frankly you can’t trust this individuals words or actions? I know what I would do!!


I decided to write this post as I often see individuals settling for label-less relationships. Although some don’t see it as a big deal, I believe it shows stages and growth. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t believe relationships need to be rushed. The dating stage should assist in you deciding whether you see a future with one and other. Once this is established, I see no reason why a title can’t be given to your relationship.


It’s also important to remember that some individuals will you give you a title solely based on the fact that they know it is what you want. They may also believe that particular perks come with this title. Don’t be so eager for the title that you misjudge the intentions of an individual.


Thanks for reading, I would love to know your views on this. Are labels important? Comment below

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This is an advice section is for relationship based questions and dilemmas. 

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