My parents often times are pretty “cool” and stay up to date with a lot of the things people of my generation are talking about.
However, it has come to my attention that we often times approach a roadblock when it comes to discussing my relationship status. This has become a big issue recently with my mom, who seems to get more and more confused every time I bring up the topic of a boy.
That being said, I have asked around to a lot of other people and finally compiled a list of modern day relationship phrases that parents don’t understand. Hopefully, this helps you out, mom!
1. “We’re talking.”
“You and I are talking right now too,” my dad replies every time I say this. You’re not wrong, dad, but when two people are talking in relationship terms, they are getting to know each other a little more before they decide whether or not they want to take things to the next level in the relationship, or “go steady” as parents will understand. Talking is a very early stage in any relationship, and does not always partner up with exclusivity.
2. “We’re a thing.”
If someone and their potential love interest are talking exclusively but have yet to put a label on the relationship or make it official, they are simply a “thing.” Most couples today hang in this stage for a while before they change their relationship status on Facebook and introduce them to the parents, but being a thing usually guarantees the two are going to make it official eventually.
3. “We’re not official.”
Refer to “we’re a thing.”
4. “We’re just hanging out.”
I’ve seen this used in multiple different ways, and all ways are equally as frustrating. When two people are “just hanging out,” it often times means that one person in the coupling has absolutely no interest in a relationship but wants the benefits of being in one. Use your imagination as to what these benefits are. Other times, this is used as an excuse by someone in a “thing” to excuse disloyalty.
5. “Cuffing season”
Who wants to be locked inside and cold all by themselves? Cuffing season begins around the winter months when single people begin to feel lonely, especially as the gift-giving season rolls around and they don’t have someone to spoil. People underestimate how expensive it is to be in a relationship around cuffing season, however.
I personally don’t like this term, but it is referring to any person in a relationship who seems overly invested in the other person and will willingly do absolutely anything for them. It is a blanket term; people can be considered “whipped” when they do something as simple as taking a call from their partner or something as extreme as prioritizing them over absolutely everything. If you ever see someone act out a whipping motion at another person, they are inferring that they are “whipped.”
7. “Netflix and chill”
Sorry parents, I know this sounds like an innocent movie night with popcorn and maybe some cuddling, but it is far from cute and cuddly. This phrase is used when someone wants to not watch a movie, but instead, hook up while Netflix is on in the background.
8. “Hook up”
Another blanket term, hooking up is something that has a varying definition from person to person. Some think that hooking up means just making out, others think that hooking up means any sexual act greater than making out. Don’t be afraid to ask for clarification!
9. “We’re not putting a label on it.”
These are the unofficial couples who will never be official even though most of the time, one of the people in the coupling definitely wants to add a label. The minute a couple puts a label on it, they go from being a “thing” to being “boyfriends” or “girlfriends.” As nit-picky as this phrase is, in order from least exclusive to most exclusive goes “talking,” being a “thing,” and then an unlabeled relationship. Couples without a label are usually slightly more exclusive than couples who have a “thing.”
DTR-ing is critical in any relationship. Standing for “defining the relationship,” DTR-ing can result in a couple falling into any of the categories I am explaining in this article. Many times, DTR-ing takes place between two people who have a “thing,” and it declares whether or not their relationship will move on to being official. It usually consists of a very serious talk, which nobody wants to instigate but everyone wants to have.
Being caught in the “friendzone” is quite possibly the most discouraging position to be in. When someone “friendzones” someone else, it means that they told the person that they will never be more than a friend to them regardless of the other person attempting to pursue a relationship with them. It is very difficult to get out of the “friendzone,” but it can be done!
When you “ghost” someone, you are taking the steps required to get out of any of these stages in this article. Popular ways to “ghost” include ignoring all texts and Snapchats, blocking on all forms of social media, or attempting to avoid seeing someone in public. “Ghosting” is really mean, and it’s definitely a lot nicer if someone is upfront and honest about not being interested instead of leaving someone wondering what they did wrong.
13. “On the down low”
When a relationship is “on the down low,” a couple is attempting to avoid making their relationship public with the world. This can be the result of not wanted to face the judgment of others after the announcement, or waiting for a previous relationship to simmer down before going and rubbing it into other people’s faces.
I often times struggle to keep up with the terms, and a lot of the time, it is difficult for a couple to even know which stage they are in. To all the parents out there, I hope that this article helps you understand our terribly frustrating and confusing relationship phases. Sadly, it is not as simple as “going steady” anymore. Dad, think twice next time you say you are I are talking, too!