Chapter 3 - Situations Subchapter: Relationships

Scenario: Define the relationship


Maddy has a lot going on in her life, full-time uni and part-time work at a supermarket on the weekend.

For the past month she’s been casually dating two different people - Keegan and Charlie. She likes them both in different ways. Keegan makes her laugh which is really important, and Charlie is super into music and she loves going to see new live bands.

Maddy wasn’t looking for a serious relationship. She needs to be able to focus on her course and neither Keegan nor Charlie has previously hinted at wanting anything more serious.

Then Charlie surprised Maddy when he said he wanted to be exclusive.



The Field Model diagram with one character on Yes and another on I Don't Know.


Maddy likes Charlie. He’s interesting and fun to hang out with, but she tells him she needs to think about it.

Thinking about it isn’t YES and it isn’t NO. The Maybe Zone is about taking the time and gathering more information until you’re ready to make a decision.

Then, later that week, Keegan brought up being exclusive and said he wanted the two of them to define their relationship.

Defining the relationship is a big step!

Defining the relationship means acknowledging each other as boyfriend/girlfriend.



The Field Model diagram with one character on Yes and another on I Don't Know.


Maddy knew she needed to think about both Charlie and Keegan. She liked them both in different ways and didn’t want anyone to get the wrong idea.

If she really was against having a serious relationship, she could say NO to both Charlie and Keegan, and maybe start dating someone new.

But, she really does like Keegan. He’s funny and smart and really supports her needing to have proper time to devote to her studies. He seems to really understand how important it is to her.

Charlie is great but all they really do is go see bands. Maybe Keegan would go see some bands with her?

It’s a YES to Keegan and a NO to Charlie.

Technology is great and makes is so easy to maintain connections with other people. It would take no effort for Maddy to text Charlie that she doesn’t want to be exclusive and also that she can’t see him anymore.

But Maddy knows how that feels – it’s terrible – so she arranges to meet with Charlie for a coffee. And it is hard and uncomfortable, but it’s the right way to handle this situation. It’s respectful.