But, it's complicated.
Although James and his wife have been separated for over a year now, their very messy divorce is not yet final. Sabrina's two children don't know that she is dating again. They were attached to the last guy she dated and when that relationship fell through, both of her kids were devastated. She is being more cautious now.
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While Sabrina isn't ready to think about moving in together or possibly getting married, she'd like to know where she stands with James. She's learned the hard way that it's important to get expectations on the table. However, she is worried about scaring James off with “relationship talk.”
If you've ever been on the social networking site, Facebook, you may be familiar with the relationship status feature. A Facebook user can set his or her relationship status as: “married,” “single,” or “domestic partnership,” among many other options.
One status that we've noticed people use is “it's complicated.”
There are many scenarios in which a person's relationship status is complicated. You don't have use Facebook or any other social networking site to know this.
The ways to be in a relationship-- of one form or another-- seem to grow daily. This has benefits and it has some drawbacks too.
Perhaps the biggest drawback to an “it's complicated” kind of relationship is that it can be very confusing. Like Sabrina, it may be early in the relationship (if it is one, you might not even be sure) to talk about serious stuff. You might not want your partner to think you're pressuring him or her.
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At the same time, you might be looking for some kind of clarity about what this thing is that you two are doing together-- whether it be dating, hanging out, having sex, texting and IM-ing frequently or something else.
Here are our suggestions for how to talk commitment even when you're in a complicated relationship: