Any great relationship is in danger of taking a turn for the worse if things get a little messy. A “complicated” relationship is one where there is a lack of communication and understanding about the other partner’s needs.
Both partners need to really invest some time and effort into sorting out where they stand and what they want from the relationship – and whether it’s even worth being together in the first place.
The Trendy “It’s Complicated” Relationship
Ever since Facebook became a social media giant in the late 2000’s, people began to define their relationship status by posting it out for others to see on their profile – and the “it’s complicated” status became popular.
A girl has an unreturned crush on her best friend’s brother… Her Facebook status says, “It’s Complicated”. Another is fangirling over a celebrity she’ll never meet… Her Facebook status says “It’s complicated”… with Harry Styles. A guy is dating 3 girls at the same time, and they don’t know; his Facebook status reads… you guessed it… “It’s Complicated”.
While Facebook may have turned the “complicated” relationship into some sort of a trend, real life is different – and a lot harder to navigate. Of course, a complicated relationship is more than just a status you put on social media.
Types of Complicated Relationships
If you aren’t being too careful, and you’re not being honest about what it is that you want, you can easily fall into the traps of a complicated relationship.
Here’s what to look out for:
- The On-and-off Again Relationship: Have you gotten the feeling that he’s just not the one? Does he even care enough to prove you wrong? If you’re stuck in an on-and-off relationship with a guy for a while, then you might need to get your confidence back, and look for love elsewhere. He isn’t going to commit to you – you’re just simply wasting your time.
- The Long-distance Relationship: As romantic as it may be, a long-distance relationship is almost always complicated. It can drain all of your happiness, leaving you feeling like the odds are against you both. Battling time and distance feels like hard work every single day, and it is hard to see a happy ending in sight.
- Friends with Benefits: It started out fun, but now you feel like you’re just a hook-up. He’s never around when you actually need him, he won’t meet your friends, and he won’t make long-term plans. He’s probably hooking up with someone else -and you can’t even say anything, because the “terms” of a no-strings attached relationship won’t allow you to.
- The Forbidden Relationship: A relationship where you have to fight against a number of obstacle – including the shape of religion, law, parents, and culture – is one of the most complicated relationships. A forbidden relationship might feel like the most exciting adventure to be on, but it’ll leave a bittersweet taste.
Why Do Relationships Get Complicated?
There are many reasons why a seemingly fine relationship might suddenly turn complicated, but here are some of the most common cases and what they mean for the two partners:
- The feelings are gone. Sometimes love just isn’t there, and while it might not be anyone’s fault, it can really complicate things.
- There’s feelings for someone else. There’s nothing more complicated than a relationship in which trust has been lost, and commitment just isn’t there anymore.
- Personal issues get in the way. They might be struggling to stay strong and differentiate between feeling low in and out of the relationship. This can really complicate things with their partner, and will probably ruin the relationship.
- It’s hard to communicate with each other. Communication is the key to building a strong foundation for a long-lasting loving relationship. If communication is suffering or non-existent, things get complicated.
- One partner is in the relationship for the wrong reasons. We should only ever date those we truly want to date – and not because we are afraid of being alone.
- One partner is abusive. An abusive relationship is surely a complicated one – and one that shouldn’t continue. The abusive partner needs professional help, and the victim needs to put their happiness first.
- The partners are not on the same page. Whether it’s their careers, religion, where they want to live or how they want to live together, if there’s no consensus on the big-ticket items, then the relationship will suffer.
- Both partners hate each other. Some people should never have gotten together in the first place, and they stay together for the wrong reasons. But, if they hate each other’s guts, then there isn’t much hope left.
A Complicated Relationship: According to Him
When a guy describes his relationship as “It’s Complicated”, it usually means one thing: It isn’t a real relationship, and he isn’t taking it seriously. It may be a relationship that gives him something, usually sex (but can also include intimacy, cuddles and mutual activities), but his heart isn’t really in it.
A complicated relationship status for a guy usually means:
- He’s having fun, but isn’t committed.
- He’s got his eyes on multiple women.
- He doesn’t want to label things and definitely doesn’t want to be called “boyfriend”.
- He hasn’t said “I love you” to the one he’s with.
- He might be ready for a relationship, but not with her.
- He wants sex, with no attachments.
- He will lead her on for as long as she puts up with it.
- He takes her for granted, because she makes it so easy for him.
- His Facebook status still says “single”.
A Complicated Relationship: According to Her
Things can be the exact opposite for a woman who says her relationship is complicated, so prepare for a long, unclear explanation.
Here’s what she usually means:
- I’m in a relationship with a guy, but it doesn’t feel like one.
- I love him, but he treats me really bad.
- I can’t tell where we stand or what he wants from me.
- He just wants sex, but I’m in love with him.
- He won’t take me seriously, and he won’t plan anything with me.
- He keeps me away from his friends and family.
- He doesn’t know what he wants.
- I think he’s dating someone else.
- He never talks about his feelings.
So why is it so complicated?
Maybe you’ve heard the phrase “he’s just not that into you”. You might want to believe the relationship has potential and that he will change and want a relationship with you eventually. You probably want to believe things can improve.
The truth is, when someone actually wants to be with you it really isn’t that complicated. If they don’t, they’ll think of all sorts of excuses and make your life miserable in the process. If someone wants to be with you, they will be – no ifs, ands, or buts.
What can you do?
First and foremost, you need to define what his intentions are, and why the relationship is so complicated.
- Is he leading you on while seeing other women?
- Is he afraid of commitment, but otherwise in love with you?
- Is he not sure about his feelings – and just needs more time?
- Is he just a bachelor for life – and nothing will change that?
If he won’t define the relationship, then you need to do yourself a favor and define it yourself. You need to look after number one – and that’s you!
Try to figure out whether it’s him or both of you contributing to the complication the relationship. Think about some interactions between the two of you, how he acted, and what was said.
Lastly, if you care about him and the relationship – despite how complicated it feels, you need to address it. Does he know how you feel? Maybe he feels the same. The truth is, you can never over communicate in a relationship. But, making assumptions without communicating can definitely over complicate things.
People are complicated and so are relationships. Love isn’t meant to be easy-breezy; it’s hard work. Does yours feel like mostly work and no joy? Do you feel used but not really rewarded? If the answer is yes, it’s time to address it – or you’ll keep breaking your heart, expecting a change that isn’t coming, and putting up with much less than you deserve.
If you’re stuck in a complicated relationship and don’t really know why, it’s time to ask yourself some important questions. here are a few to get you started:
- Are you being treated the way you should be?
- Do you feel like you give a lot to him but get very little in return?
- Are you in love with someone who’s busy protecting his “single status” a little too much?
- Are you sick of feeling stuck between single and dating?
- Does your family refer to him as “that loser”?
- Do your friends worry about you and keep trying to tell you your relationship isn’t healthy?
- Who’s in charge of your happiness?
Do you still feel like clinging onto your “complicated” relationship? Or have you managed to see what is wrong? Are you ready to get rid of what isn’t right for you and show yourself true love? Love isn’t supposed to be complicated – so don’t chain yourself to a complicated relationship!