We have gotten used to words being redefined. It happens all the time. “Sick” now means “really good”. “Wicked” now means … “really good”. Maybe eventually most words will evolve into meaning “really good”!
But today I’m thinking about the nuances of the language we use to identify our relationship status. Specifically, I am talking about the word “single”. “Single” used to mean unmarried. Now single means no boyfriend or girlfriend. This metamorphosis may seem slight and inconsequential. But I think not.
Along with a redefinition of the word comes a redefining of behaviors. Dating couples who no longer consider themselves single act, in most ways, as married couples. This is where the problem arises. I see kids changing their relationship status on facebook from “single” to “married”, and I get nervous. Obviously, they didn’t have a wedding but I see danger signs here. I also recently saw the old “it’s only a piece of paper” thing mentioned in regard to living together outside of marriage. Again, I get nervous.
Call it what you want, change the meaning of words if you like. There really are only two ways to identify yourself as it relates to marriage: single or married. If you did not have a legal wedding, you are single.
Oh, and the “it’s complicated” thing? I’m even more nervous!