What’s the meaning of a complicated relationship? Something just doesn’t feel right between you and all you can think of is that it’s too complicated to even understand.
You want to make sure that everything’s okay but it doesn’t seem like it anymore. There are so many issues and so much miscommunication that it’s becoming harder to be around this person any longer.
You would love to see it flourish because you can see the potential in this relationship. However, here you are. You’re wondering how long this little cat and mouse game will go on before one of you decides to walk away completely.
You know about the statuses on social media, especially on Facebook. You clicked one too many times on the ‘it’s complicated‘ option but it’s so much more than just a status for others to see.
Now you’re left to try to understand it and deal with it. Is it that hard to understand and avoid heartbreak?
The meaning of a complicated relationship
Let’s be honest for a moment. Every relationship is complicated. It doesn’t matter whether we’re talking about a platonic relationship or a romantic one.
Your relationship status can be complicated without any type of exclusivity attached to it. You find yourself in too many difficult situations with this person because one of you wants something serious while the other one is very indifferent.
This type of relationship usually begins when one of you gets more than you bargained for. You get into it thinking that it’s just going to be a casual hookup but you end up catching feelings for the other person. So now, it’s complicated.
It’s so hard to get out of that situation because you want him and you want to see where it could lead. You want to show him that you’re the perfect woman for him but he seems to be so emotionally unavailable when it comes to this.
Now, it seems that he doesn’t want to hurt you because you mean something to him but you don’t mean enough to him to start a committed relationship with you. This can be dangerous ground you’re walking on.
When I found myself wondering whether I should define my relationship as complicated, it wasn’t at the very beginning. It was eight months in and I thought that I was just imagining his disinterest in me but after a while, everything became clear as day.
7 reasons why relationships become complicated
Now that we’ve established the meaning of a complicated relationship, you also need to understand the number of reasons why it even gets to this point.
Of course, every relationship is different and for a lot of people, these reasons may not even apply. But if you find yourself in any of these, then you’ll understand that you’re not alone in this.
Many people find themselves in this situation. So don’t think that your relationship problems are unique to you because you’re never alone even if you think that you are.
1. You started as FWB
If you’ve ever found yourself in a friends with benefits type of relationship then it can get complicated very quickly.
When you’re looking for the meaning of a complicated relationship then this is at the root of it all. You’re here because you wanted something casual with your close friend but things escalated quickly.
You know, there was a study done that says that the reason why we catch feelings is because of the familiarity principle. It’s based on the fact that we become attracted to the things that we’re exposed to the most.
So, if you’re under constant exposure when it comes to this one person, you’ll inevitably catch feelings but this doesn’t have to apply to every individual in this world.
When you start to catch feelings and your friend doesn’t, your relationship becomes extremely complicated and the relationship meaning becomes lost. Once feelings get involved in this situation, it’s like you doomed your poor heart.
A friends with benefits relationship rarely becomes a successful one.
2. Your families don’t approve of your relationship
The meaning of a complicated relationship can be when other people become a part of your union. And no, I’m not referring to polyamory. I’m talking about a third party who doesn’t leave you alone.
For example, your families don’t approve of your relationship. Your parents may have something against your partner and now you need to hide.
When a relationship can’t be out in the open, it puts a lot of strain on you both. Your love is forbidden so it can get difficult quite quickly.
Your love life is your concern and no one else should have the privilege (or audacity) to meddle in it. Once you start to listen to the opinions of others, your relationship can become very rocky.
This is when you may change your Facebook relationship status to ‘it’s complicated’ and hope that you’ll find your happiness one day.
3. You don’t communicate openly
What relationship is successful if there’s no communication involved? You haven’t talked about the possibility of a romantic relationship or about a break-up, nor have you spoken about what a complicated relationship means to you both.
This seems like an issue that can’t be solved overnight. A relationship can fall apart because one of the two partners simply doesn’t want to communicate. More often than not, it’s because they don’t even know how to do so without breaking off the entire relationship.
Communication exists for many reasons but the most important one is that you can tell each other when things start to become too much. Through communication, you can talk about feelings, boundaries, wants, and needs.
If there are no words in your vocabulary to express these things, then this wasn’t the relationship for you from the very beginning.
4. You’re in a long-distance relationship
A long-distance relationship can turn into a complicated one easily and that’s when the meaning of it can become so hard to understand.
You didn’t think that distance could keep you apart. Nowadays, so many people make their relationships work even if they live in two completely different states.
Social media and all of these messaging apps should make things much easier but they seemingly make it even harder, especially because you’re not able to convey the tone in which you talk to your partner.
That’s when you’ll start to understand that nothing is as it seems. You’ll start to misunderstand each other more often.
You also may not be able to talk to each other on a daily basis or you won’t be free at the same time and this will become the main reason why you’ll start to fight about anything and everything.
People in these relationships have more issues than those who have the opportunity to live close to each other. You go through more tests, so your relationship becomes complicated much faster than any other.
5. You were never able to define boundaries
When you’re thinking about the meaning of a complicated relationship, the first thing that should pop into your head is a lack of boundaries. For example, a certain amount of codependency can completely break you two apart.
One issue that I’ve heard a lot about is when one partner insists on an open relationship and the other one agrees even when they don’t want to. That’s when the other gets jealous and loses their mind.
If you’re the one who caught genuine feelings and you don’t want to share your partner with anyone, you know how difficult it is to admit these things.
Once you define boundaries, you know where you stand with your partner. You know what to expect and what you want from the entire relationship.
These are the type of relationships that don’t often get complicated. You have boundaries and you know what your wants and needs are. Without boundaries, you’ll end up heartbroken.
6. You’re stuck in the same cycle
The meaning of a complicated relationship becomes more obvious when it doesn’t move forward. Your relationship starts going in circles that seem to never end.
You start seeing each other but the very moment you begin to get more serious, one of you gets cold feet. That person runs off and ghosts the other one, until the moment when they reach out again.
If you’re a girl who gets attached easily, then he may run away from you because he doesn’t want to involve any feelings. He doesn’t want to end up in a monogamous relationship right now, so he disappears. However, the very moment he feels like the air is clearing, he runs to you and you take him back.
It’s exhausting and this karmic cycle will continue until one of you puts their foot down and you finally make a decision to end it all. There’s no other way forward because this complication will only lead to more heartbreak.
7. You’re not involved in each other’s life
One of the reasons why a relationship changes its meaning from casual to complicated is when you’re not involved in your partner’s life.
You don’t know what’s happening and you don’t know where he’s at, nor do you know how to get to him. All you know is that you’re not part of anything that’s happening.
It’s hard to become part of his life but you should know the basics in order to get the most out of your bond. If you don’t know what’s going on, you’ll continue thinking that you’re important to him while he’s already pursuing someone else.
To be honest, this issue can also occur when he tells you everything and you know too much. At some point, you’ll start to wonder what kind of reaction he’s trying to get out of you.
He may use your involvement in his life as a way to control you or to play with your emotions, especially if he knows that you have genuine feelings for him.
Again, this is one of those reasons why communication is necessary, mostly because you need to establish boundaries. How much do you want to know? How much is too much and how much is not enough?
8 things to do to change your complicated relationship
Once you understand the meaning of a complicated relationship, you’ll start to wonder what you can do in order to change it. You don’t want to feel stuck in this relationship because you feel like there’s so much more to love than what he’s giving you, so where do you go from here?
Do you want to get back to where you were before or do you want to further your relationship? Once you decide that you want to stop this little game you’re playing, you’ll need a structure for your thought process. Otherwise, you’ll only get stuck in the confusion of your own emotions.
Let’s help you get through this with eight things you can do to change your situation.
I think at this point, you get the gist. Without proper communication, you’ll never get out of this situation or get the necessary result that you’re doing so much for.
If you need help with this, then you should write down all the things that you need to say. I know that emotions can get in the way of communicating properly but don’t feel shy about this. Write down the bullet points that you need to get to.
This will also give you enough time to figure out your thoughts and feelings. You’ll be able to put all your cards on the table without any reservations.
I mean, your relationship has been going on for long enough to get to this point. Now that you understand the meaning of a complicated relationship, you should cut yourself some slack and finally get the answers you deserve.
2. Define boundaries
Once you start to talk about all of your issues, it can go one of two ways. One is that you’ll be able to communicate without any problem and the other is that you’ll end up fighting for dominance until one of you decides to leave for good.
If you want to avoid this at all costs, then you should define your boundaries with this man. Show him that you won’t stand for the way he’s treating you and that you need more than empty promises.
Boundaries are unique to every individual, so don’t expect to find a list that’ll work for everyone. You need to know what your wants and needs are in order to get what you desire.
Once you understand your boundaries, then define them and set them in this complicated situation you found yourself in, things will finally take on a completely different form.
3. Ask yourself whether it’s really worth it
The meaning of a complicated relationship is easy to come up with. Let’s be honest, anything that doesn’t come naturally and you have to work for can be complicated. The difference is in whether or not you’re ready to work for it.
Is it even worth your effort? You could be out there searching for your soulmate but here you are, trying to find an explanation for his behavior and plotting what to do next.
It may not even be that big of a deal to you but you should definitely consider your options. You could just as easily decide that this relationship is not worth your time or energy.
At this juncture, you’ll be able to determine whether you want to continue playing this game or if you’ll instead find someone who won’t make things so hard on you. But there’s always the alternative of staying right there where you are and trying to fix things because you know for a fact that it’s worth the pain.
4. Commit to working on it
If you decide to stay because this relationship is worthy of your time and attention, then commit to working on it. Don’t just sit aside and wait for everything to fall into place all by itself.
No relationship is easy and you always have to put effort into yours in order to make it work. You can decide that he’s the one for you while also working on and fixing any challenges that come your way.
Once you see that your complicated relationship has a greater meaning for the both of you, then make a plan and work on it. With you two working together, there’s nothing that can pull you apart. You just have to give each other a chance and make it the relationship you’ve always wanted.
5. Show him that you care
A lack of communication can also lead to one of you not knowing what the other one really feels. When you get into a relationship that’s as complicated as yours is, the meaning of love can get lost somewhere deep in all the confusion.
So once you start to experience these complex emotions, make sure to show him that you care. He can’t read your mind and neither can you read his.
Show him with your actions and use your words to convey your message. Don’t just expect him to understand what you feel toward him.
Having these sorts of feelings while maintaining a casual relationship will only lead to disaster. It’ll get more complicated by the day and you don’t need that. There’s a much better way to deal with this and you can get there by showing him that you care.
6. Expect the same effort in return
You know that every relationship is made up of more than one person. There’s no reason for you to take on all the things that need fixing and just go for it. If you want the relationship to stop being so complicated, then you both have to put in the same amount of effort.
I know that it’s hard to expect anything in return because we’re taught that true love is unconditional but it’s really not. True love isn’t one-sided; it goes both ways and it’s the type of relationship that keeps you happy and fulfilled.
You have the right to expect things from him and get what you deserve. If you keep running from your own wants and needs, you’ll get back into that toxic cycle that will go on forever.
If you put effort into this relationship, make him do the same thing.
7. Seek support
A relationship can get complicated for a variety of reasons. As stated in the previous section, it could get to this point because of a lack of support or when your relationship is forbidden.
Either way, it can’t be easy, so you need a support system that’ll help you get stronger and more secure. Once you realize that nothing is going to help you in this relationship as much as great support from your family and friends, you can get them on your side.
I know that it’s not always the easiest thing in the world. If they dislike your relationship, you try to balance out your relationship with your parents and your lover, and sometimes, things can get very messy.
However, if you haven’t tried talking to them, communicating your emotions, or making them understand what you feel for your partner, then it’s understandable that you won’t get their support.
For now, find the support you need in someone who’s close to you and let them help you through this.
8. If it’s not up to your standards then move on
The meaning of a complicated relationship is something that hits you in the feels. You want to turn it into something more but you also know that it’s called complicated for a reason.
Now, if it’s not up to your standards, you have the full liberty to move on. This may sound heartwrenching because it hurts to leave behind all of the effort and all of those beautiful moments that you shared with one another but now it’s finally time to choose yourself.
He could be the most amazing person you’ve ever met but you’re amazing too. Don’t stay in this complicated relationship for much longer because it’ll drain you completely.
You deserve something easy. You deserve a relationship that’ll remind you that love is beautiful.