The mark of a good relationship isn’t a marriage or engagement. In fact, marriage isn’t even that cool if you think about it. Once you get past the initial wave of enjoyment of the second toaster oven you got as a wedding present, the benefits are really just tax breaks and the hilarious premise that married people have better sex (ridiculous because married people are just more likely to overstate their happiness lest they anger their spouse). In any case, the mark of a good relationship is just in how much you and the other person are on the same page.
Most relationships out there in the world are based on the assumption that the people in them would not rather be with someone else or alone. But that is not the whole of relationship-kind. There are other types of relationships that can mark the setbacks of being in a typical don’t-want-anyone-else relationship. One relationship between two of my friends struck me as genius this weekend. They were both home from school for the summer. The She in the relationship was interested in someone from school, but that person was in the midst of breaking up with his SO. She was free for the summer, however, so she asked my He friend to have a summer fling with her – informing him of all of the details of her fancying the boy from school. He and She agreed to the fling, had a fun time. When Her interest from school became available, He and She ended the fling so She could put the moves on her school lover.
The fabulous part of the whole thing is that both people in the relationship had 1) agreed to specific terms in the relationship and 2) honored those terms without fuss. These are major factors that sometimes get lost in long term relationships because the terms have to be renewed and revised all of the time. Lack of discussion about these terms can tank the relaish right into the dead sea (extra hard because of the salt).
This is especially true in relationships you know won’t last because you’re in school or are moving away soon or have Walking Corpse Syndrome. Many times, things that should be of minimal importance are bumped into big deal status like not making it Facebook official or not telling everyone’s parents about it. When the terms of any relationship go unspoken, things can get hairy in a grip. It’s best to just let your potential mates know what you’re in it for. That way, everyone has fun, and no one gets the shaft (unless they want it).