There are many stages involved when moving from the world of sigledom into a relationship and a lot of terms that you need to know if you’re going to understand this conversion. It would seem that it’s not quite as simple if you’re not a part of the world in which the concepts are used. So, to help out generally uninformed young people as well as highly confused parents, I’ve tried to simplify some of the most important terms.
You’re a free elf. Dobby has no master. As a single person, you’re responsible for only yourself when it comes to romantic interactions. If you kiss someone in a night club, you are not expected to follow up on anything. Problematic at its core, admittedly, and something I have a whole other set of opinions on (surprisingly?), but for the sake of this explanation, we don’t need to get into that.
Synonyms: lunge (most popular), make out, get with, snog etc…
If you are “hooking up” with a person, it means that most times you see them (usually in institutions which provide alcohol), you will lunge them. Hook up can mean anything from a snog on the dance floor (man, I hate that word, but my mom actually seems to know what this one means) to a napover (when you sleepover at someone’s house… Regardless of what goes on during the course of the night). Despite the fact that you’re probably guaranteed at least a kiss from this person, you’re in no way obliged to continue hooking up with them if you don’t want to and it’s morally permissible to kiss someone else. However, if you want things to move from hooking up to Vibing, you should probably avoid lunging too many people. But, if they don’t know, you haven’t technically done anything wrong (technicalities aren’t great things to go by, though). From hooking up, there are three directions in which the relationship could go: the Friendzone, friends-with-benefits or Vibing.
I’ve written about this before, which you can find here if you want more detail. But basically, this is the (non-existent) realm where people put you if they’re too scared to give you a real reason for not wanting to lunge you anymore. You can basically take the phrase “I’m just looking for a friend right now” or “I think we should just be friends” and replace it with any of the following: “I’m emotionally insecure”; “you are too intimidating”; “I don’t want to risk my chances with other people by them thinking I’m off limits”; or even “I can only tolerate you when I’m drunk”.
Personally, I don’t believe in the existence of this stage. However, people die trying and some even find a degree of happiness from it. Most of the time, this phase is short-lived and either ends in an exclusive relationship or in tears. This stage is when you pretend you’re happy with the other person using you for the benefits of your mutual attraction to one another, while still maintaining a friendship. Basically, you’re doing everything you would in an exclusive relationship but you’re not actually morally accountable for your actions with someone else. The idea is that you can do whatever you want with other people and you’re not allowed to get emotionally attached to them. The hard truth is that somebody always starts feeling something. Being friends-with-benefits is far better at ruining friendships than giving enjoyment. But this is about defining, so if you get that, let’s move on.
Vibing is basically like “dating” someone, in old-people-lingo. You’re still hooking up by the previous definition, but now you’re probably doing it while sober and going on dates as well. You’ve basically made an unspoken agreement that if you were to kiss someone else, your relationship would end. This is where the line fuzzes. If you were to lunge someone else, you won’t be judged as harshly as you would if you were exclusive. Don’t get me wrong – the vibe would probably end if you did it, but it wouldn’t be constituted as cheating per se. As much fun as vibing is, it’s entirely unsustainable. If you are vibing with someone and don’t want them kissing other people or have no interest in kissing other people yourself, you’ve probably hit the phase where you have to have the talk.
The talk is possibly one of the most awkward conversations to have other than when your parents try to break it to you that Santa isn’t real. Ya, I wasn’t one of the kids who worked it out themselves… I had to be told just before I went to high school so that nobody teased me. Moving on. This is a sensitive topic. My mom is a master of sorcery. Basically, you are required to open yourself up to potential rejection and ask whether you’re going to make things official or whether you’re going to go your separate ways. Or, at the very least, you have to establish how you would feel if the other was to lunge someone else. It’s this awkwardness and fear of rejection that usually ends up preventing people from actually having the talk, which makes things quite complicated.
You’ve made it! There are fewer things to worry about once you’ve established that you’re exclusive. You now have a boyfriend or a girlfriend and all the usual, old fashioned rules apply. No kissing other people and you are expected to act whilst taking into consideration your significant other’s feelings. Obviously, it’s never that simple but for definition’s sake, it is.
I’ve also explained this before. This means “Facebook Official”. But again, simply: this is when you change your Facebook status from “single” to “in a relationship”. Nowadays, Facebook gives you so many options, including an open relationship – realms of “romance” that would take me an age to explain. I’ll let you digest this load of information first, though.
Lunge or Leave
A highly embarrassing game that people have taken to playing in social situations. If you see two people talking to one another, you chant the phrase “Lunge or leave” until they both cave to social anxiety and just lunge for fear of future awkwardness. Remember how you warned your kids about resisting peer pressure? Ya, well, Mamma Judgey, it’s much harder when everyone is circling you and chanting! Unfortunately, “leaving” isn’t always an option (as I learnt from experience). In fact, on seeing someone trying to leave once, my friend Langers adapted the phrase to “Lunge or Die”… It’s a fun game all in all when you’re the one chanting. And sometimes, it’s just a nifty way to speed up the inevitable.
To those confused parents, I hope this has been useful. And please, unless you’re absolutely positive you understand, don’t try use the lingo. If you were to introduce someone’s vibe as their girlfriend, you may end up forcing the talk much earlier than they had intended. Worse yet, if you introduced someone’s hook up as their boyfriend, you’d leave someone looking like a full on Taylor Swift psychopath for a hopefully undeserved reason.