One of the most frequently asked questions in the world of dating has got to be “If they’re not your significant other, then what the hell are they?” Well, pre-exclusive relationships (or PXRs) don’t have to be a frustrating grey area anymore. Here’s a handy guide to the 9 most common types of PXRs, all converted into abbreviations for easy texting.
1. OGBC (On-Going Booty Call)
Sex and sex only. Whenever you’re both down. For as long as you can remain essentially strangers. You’ve probably never seen your OGBC before midnight.
2. FWB (Friends With Benefits)
The most infamous of all PXRs, the FWB relationship is rarely ever as uncomplicated as either party pretends it is. The promise of a “no-strings-attached” deal with a person who you actually enjoy hanging out with is just too sweet, though. So, we keep acting like we’re emotionally invincible until we ruin a perfectly good friendship.
3. TLKNG (Talking)
“No we’re not dating. We’re just talking.” You like each other and you both know it, but neither one of you has acted on it yet. (Having hooked up once or twice doesn’t necessarily count as “acting on it.”)
4. LVRS (Lovers)
“Lovers,” is sort of an outdated, cheesy word that most people have only ever heard on “Murder She Wrote” (“What was your relationship to the deceased?” “We… we were lovers.”). But there’s no other word that quite captures this particular relationship. LVRS are not committed to each other, but they have deep feelings for each other. For whatever reason, however, it can never be.
5. DTNG (Dating)
There’s some controversy about the difference between “seeing each other” and “dating,” and we won’t be able to please everyone here. Dating, to me, means “going out on dates.” You can be going out on dates with multiple people at one time, and there’s nothing questionable about that.
6. SEO (Seeing Each Other)
“Seeing each other,” means that you are involved with someone. You’re not necessarily exclusive, but you’re interested in the possibility. Think of it as seeing about someone.
If you’re “seeing someone” you can still be “dating” others. But “seeing” two people at once? That requires a conversation, at the very least.
7. XWSEX (eX With Sex)
There were probably a lot of reasons that you and your ex called it quits. But maybe the sex wasn’t one of them. There’s no reason that, as long as you’re both single, you shouldn’t be able to continue enjoying the one thing that was actually working, right? Actually, there’s like a thousand reasons, but none of them seem very compelling when you’re caught up in the XWSEX spell.
8. PMX (Pretty Much eXclusive)
Nobody’s labelling anything at this point, but, given the amount of time you’re spending together, you can basically assume that neither one of you is sleeping with anyone else. That is, unless an XWSEX happens to be in town for the weekend. Or some beautiful, possibly drunk, person that you’re totally never going to see again is basically throwing him/herself at you (and you’re possibly drunk, too). The PMX period is a time when you’re basically obligated to take advantage of any and all uncomplicated sex that comes your way — because it won’t last long.
9. SF (Significant Frother)
You’re not dating them. You’re not sleeping with them. But whoever you are dating or sleeping with will probably get inexplicably jealous of them. Your SF is your “When-the-hell-are-you-two-just-going-get-married?!” friend. And sometimes you think maybe you just should. There’s a part of your heart that they’ve got on lock-down and nobody else can touch it. Think Julia Roberts and Dermot Mulroney in “My Best Friend’s Wedding.”
Does this cover all the bases, or did we miss one? Let us know in comments!
Editor’s note: This post was originally published in June 2011.