By Eitan Breziner (’20)

Along with self-driving cars, i-devices that dictate popularity, a Lululemon obsession, man-buns, and overpriced Supreme Tees, the 2010s have brought with them a new phenomenon: the often talked about yet poorly explained “thing.” The thing. What is this mystical and provocative concept?

The “thing” is commonly spoken of and used among teenagers and young adults. However, there is no set definition. “A thing is when you have something that is close to dating, but you aren’t actually going on dates. It’s more just like, hanging out,” shared David Lombrozo (‘19). Jessica Podolsky (’20) added,” A thing is when two people are attracted to each other and will probably end up dating.”

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Photo: Eitan Breziner (’20)

A controversial aspect of the thing is fidelity. In a real relationship, you are intimate with one and only one person. What if you have a thing with someone? Are there boundaries, rules that should or shouldn’t be followed? “When you have a thing with someone, you interact with them in an affectionate way more than you would with a friend, but it’s not exclusive, you’re allowed to do it with more than just the person you have a thing with,” Lombrozo (‘19) continued.

While some believe they know the ins and the outs of the nature of the relationship, others are still confused. “There is no clear rules on exclusivity when it comes to a thing. It depends on the person, what they want,” said Maya Schuster (‘18). The concept and rules of the ‘’thing” remain obscure to many, and for even younger generations the topic hasn’t even come to light. “I guess a thing is something between two people… Right?” Samantha Veinbergs (‘21) asked.

The true question is: why has a ‘’thing’’ become a thing? What has paved the way for this confusing and ambiguous anomaly? Why not call the person you enjoy spending time with your girlfriend or boyfriend? What is so daunting about this title?

Commitment. Our generation is cautious of, afraid of, even allergic to commitment. Millennials don’t feel the need to commit to one sport, one major, or one career, and now this lack of commitment has spread to relationships. Having a thing can be many things, but the biggest thing is an easy way out: no need for dates, no need to be emotionally involved or even loyal. To be in a dedicated relationship, you must feed the fire, and quite frankly, our generation is tired of carrying the wood.


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