It’s Complicated: Why Do We Accept This Relationship Status?

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“It’s complicated.” Every time I see this pop up in my Facebook news feed, I fight the urge to scream. Relationships are complicated of their own accord. Something about the push and pull of being tied to a mate of the opposite sex – or of the same sex, for that matter – pushes every hot button you have and then some.

But when you go all social media to slap a label on your loving, it signals to the world that you are having man/woman problems, and you’re not afraid to air the dirty laundry so that everyone can take a long, healthful sniff. Or that you are not comfortable with the true status of your relationship. The way I see it, (insert Texan drawl here) y’all need to fix that right quick.

…allyuh almost reach boyfriend and girlfriend stage…except, not really

One of the most common situations that people try to justify with that “it’s complicated” sticker is when you friending with somebody, and allyuh almost reach boyfriend and girlfriend stage…except, not really. It happens sometimes when you start off as friends, then feelings slide out of the platonic zone, and into the romantic zone. But you (cue cheesy sitcom dialogue) don’t want to lose the friendship. He/she is really important to you. He said that you were the only person he could talk to. She broke up with her last boyfriend six weeks ago, and now spends every Friday night at your house watching movies and eating popcorn, and y’all call each other every day just to say hi… stop. STOP! Are you hearing yourself?

I may be old fashioned, but if no one has said anything, then you are not in a relationship. If you don’t want to lose the friendship, then don’t; best friends make the best partners. And while you’re trying to hold on to the ‘friendship’, the man (or woman) eating out your popcorn and keeping you from finding someone who would willingly get into a committed relationship with you.

Pull up those big girl/big boy undies, and ask a damn question.

Maybe you’re just a safe haven until they hit the singles scene again. Maybe they just waiting for you to make a move. My point is, don’t tell yourself that it’s complicated and wallow in indecision. Faint hearts never won fair lady or fine man. Pull up those big girl/big boy undies, and ask a damn question.

Maybe you’re a single woman who is seeing a married man, or a single man seeing a married woman. You can’t say “in a relationship”…that lil suspicious. Next few seconds yuh sister go comment, “Wit who? And yuh come to my wedding flying solo?” That will lead to a call from Mommy and…lewwe eh go dey. You can’t put “engaged” or “married”. Them titles done taken, and not by you. So the only thing that is available for you is ‘It’s complicated’.

When you do solve the puzzle, it never happens the way you thought it would.

Maybe we should petition Mark Zuckerberg for a relationship status that says “Sleeping with someone that eh mine”, or “Horning”. Because that eh complicated, nah. That scenario is the Rubik’s Cube of relationships; geniuses and all does find theyself catch in that. When you do solve the puzzle, it never happens the way you thought it would. And unlike puzzle solving, the bitter usually outweighs the sweet. Take some advice: get off Facebook, and figure out how to have a simple relationship with an available mate, please?

Maybe you’re gay, but you’re not out yet. Scene. But you need to find a way to live an authentic life, because “it’s complicated” really just scratches the surface for you. Whether people agree or disagree with who you’re sleeping with, admit it to yourself, or you could spend the rest of your life hiding. And that is not emotionally healthy.

A lesbian acquaintance of mine put the “it’s complicated” status up a few years ago, and left it there: through long-term relationships, booty calls and celibate periods. Everybody who mattered already knew she was gay – her parents, siblings, lecturers, friends, frenemies and haters. So what was the point? For show? To make other people feel better? Not good enough. You might lie to everybody else, but be true to you.

Then there are those who are in relationships that are fraught – FRAUGHT! – with tension. Constant break-ups and make-ups. Screaming and crying and pleading and begging every week. Clothes get pelt outside Monday night, and by Saturday they fold up nice nice and clean in the chest of drawers. Passive-aggressive conversations held in full earshot of everyone in the maxi. Steups.

Another way that this couple plays out their unnecessary drama is on Facebook, where – in full view of all your friends, family, co-workers and God – the couple switches back and forth between “engaged” to “single” to (you guessed it) “it’s complicated”.

If you’re a part of this couple, listen up: your relationship is actually very simple. One of you is addicted to drama, and the other one of you is facilitating this addiction. Get. Help. There is great counselling out there for co-dependents and addictive narcissists. Find some, and fix that relationship. Then you won’t be confused about your relationship status.

Ups and downs hit the best of relationships, but there is no need to let everybody know that you’re going through a rough patch. That’s none of their beeswax, and constantly telling yourself “it’s complicated” will keep you stuck in emotionally draining situations, when you need to move on. Plus, if things are sticky between you and yuh honey, but you don’t want to end it, no need to make matters worse with an ill-timed Facebook update.


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Desiree Seebaran

Desiree Seebaran is a freelance writer and publications manager who is always on the look out for the next big project. She's written for publications like Caribbean Beat, and Who's Who of Trinidad & Tobago, and most recently edited a children's book. You can check out her blog


  1. Jaime Lee Loy

    Jaime Lee Loy

    May 7, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    Good one Desiree! I’m glad I never had that as a status yet LOL.

    • Desiree Seebaran


      May 7, 2012 at 3:24 pm

      Ent? LOL … thanks Jaime!

  2. Toco Nicky

    May 7, 2012 at 11:11 pm

    not only that why not just LEAVE?! are we supposed to feel sorry for you or give you a medal for your sticktoittiveness?!

  3. Lisa Allen-Agostini

    May 9, 2012 at 1:22 am

    LOVE it

  4. PuReWebDev

    May 25, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    I don’t know any men who use that relationship status, only women. In my (maybe old-skool) mind, it’s easier for a man to know whats what, a friend with benefits is really what it is, and women find it much harder to accept that as a status, because to them, the status is everything, while a man is content to leave his listed as single and not think twice about it.

  5. Nightangel

    May 26, 2012 at 6:28 pm

    Ah weak…talking truth

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