When is a relationship a RELATIONSHIP?

I’m not in a relationship

Adebayo you are in a relationship

I am telling you that I’m single

You’re not single

Nana am I married? I’m single

Ah, how can you say you’re single? You’ve been with your girlfriend for 5 years. You’re in a relationship.

That was the conversation between my friend and I last night. He argued that until he gets married he is single. “Yes, there are some boundaries but I am free to do whatever I want”, he said.  “How will your girlfriend feel if she hears you say that?” I asked. “Ah she knows”, was his response. “Yes but how does she feel Adebayo?”

This conversation got me thinking about relationships. When does a relationship become a RELATIONSHIP. If you’ve been with your partner for 5 years can you accurately describe yourself as single? At what point do you cross the line from being in a relationship to being in a RELATIONSHIP. Is it all semantics?

A few weeks ago I was in Malawi*, I hanged out a number of times with my Malawian lover, a guy I was really into, we bumped into his friends a couple of times and he always introduced me as “My friend Nana from Ghana”. The rhyming of Nana with Ghana irritates me. Many years ago I used to work in a retail shop on Piccadilly street in the heart of London’s West End. The shop manager used to call me “Nana bananna”. Yes o. And I said nothing. Maybe its because I was still a JJC (Johnny Just Come). Whatever. “Nana from Ghana” irritates me almost as much as “Nana Bananna”. But also beneath that irritation was the feeling, “I’m more than your friend”. I felt like the continued introduction of me as a friend was another way of reminding me that he was not that into me.

What are your relationship stories? When did your relationships become RELATIONSHIPS? And if you’re not married does that mean you’re single even when you’ve been dating the same person for years? Let’s chat






9 comments On When is a relationship a RELATIONSHIP?

  • Adebayo is full of bullshit! He IS in a relationship, he can spin it however he wants, but truth is, he is attached not single. Mscheeww!

    So if he is single, he can mingle right? Do the same rights extend to the girlfriend? Or he is the only one with the privileges?

  • My friend from Ghana, my Malawian lover… what are we signifying in the use of these terms? Both of them seem to imply a qualified relationship in my view… ….

  • I know…let’s chat…..IN THE FORUMS!!!

  • The lesson I learnt from my last relationship is that you can choose NOT to be a victim in a relationship. In other words, if you’ll be offended when a guy you’re banging introduces you as ‘friend’ then clarify your relationship status with that guy before you bang him. Personally, the next guy I bang is going to be a guy who has asked me out & defined (to my satisfaction) the vision he has for our relationship. & if you ever find yourself in Adebayo’s girlfriend’s position, you can leave & find someone else who will respect you when you’re dating & not treat you as ‘an option’. We women have sooo much power to determine & get exactly what we want in relationships but we hardly realize it because we’ve been socialized to be powerless victims.

  • @AM – Ha! I shall assume your questions are rhetorical unless Adebayo comes here to answer for himself. I did send him the link but I doubt if he’s read it 🙂

    @Kofi – Ohhhh Ah! You know what I mean 😛

    @Nnenna – Ei, so now you don’t want people to comment on the posts. Hmmm this forum thingy doesn’t seem to be working out o. That reminds me that I need to check whether the mobile interface for the forums is working

    @Ekuba – What if you were happy with the friend status, and then somewhere along the lines your feelings changed? Yup, you will need to communicate that your feelings have changed which will either kill the relationship or take it to a different level

  • People like to play games with the “title” thing so that they don’t have to be honest with their true feelings. And it leaves room for “error” or intentional bad choices. Ie: the friend thing, he can still meet people while with you around as long as they believe your just friends, as opposed to introducing you as his friend with benefits and scarring some future possibilities off….

  • I didn’t see the relationship I had with my most recent ex coming – we hang out for a while as friends, going to gigs, exhibitions and what not together, and even though we gel so well, I didn’t think anything of our chemistry. Until he asked to kiss me one night after walking me home. I was so shocked I fled.
    About a week later, in the middle of doing chest compressions at a First Aid course (if I rack my brains hard enough, I might even be able to pinpoint the exact hour), I missed him so much I practically run all the way to his house afterwards. And yea, it became the start of our romantic relationship, and we fell easily into this new set-up.
    To answer your question, I feel a lot of the time it’s how the other person validates you in front of his family/friends/others. It’s all well and good how we qualify our ‘thing’, but yo, if you have to dress it up differently to others, thereby surprising ME, then there’s the first of our issues…

  • Been in a relationship for 4 years, introduction is always either ” wifie to his buddies, wife to be to his family, fiancée to his work colleagues” and here I am, no ring, no children, relationship ended! Better introduce me as a friend with benefit and if God willing it with feelings or not and it ends in marriage then, we’ll call it RELATIONSHIP!

  • I am with AM on this one. Your friend Adebayo is full of bs. FIVE YEARS!!! FIVE YEARS and you think you aren’t in a relationship. What does he think? That he is filling out a visa application form where the options are: – single/never married, married/common law, seperated, divorced?????

    He is in a relationship. He just wants to go have the option of messing with other girls without letting his gf have the same option (what? she is supposed to be his faithful anchor, waiting patiently for him after his adventures.)

    I think you have a relationship once you have the talk. If the guy is like “Why put titles? Titles mean nothing” that is when you start bouncing.

Leave a reply:

Your email address will not be published.