All Woman

Are you dating, a fling or a friend with benefits?

By NADINE WILSON All Woman writer wilsonn@jamaicaobserver.com

Monday, May 21, 2012    

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IN this age of Facebook, Twitter and sex-texting, hooking up with someone has never been easier. No longer are relationships just plain black and white; there are many grey areas in-between. So people don't necessarily feel constrained to introduce someone as their boyfriend or girlfriend, but by a slew of other titles that are already making the rounds on the social scene.

And because we are living in the digital age, these euphemisms also come with their own codes too.

Family life counsellor and educator for the Central Jamaica Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, Anthony Gordon, said while he does not condone these relationships, they are increasingly becoming a part of the popular culture.

"It is really the dynamics and dynamism that is evolving in this new age where relationships are concerned and so I am aware that from time to time these terms usually evolve," he said.

"While I understand the coding and the cultural dynamism in them, I caution persons in relationships to be careful because people might get involved in something and they are not truly aware that they are getting into," he said

It is upon this premise that the counsellor cautioned young ladies getting involved in relationships to first of all understand what the various codes mean, and decide whether they accept them as a part of their relationship vocabulary.

So ladies, if a guy never introduces you as his girlfriend, his fiancée, or his wife, chances are he might have very well filed you under one of these headings in his little black book.

1. Friends with benefits (FWB). This is the most common of them all, and has probably given credence to the argument that it is impossible for two individuals from opposite sexes to remain just friends. Both individuals usually pretend that the relationship is uncomplicated, and that both are for the most part just hang-out buddies with "no strings attached" although they are always on each other's arms. In many cases, however, the lines usually get crossed.

2. Dating (DTNG). This means he is not yet sold on you and he is just checking out the prospects of you becoming the future Mrs. It could be that he is dating you alone, but since the dating season is a period of exploration, he might just be seeing other girls as well.

3. Fling (FNG). The relationship is purely sexual. You might as well be strangers, except that you have a basic need that forces you to meet on mutual grounds. There is not much romancing, no flowers, no love letters or the professing of each other's undying love, just a bit of scratching each other's itch as the need arises. Most times, the relationship is hidden and so you barely ever see each other before midnight.

4. Talking (TLKNG). You both like each other, but there is not much romancing as is obvious had you been dating. It could be that you are aware of each other's interest, but are already involved in other relationships, but that has not prevented you from hooking up secretly. So your relationship is not yet formalised since at the moment you are just, well, talking.

5. Ex with Sex (XWS). Although you and your ex called it quits, you still continue to have sex. So while you have both agreed that you will not get back in an exclusive relationship, both of you continue to share a great sex life upon the basis that it is okay to continue enjoying the one thing that was actually working out in your relationship.

6. Lovers (LVRS). You are not necessarily committed to each other, but you have deep feelings for each other, kind of like a booty call, but with deep and sometimes raw emotions involved. It's kind of one of those outdated, cheesy phrases which couples do not necessarily mind using with each other, but feel totally uncomfortable using while making the formal introductions to parents or friends.

7. One night stand (ONS). This is the worst of them all, especially if the next day you don't remember each other's names. This relationship usually amounts to two strangers occupying each other's time to pass the night. You just go back to being strangers the day after.

8. Pretty much exclusive (PMX). Nothing is concrete as yet, but based on your commitment to each other, the exclusitivity of your relationship is basically a sealed deal. In fact you are really exclusive, but you pretty much don't want to label the relationship just yet, even so, the writing is already on the wall, so to speak.

9. Best friends (BF). Having a male best friend is like having a brother and a significant other rolled into one. You are probably the girl most people see him with and the one he confides in the most if he doesn't already have a girlfriend. Even so, the relationship shared is purely platonic, kind of like a friend without the sexual benefits. His girlfriend is super jealous of you and most times upon seeing you together people usually exclaim, "So when are you two finally going to tie the knot?"

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