There are so many pop and country songs about the interstitial period in relationships

I listen to a lot of country music, and one of my favorite songs of this year was the Brothers Osborne’s Stay A Little Longer, which is about two people who aren’t really together, and who’re maybe even on the verge of splitting permanently, but who keep hooking up.

(Of special note, it’s kind of a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it thing, but there’s a gay couple at 1:35, and later in the video they kiss.)

There are a lot of country songs with this theme. Off the top of my head, I can think of Lady Antebellum’s “Lie With Me”, Jake Owen’s “Alone With You” and Chris Young’s “I’m Coming Over.”

It’s an interesting thing. I used to think the non-relationship was a college staple. You’re sleeping with some guy, or some girl, and neither of you really knows what it is, and maybe you’d want it to be a little bit more, but somehow your relationship, despite its emotional intimacy, doesn’t have the room for that discussion, but obviously the non-relationship is a thing that’s continued well into adulthood. This is all reminding me of the saddest article I’ve ever read, which was this VICE article on roommates who started sleeping together. 

How long did it go on for, and when did things go wrong?
The sexual side must have gone on for about seven months. I reckon things went wrong when we started making our own friends from work and stuff. I weirdly started getting quite jealous when she talked about her guy friends, especially when we would both go for drinks after work separately. But I never said anything because again it wasn’t official. So after a while the sex just stopped, and we reverted back to two individuals who shared a kitchen and bathroom and that was about it. Not that long after, she awkwardly hinted that she was going out on a ‘date,’ with someone from work. And that was it, really.

I read that and I was just horrified. I was like, is this what life is like? You have sex with someone for seven months. You live with them. And you still can’t talk about whether you guys were every, in any sense, actually together?

Not sure where I’m going with this. It’s not a thing that I, personally, have much experience with, but it does put some of my dating experiences into a new light. For instance, I used to be put off when I’d go out with someone and they’d be like, “Yeah, let’s hang out again” or “It was good hanging out with you,” and I’d be left thinking, err, what? But we kissed. To me kissing is what separates hanging out from going out. But these are obviously not the definitions that many Americans are playing with.