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Ask Ogonna: Re-defining the relationship as summer ends

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Have a problem with love or life in general? Send Ogonna your questions at askogonna@gmail.com and get them answered here in her column. You can also tweet her at @askogonna


Reader: So the person I’ve been talking to for a while now hasn’t made anything official and I’m starting to wonder what’s going on. We said we’d see where the past few months take us but it seems like things are still the same. Now that summer’s over, I don’t know where that leaves us. What should I do?

Ogonna: Now that summer has come and gone, I’d like to touch base on a popular topic on re-defining the relationship with some new advice. I’m not one to rush into things unless it involves Chipotle or an assignment I’ve procrastinated on for weeks, so I definitely understand someone taking his or her time to make things “official.” But that doesn’t mean you can’t ask about that person’s thoughts moving forward.

Let us look to Beyoncé for guidance in this time of need. She advises for all the single ladies (and men) out there to not be afraid to tell the person you’ve been talking to, “If you liked it, then you should’ve put a ring on it.” A ring in this case being a metaphorical symbol of one’s full commitment, not an actual engagement ring — unless that’s something you’re into right now.

The way I see it, nobody wants to be toyed with for months just to have the other person peace out at the last second because a relationship isn’t what he or she is looking for right now. I think it’s best to ask about his or her feelings of making things official, and see what he or she has to say. If you’ve been clear about your intentions, the least the other person can do is be honest with you too.

So let’s say you ask this person and he or she wants to take things slowly, or doesn’t even know what being a relationship would look like between the two of you. As much as you’d want to slap them and say, “We’re basically already dating,” you should listen to his concerns and really hear them out.

Relationships take time and effort. Even if you have been “talking” to each other for what seems like eternity to you and the friends who have been living vicariously through your potential relationship, things will inevitably change even in the slightest of ways when you both decide to take things a step further. Be careful to respect and understand where this person is coming from if he or she is hesitant on moving forward. The best way to understand is frankly to ask about these inhibitions, and see if there’s any way the two of you can start to work on things, even as almost-dating-but-not-quite-yet friends. Every relationship requires trust and honesty, so it’s best to take time to build that now, even if you’re not an official item yet.

The other side of the coin, however, is that the person ends up not wanting to be in a relationship. Perhaps it’s not good timing or another reason that to you seems like a cop-out. To be honest, that is probably not going to feel too great.

But that doesn’t mean that it’s for the worse. If you don’t end up together, then you avoided something that would’ve hurt your relationship rather than have helped it. Everyone deserves his or her best chance in a relationship, and if you’re not it for that person, then he or she probably wasn’t it for you either.

But I’m going to end things on a hopeful note and encourage you to go for it anyway. Hey, you’ve already been talking and have discussed the idea of a relationship, so you know the odds are favorable. Now, you just have to find out if and when that might actually play out, if it’s worth the wait, and what that will look like moving forward. Don’t be afraid to quote Queen Bey along the way.


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