It’s never as obvious as those old school love notes that the movies say everyone got in middle school. A crumpled college rule sheet of paper with the familiar pop quiz, “Do you like me? Circle YES NO MAYBE,” scrawled in tag letters.

The question, “So, are you two married? Dating?” lacks all of the mythological middle school note’s nuance. Back then there was always a way out of the most black-and-white response. Whoever came up with the “maybe” option is probably a politician now. So slick was she.


This is me looking at Ike for an answer

Like Shayla, I don’t necessarily wear my relationship status on my sleeve. But my boyfriend (a term that, despite sounding juvenile to some people past 30, I wholeheartedly embrace) and I live together, so pretty much anyone I know well enough to invite into my home has picked up on the context clues.

  • Pseudonym

    First, not sure how I feel about a perfect stranger asking you the question in the first place. It’s a normal question when the answer is “Yes, we’re married,” but can get dicey and make things sticky if the answer is “No, but one of us would like to be while the other doesn’t” [see Kenya from RHOA].

    If you guys aren’t married, then I think that means you’re dating. And there’s no reason for you to be ashamed of the fact that you have a 10-year boyfriend, if marriage is not your goal or you’re willing to wait. It’s your choice. Perhaps to clarify, you can answer with “We’ve been dating for 10 years” or “He’s my boyfriend; we’ve been together 10 years” but of course it’s easy to come up with a response when you’re not completely blind-sided by the question from a complete stranger.