Why do all relationships need tags?

Times have changed. The world has evolved. No more are we living in the eras of Stone Age! How you ask? We see a girl walk by on the road in a skirt that barely covers her thighs? We smile and keep minding our own business. We see a girl in a bright red lipstick or a guy wearing a fluorescent pink t-shirt? Who are we to judge? We overhear a group of girls talking about their menstrual dates and flow? We don’t bat an eyelid or get utterly grossed out. Right?


No matter how much you’d like to agree with any of the statements above, the truth is that from the times of Marilyn Monroe to this day, nothing has changed. We are still the same lighting-fire-with-stones and using-leaves-to-cover-our-privates cavemen. Okay not literally but you get the point.

There is a rule for almost everything.


And so in such a world, the entire ‘dating culture’ is a big question mark. Our rights and wrongs have crossed the fine line in between them and have become one giant blob of what we like to call ‘rules’. There is a rule for almost everything. There is a rule that says only the guy can ask a girl out because if the alternate happens, the guy is almost instantly named a wuss. There is a rule for public displays of affection. Heck there is a rule for cuddling, too. Why does the guy always have to be the bigger spoon? For protection of the girl from bears in their apartment? Pffft! You know she could kick the bear’s ass herself.

Now, in my life, there is a boy. In the truest sense, he is the sweetest and purest human being I’ve had the privilege of knowing. He is a bundle of love and all things nice. He gives me the same feeling that hot soup does in times of a cold. And above all, he makes me feel comfortable in my own skin (ref. the fart contests, my no-makeup-just-woke-up look and torn pajamas). I am truly, blissfully and devotedly in love with him and he is with me. We live with each other in the tiny apartment that we have managed to make our home. We cook together, do laundry together (we totally don’t get side-tracked in between dirty clothes and do ‘stuff’ in the steamy bathroom *wink wink*) and we do the cleaning together. In the most traditional sense, we are dating. But is he my boyfriend?

Is this name-calling not childish?


Before I answer that question I want to ask you this, what does the word boyfriend mean? What qualities does a boy need to have to become your ‘boyfriend’? What relationship do we need to share for me to call him that? What is the definition of the word?

Now even if you somehow manage to answer these questions, let me ask you one more, why do I need to call him my boyfriend? The two of us love each other so much our friends call us ‘the ultimate couple’ (no big deal, by the way). Then is this name-calling not childish?

I utterly love this guy but why do you pressurize me into giving him a tag? Why do I have to give this pure relationship a tag? Why do I have to call him my boyfriend? We are in love. Is that not enough to satiate your judgmental hunger?

So there! Thus ends your first lecture on how to not be a judgmental prude and mind your own damn business. Your homework for the day: Rethink your life choices and stop gossiping in whispers about that girl who is ‘not lady-like’!


Lovingly in a relationship,
Not a girlfriend!



Author: Zainab Haji


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