relationship rhetoric


     In a society where winning is everything, it is no wonder titles mean so much.  You may be an outstanding boxer, but were you ever heavywieght champion of the world?  You might be one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play in the NFL, but were you ever named Superbowl MVP?  If such is the case, do titles matter just as much in relationships?  The short answer is simply, yes. 

     Recently, I read an article discussing the lives of several jump-offs who stake some sort of claim to rappers such as Fabolous and Jim Jones.  They have been in extremely long relationships with these men, some which include children, but have never been “claimed” by their beaus in public.  As a result of their decision to stand by their men, the question was posed, “Could you date a man who doesn’t claim you?”  I immediately thought, never!  The women in the article appeared desperate, had nothing going for themselves, and were quite pathetic.  But, then I thought about the most popular jump-off, Kim Porter, the mother of 3 of Diddy’s children, and thought, ‘she’s got a good thing going for herself.’  The former model is beautiful and grounded, and seems to carry herself with grace and poise.  Unlike the jump-offs mentioned in the article, she accompanies Diddy to events at times, and is the only “baby mama” known to grace the pages of national magazines as such, having never been married to, or claimed by Diddy. If she is, in fact, still doting over Diddy and sour that he won’t marry her, or even claim her as his girlfriend half the time, it certainly doesn’t show.  Kim seems content with her life and lifestyle (more importantly).  Granted, she may truly love Diddy and secretly craves a promotion, but is a title always necessary? If I am getting what I need out of a relationship, why is a title so important? 

     Well, the only reason I am an advocate for titles in relationships is because titles tell us how we’re doing – like those “how am I driving?” bumper stickers.  In our respective careers, the higher your title, the higher your pay.  I’ve never known anyone to get a promotion who wasn’t doing an exceptional job.  In sports, when athletes are at the top of their game, they are given titles that distinguish them from the rest, such as champion and MVP.  Likewise, in relationships, the title of husband and wife are the highest levels of achievement, and often indicate that you are at the top of your game, figuratively speaking. So, on the path to becoming a husband or wife, if this is what you aspire to, titles can be extremely helpful in determining where you stand and ultimately “how you’re doing.” 

     For this reason, we shouldn’t be afraid to use titles.  It is not so much indicative of your commitment to that person (because we all know a title doesn’t keep anyone from cheating if that’s what they set out to do), it is simply feedback on the path to marriage, where no title means you’re in a new relationship or a doomed relationship, girlfriend or boyfriend status means there’s room for improvement, or you’re being considered for a promotion (engagement), and if you are married, you have successfully convinced someone else that you are worthy of their love and affection, or your sex game is off the charts – either way you did it! 

If we all start to think of titles in this manner, calling someone your girlfriend or boyfriend, or even your husband or wife, won’t seem like such a big deal or a death sentence. It will seem practical and necessary.  When you ask your significant other to be your girlfriend or boyfriend, you are saying “hey, keep up the good work” and when you ask them to be your husband or your wife, essentially you are saying, “I want you on my team because we play well together, and in this game of Life, I believe we stand to have more Ws than Ls.”  —-


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