It's 2018 and the dating game has changed. Online dating is more common than not. Courting and wooing no longer exists. Rather we have bae's, boo thangs, friends with benefits, etc. The process of dating has also changed, people go through talking, sleeping together, dating, being together but not being exclusive. The possible scenarios with modern dating are endless.

This leads to an inevitable question: can two people be committed to each other without officially being in an exclusive relationship? The answer is yes. Commitment and relationships do not mean the same thing. There are plenty of people that are in relationships but aren't committed to their partner. And there are also people who have been dating for months, are committed to each other but don't have a label or are even non-monogamous.

Societal perception of relationships has been set mostly by media, film, writings, and art. From an early age in movies we see people in committed relationships who celebrate anniversaries, move in together, get married, have children, travel to exotic places, etc. In a sense we are conditioned to believe that the only way to have true happiness is to be in a relationship. What the media doesn't show is that many relationships end. At the end of the day it doesn't matter if you went on an elaborate trip with your partner. Rather it is the commitment that the partners had for each other, their ability to support and love each other unconditionally.

It is safe to assume that many people use the terms commitment and relationships interchangeably. But they shouldn't. Two people do not have to be in an exclusive relationship for them to be committed to each other. Commitment is shown through quality time spent together, unconditionally loving and supporting your partner, sharing interests, making your partner feel safe and secure. Now some might say that if you're doing all these things with someone why not just be in a relationship with them? The answer is simple: the pressure of relationships is hard. There seems to be a lot of societal pressure about what relationships should look like, and some people don't want to take the heat or don't feel the need to.

But this isn't to say that two people can be in committed to each other and be in a relationship. Rather, it is possible to be committed to someone without being Facebook official. And these unofficial relationships can be just as fulfilling and meaningful as traditional relationships.