Commitment Issues?

High schoolers abandon relationships for "Things"

Olivia Toles, Fall 2015 J1 Student

A person can often be heard saying “Oh, I have a thing with them.”

But what exactly is a thing? Urban Dictionary defines the word thing, as used in this context, as “A romantic relationship.”

Knowing this, one can properly question why a teenager uses the term over the more simple ‘relationship.’

Having a thing with someone over a relationship seems to just be a filler term for that awkward in-between stage from when there are mutual feelings, but they are not dating yet. In other cases though, people are involved in a thing for months at a time.

Many people, specifically adults, seem to think that having a thing with someone invalidates their feelings for them — but I disagree. These same adults are often the ones who complain that teenagers are too serious and trying to grow up too fast.

When teenagers are told being in a relationship is trying to grow up too fast, but not defining the relationship is promiscuous and irresponsible, it’s obvious they would get confused. But things just seem to be two people too scared to commit to their feelings exclusively to each other.

This is understandable because adults make it so hard to “be grown up,” simply when two teenagers want to date.

So the solution to avoid the judgment of parents becomes a thing — which infuses more judgement.

So why don’t teenagers just put aside their uneasiness about committing to their feelings and disregarding adults opinions? If someone wants to be with another, there should be no judgment or criticism.