I Didn’t Care About Titles Until This Happened To Me
There was a point in my life when titles didn't hold much weight in terms of the situationships I found myself in. When I started dating in college, my only goal was to meet guys and discover my likes and dislikes in a potential partner before getting into anything too serious.
But as most romantic stories go, I fell in love and everything shifted.
When I first met him (we'll call him Pete), we were merely long-distance associates. The goal was to help him start his fashion blog since I had experience in the area and go on our way. It started off casual, but the more we talked, the closer we grew and before we knew it, we were smitten.
Things didn't get complicated until I started to take a few points into consideration: 1.) he lived miles away in Pennsylvania while I was just finishing up my junior year of college in South Carolina and 2.) he had just gotten out of a yearlong relationship just 4 months before we met. Not to say that this was a recipe for disaster but I'd be lying if I didn't at least consider it.
Being in a long distance relationship forces you to get straight to the point on certain things since your time with one another is both precious and limited. When we first met, he made the 13-hour trek to see me and we made sure to make every moment – and word – count. The first thing up for discussion was of course, what are we?
Chop it up to my 21-year-old ways of thinking, but after six months of dating, I needed to know what it was that we were doing here. Still, I couldn't quite pull out a straightforward answer for whether he would stop playing with my emotions and officially make me his girlfriend. I asked only once during the five days we spent together and his answer was the most compassionate "no" I had ever been told. He goes, "You know I love you, but I'm just not ready for that right now." I wasn't completely crushed, if anything it only made me more determined to "change his mind" and see how much of a good thing I was for him. (Again, I was 21.)
We continued our relationship for another few months and would meet again for our first Thanksgiving together. I couldn't be more thrilled to not only see him, but to be introduced to his family. Funny enough, the moment that I had been anticipating with excitement to define our relationship would become the catalyst of its ending.
If you've ever made it the "meet the folks" round of the relationship, you know that you'll typically be introduced to a number of people a number of times. When I first met his mom, she greeted me with a warm smile and an even warmer embrace. Both of which I assumed to be sincere. She mentioned that she had heard a lot about me and that it was nice to finally meet her son's "girlfriend." That was the first time that him or I had even heard those words in reference to the two of us, and as soon as they exited her lips, he sent them right back where they came from. He corrected her with quickness, saying, "Yeah, she's my friend."
Initially, I didn't take that as a red flag. I mean, maybe he was as nervous for me to meet his mom as I was. No biggie. We each exhaled as the first introduction was complete.
The next day was Game Day, literally. Thanksgiving was filled with meeting cousins, brothers, and childhood friends. With each introduction, he would refer to me as his friend, correcting anyone who would dare to put "girl" as its prefix.
The entire day left me exhausted both physically and emotionally. To be constantly put in my place and have the verbal line drawn for where I stood in his life bruised me in a way I didn't know was possible. I couldn't pick my face up from off the ground. No matter how much I wanted him to commit to me and claim me as his own, he made one thing very clear that night: we were nothing more than friends.
Suffice to say, that was the end of our chapter together and the beginning of me learning an important lesson about men: 89.9% of the time, men mean exactly what they say. Most of them don't have the emotional intelligence to fabricate their feelings – unless you're dealing with a narcissist or sociopath and then we have a whole other problem on our hands. When you're looking for a man to put a title on what you all have, listen to how he's introducing you to the people closest to him. If he's introducing you as his friend to his friends, that's all you are to him. If he proclaims you to be his "girl," "girlfriend," "lady friend" or any other variation of the word, then that's what you are to him.
In order for a man to claim you, he has to want you so bad that he can't imagine his life without you in it. When a guy wants you, he's going to show you with his actions and by how he talks about you. There's no need in beating the "what are we" conversation down his throat or even forcing him into an ultimatum.
If you have to ask too much and too often where you all stand, you already have your answer.
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Aley Arion is a writer and digital storyteller from the South, currently living in sunny Los Angeles. Her site, yagirlaley.com, serves as a digital diary to document personal essays, cultural commentary, and her insights into the Black Millennial experience. Follow her at @yagirlaley on all platforms!
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
The Libra woman and Aries man are the divine feminine and divine masculine, coming together as one. The love compatibility between these two is one for the books. These two are opposite signs, however, their differences tend to complement each other well. This is a dynamic relationship where they know how to have a lot of fun together, but also aren’t afraid to deal with the more serious stuff that comes with a relationship.
The Libra woman is looking for her equal in love, someone who is willing to put in the same effort she is, and the Aries man sees Libra as someone he is willing to do that with.
The Love Compatibility Of A Libra Woman And An Aries Man
What attracts a Libra woman and an Aries man to each other?
There is a magnet of attraction pulling these two together, and things tend to move pretty fast in this relationship. The Libra woman is always open to love and her charming nature rarely has any challenges here. The Aries man fights for his independence and doesn’t sacrifice that unless he is completely enamored with someone.
Once the Aries man catches the eye of the Libra woman, he is typically the one to make the first move and this instantly wins the approval of Libra.
These two feel like they have known each other forever when they meet, and this spark between them doesn’t die down easily.
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What is the relationship like between a Libra woman and an Aries man?
The relationship between the Libra woman and the Aries man is one of balance and excitement. The Aries man tends to take on the more dominant role in this relationship and the Libra woman tends to be the more receptive one. Aries is ruled by masculine Mars, and Libra is ruled by feminine Venus. They understand they are coming from two completely different worlds, yet they also instinctively feel this underlying connection to each other and like they could be something each other needs in their lives.
The Libra woman can rely on the Aries man, and the Aries man never has to ask for the love that Libra already knows he needs.
This is a couple that is often reading each other’s minds and wanting to do a lot of the same things. However, not everything is rainbow in this relationship as well, and there are some major differences they have to overcome to make things work. One argument can lead to an explosion between these two, and addressing things when they come up rather than sweeping them under the rug, will be needed to make this relationship long-term.
What is the sex like between a Libra woman and an Aries man?
The sex between a Libra woman and an Aries man is adventurous. These are two cardinal signs with plenty of energy and stamina to keep things exciting in the bedroom. There tends to be a good give and take in this relationship, and their yin and yang energy benefits them when it comes to their sex life.
There is electricity felt between the two of them in this area of their life, and their power of attraction to each other is strong. These are two people who will want to do a lot of things together, including exploring sexually together.
The Aries man will have to be careful with being overly aggressive, however, as the soft Libra woman may not like this energy- it will completely depend on the two individuals at hand. The Libra woman wants to ease into things, the Aries man wants to get going right away. Learning about each other's bodies, and energy, and reading each other’s cues will help with this.
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What makes a relationship between a Libra woman and an Aries man work?
These two genuinely like each other, and that basis is a key factor for success in any relationship. The Aries man is straight to the point, direct, and inspired. The Libra woman admires these characteristics in others, as she is often herself finding her balance in this type of energy as well. Neither sign is overly emotional in a way that turns them off, and they both require a lot of the same things in a committed relationship. They want honesty, fun, good communication, passion, and to be moving towards a common goal together.
The Libra woman and Aries man don’t have a problem being real with each other and this is something they really value within the relationship. They are both very charming, and there is plenty of flirtation and attraction to keep this relationship going. Aries being the protector they are, Libra finds a sense of safety and ease in this energy, and like they have found their match. Overall, this is a well-balanced relationship and one where they don’t have a problem when it comes to compatibility or chemistry in the relationship.
What may cause a Libra woman and an Aries man to break up?
Libra is the lover, Aries is the fighter, and this energy may be tiring for the both of them after time. The Libra woman can be passive to a fault, and the Aries man who is not evolved, may take advantage of that. She will need to be careful with putting Aries’ needs above her own, creating resentment later down the road. The Aries man loves a challenge, and the Libra woman would be up for that game for a little bit, but if she is not being met in the middle, she will begin to look for other places. These two can have a difficult time keeping the peace in the relationship, and there could be a lot of arguments and disagreements here if they both aren’t willing to put their egos or self-pleasing attitudes to the side.
The Libra woman and Aries man are both more sensitive than they appear or come off as. They are also not necessarily the type to dive deep into their emotions and express them to others, even in their relationships. However, this energy can keep the relationship to a surface level than what is needed to progress and grow the relationship, and a sense of openness is required for this couple to work. Libra needs romance, she wants to be wowed. Aries needs to remember this and to always consider her love language.
Overall, this is a successful pairing. They will have their fair share of challenges in the relationship, but nothing they can’t overcome if they are willing to. The trouble will come in when it comes to the longevity of the relationship, keeping Aries excited and Libra in love. However, all in all, there is more power, attraction, and love to keep this relationship together rather than apart. No relationship is perfect, but this one is a little more blessed than most.
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