Picture this: You’ve been seeing this guy for a while. You still don’t know what to call him, and you want him to be your boyfriend, but you don’t know how to bring it up or even how he would respond. Or maybe you spend all of your time with this person, getting take out together, or seeing movies or Netflixing (with heavy sides of “chill”) but any conversation of “what are we” leads him scrambling out the door. Or maybe you’re just exclusively hooking up with this person who makes you smile and you want to explore things with. It’s no secret that guys aren’t the best communicators and are rarely the first person to bring up serious relationship discussions. On the other hand, you shouldn’t have to sit there in limbo and struggle to figure out what the heck you are to this person. In case you’re wondering where you stand, here are some signs that your relationship is still in that gray area.
13Lack Of Communication
You might not have long, meaningful chats with your partner early on in the relationship, but for some couples, they don’t talk at all. Maybe you watch a lot of television together, or go out and drink and party together, or maybe you just get it on before you fall asleep. For couples that don’t spend much time talking, here’s a quick reality check: you probably aren’t a couple. You might be f*ck buddies and you might be friends with benefits (but friends usually talk more) but you definitely aren’t boyfriend and girlfriend. If you want to get out of that gray area, start conversing.
12He Bails On You Regularly
You had Saturday night plans, but he calls at 7:45pm to tell you he’s not feeling up to it anymore. When you, trying to be the accommodating girlfriend (or are you?) volunteers to pick up take out and come over, he says no, because he just wants to be alone. That’s not to say that he’s cheating on you, although he could be, but that he would rather do things without you, than with you. Not only did he bail on you, but he bailed on you to do nothing. If he only wants to do things with you when it’s convenient for him, you’re definitely stuck in the gray.
11He Prefers You Don’t Tag Him In Facebook Photos
This is also a classic sign of a playboy. There are a few reasons he may not want to be tagged in anything on Facebook, so don’t panic yet. First, maybe he has family on social media and he doesn’t want to be a family gossip discussion. Second, maybe he’s legitimately trying to take it slow and he’s just not sure yet. And third, Facebook is for forever and sometimes, dudes just don’t want a million pieces of photo evidence. However, if it’s been more than a few months and there’s not a single photo in existence of you two, anywhere, you’re officially in purgatory, aka, the gray area.
10You Have No Idea If You’re Exclusive Or Not
Early on, it’s important to define relationship terms, so you can be honest and open about things and avoid silly drama. Sometimes things never come up though and it seems awkward to ask. Are you seeing other people or are you seeing only each other? He hasn’t blatantly said that he’s not seeing anyone else so should you start? How’s a girl to know? When you’re not sure if you’re the only woman in his life, you are definitely deep in a shade of gray.
9You Don’t Get A Title
It might seem silly, but sometimes you just want to have a title. You want to be the girlfriend. You don’t just want to be “Jill”. And as frustrating as it is, what can you really do? You can tell him you want to be his girlfriend and he could tell you that you are already or that he doesn’t believe in silly titles. Either way, if you’ve been going out and meeting all sorts of his friends, and being introduced simply by your name “Hey guys, this is Amber” instead of “Hey guys, this is my girlfriend, Amber”, you’re probably stuck in the gray.
8You Have No Set Schedule
It’s safe to say that especially with new relationships, people with full-time jobs tend to see their s/o on the weekends, and probably every weekend, with few exceptions. Granted, life can definitely throw a wrench into regularly scheduled programming, but if you never have a discussion and there’s no expectation of regularly scheduled hang-out sessions, then when are you seeing each other? When he “feels like it”? If he’s not making an effort to see you regularly or you find it difficult to block out some weekly time together, you’re stuck in the gray and not getting out any time soon.
7His Friends Seem Surprised When They Meet You
When he brings you out with his friends, there will inevitably be time when you’re on your own, chatting them up, and not glued to his side. You’re probably used to the standard questions from being in other relationships. What you aren’t prepared for though, is when they ask you how long you’ve been seeing each other and you respond with “x months” and it looks like they are about to spit their beer out at you. If they seem surprised to know you’ve been around for a bit, it’s because he hasn’t told anyone about you, which most certainly puts you in the gray area.
6He Gets Weird When You Leave Stuff At His Place
Weekend sleepovers are pretty sweet, aren’t they? So is the breakfast you guys have together on Saturday morning. Know what’s not so sweet though? The mini suitcase you have to cart over to his place EVERY WEEKEND for your stuff. Because you need to have your stuff. Wouldn’t it just be easier to leave a few things there for convenience? If he gets weird when you suggest it, or texts you that you left something when you accidentally (ON PURPOSE) leave a thing or two kicking around at his place, you are definitely not out of the gray area yet.
5You Feel Like It’s Going Nowhere
When someone feels a certain way towards another person, they tend to act a specific way, whether or not they are aware of these actions. When you like someone, you tend to smile more or be playful and when you don’t, you tend to be more distant and less enthusiastic to be around him. Or he’s doing the same for you. If you feel weird about your relationship or you feel like it’s going nowhere, you’re probably right and it’s time to get out of the gray or get out of the romance.
4He Doesn’t Reciprocate Your Feelings
You finally mustered up the courage. It’s been 6 months, so why wouldn’t you feel this way. You took a deep breath and told him that you loved him. And all you got back was a blank stare, an awkward joke or a quick change of subject. And maybe he just didn’t feel it at that time… but it’s now 3 months after that and he’s still making no effort to tell you how he feels… so you’re probably sitting in that unpleasant gray area.
3He Refuses To Introduce You To His Family
You probably shouldn’t expect to meet the family for at least a few months, unless he happens to cohabitate with one of his siblings, in which case, you get the privilege of awkward morning breakfast or walk of shame. And some couples prefer just to take it slow because often you get pressure from your parents when you introduce them to a new beau (is he “the one”? When are you getting married? No I’m not pregnant, Grandma, etc) If after six months to a year, you still haven’t been invited to meet the family, it’s bad news bears because it looks like you’re never getting out of the gray area.
2He Can’t Give You A Straight Answer
You might be fed up at this point and you may think your best solution is to demand answers, and to a certain extent, you’re right. Guys are very simple, direct communicators, when they are communicating and they don’t want to play mind games and talk with fancy, flowery words. However, you’re best efforts might come up short if your slightly angry question of “what the f*ck are we, babe?” gets answered with a lot of dancing around and no straight answer after what seems like a twenty minute convo, you are residing in the gray.
1You Still Think About Other Guys
All this relationship gray area stuff isn’t reserved for man-friends to put you ladies through, you know. Sometimes, you can be just an unsure about the relationship as they are. Maybe things are going great, but you catch a cute boy’s eye as you walk through the mall and get some fluttering in your belly. Uh oh… or maybe you’re out for girls night and without thinking, you give that hottie (who asked) your phone number. Clearly your subconscious is telling you something and it’s that your current relationship status is a whole lot of gray.