What comes to mind when you hear the term “are we or aren’t we” in a relationship? For many college students, it's widely understood. Even your humble columnist has been involved in this gray area, which can be messy to navigate. Are we friends? Are we more? What does it mean that I’ve slept at your house for three days straight now? Merely bringing up the conversation can be excruciating; no one wants to do it, yet everyone wants the answer. 

When asked about “are we or aren’t we” relationships, Leslie Cevallos, a 20-year-old UF wildlife ecology junior, said most college relationships fall under this category. Fortunately for Cevallos, she knows how to evade these disappointing relationship fissures.

“I know how to lock it down,” she said.

Not all of us are as lucky, and some of us find ourselves in relationships on unequal footing. Harry Barnikel, a 20-year-old UF business administration junior, currently finds himself in this situation.

“I’m happy, but obviously sometimes when two people are hooking up and they're not in a relationship, one of the people can get attached too easily,” he said.

His current situation is coated with tension as the two parties seem to feel different about one another. This problem is common in the ambiguous dating scene young people face.

“You just gotta be upfront and super open to that person about what you want and what they want,” he said. “You’ve got to respect each other.”

Seems easy enough, right? What if you add distance?

Angela George, a 22-year-old UF Spanish and English double major senior, is in a long term relationship. George and her boyfriend met in his small, New York hometown when she visited for the summer. For them, it got to the point where they had to ask each other, “Well… are we or aren’t we?” 

“Neither of us wanted to say we wanted to be together because it seemed, like, stupid,” she explained. But even with miles between you, what happens when conversation and feelings grow each passing day?

“We kept talking and we were like ‘we don’t want this to end.’”

Can you say “awwwww”?

Simply stated, the moral of the story is to communicate. Who knows, it could end up leading to something great. If you’re confused about the status of your relationship, just ask your partner the question — are we or aren’t we?

Contact Alyssa Archard at [email protected]. Follower her on Twitter @Alyssa_Archard.