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Many “Hills­dating” couples are afraid to put a label on their rela­tionship, Quin Color writes. | Pixabay

Most have seen it, few have been part of it, but all acknowledge it: Hills­dating. Hills­dating is a col­lo­quial term used to define a rela­tionship in which both parties are inter­ested and spend large amounts of time together but avoid the com­mitment of a label. But it is not com­mitment that Hills­dating “couples” are afraid of, it is the label. Specif­i­cally labeling as a means of com­mu­ni­cating long-term intention. While devel­oping an emo­tional bond is rel­a­tively easy, exper­i­men­tation shows that “those in devel­oping and con­tinuing rela­tion­ships begin to take into account long-term goals for the rela­tionship as an entity addi­tional to the needs and desires of the two indi­viduals.” This means that even those who have become dependent on one another for emo­tional and intel­lectual ful­fillment may still be hes­itant to attach a label which indi­cates a con­straint on their future. A study per­formed by Iowa State Uni­versity found that rela­tionship “expec­ta­tions fall into three cat­e­gories: non-romantic (friend), pre-romantic (talking, hanging-out, and casual dating), and romantic (dating). Ambi­guity about the expec­ta­tions for sharing infor­mation was high for the rela­tion­ships in the pre-romantic cat­egory and low for the romantic.” Nothing kills rela­tion­ships like bad com­mu­ni­cation, and nothing kills com­mu­ni­cation like fear of artic­u­lating expec­ta­tions. So Hills­dating friends, if your potential partner is good, true, and beau­tiful, muster up the courage and put a label on it.