If You Have To Ask “What Are We Doing?” You’re In A DYSFUNCTIONAL Relationship

"Negro why you wanna know how much my salary is now?! I thought we was "just kicking it!"

Like I announced in a blog post last week, this week’s most recent podcast, as well as on my Twitter page, I attended an event called The Conversation Party hosted by Fiana of Approach2link. The event had a good turn-out, featured A LOT of interesting discussion and included ONE moment where I said something that turned out to be controversial – even though it was simple common sense.

From Left: Me, Fiana & my boy Tosin

The comment I made was simply this: “A lot of women are terrible when it comes to determining the right TIME and METHOD to ask her ‘significant other’ for clarification on their relationship status. But the reality is, if you have to ask, your relationship is messed up.” Now I got a lot of heat from other people there because they felt like I was generalizing the feelings and emotions that women have when they ASK that specific question and I was painting all women with the same brush. Well, the reality is I was generalizing – but I was NOT wrong.

The impetus for the question “What are we doing?” is derived from fear, anxiety, confusion, anger, and/or annoyance – but never CONTENT, JOY or HAPPINESS. The reason one person in the relationship is asking the other, is because they are unaware of the nature of their current relationship, and if you are a GROWN ASS ADULT, there is NO excuse for that BS – that simply shows you are currently in a DYSFUNCTIONAL relationship.

Here’s what grown-ass adults do: They constantly communicate through every stage of dating and assure each other that their goals are still inline with one another.

If you are a GROWN-ASS man, you will clearly state what your intentions are with your date right from the JUMP, whether it be wifey or jump-off. The moment you determine that you want to advance from dating her into official exclusive courtship, you LET HER KNOW and decide. If you are no longer interested in being in a serious relationship, open your FROWSY mouth and COMMUNICATE that to her so she is kept fully abreast of what’s going on. THAT is how you show her the adequate amount of respect that SHE deserves and that’s how YOU avoid being confused about the nature of your relationship.

If you are a GROWN-ASS woman, you will clearly state what your EXPECTATIONS are from your date right at the beginning. If you are just looking for a good time or a serious long-term relationship, let it be known right from the start. Don’t just sit back and HOPE he will magically wake up and want a committed relationship one day, make sure your relationship is naturally evolving towards the relationship you truly want. A GROWN-ASS woman has NO time to play ‘Boy Games’ and try to decipher whether or not he’s serious about her.

The POSITIVE result of PROPER communication

Here’s the truth of the matter: If you are over the age of 14 and you are asking your significant other “what are we doing? Are we in a relationship or not? Are we committed or not? Are we exclusive or not?” or ANY variation of that BS – YOU are in a dysfunctional relationship – and it’s YOUR fault you are there. If someone isn’t communicating how they feel about you VERBALLY, I PROMISE you they are communicating how they feel about you through their actions.

This Is Your Conscience

When Lincoln Anthony Blades is not writing for his controversial and critically acclaimed blog ThisIsYourConscience.com, he can be found contributing articles for Uptown Magazine. Lincoln wrote the hilarious and insightful book "You're Not A Victim, You're A Volunteer: How To Stop Letting Love Kick Your Ass". He is also a public speaker who has sat on panels all over North America and the Caribbean.


  1. lincolnanthonyblades

    07/17/2012 at 6:20 AM

    Ladies & Gentlemen, Do You Agree That The Question "What Are We Doing" Always Comes From A BAD Place?

  2. petersburgh

    07/17/2012 at 6:47 AM

    I think it does but not necessarily due to the person asking fault. I believe in telling someone you intentions from the get go and so I don't ever remember asking that question even when I was in my early teens. However, I have accepted that people may not think like me for whatever reason. It does show some insecurities and for that I totally agree.

    However, nowadays we find that people talk a lot and act rarely. I can't blame a person for asking that question if their boo starts acting different to what they're saying. Yes the question still comes from a bad place but I don't put the blame on them from the initial moment they asks this. If they asks this like a little child asking mom for ice-cream well then I have a problem

    • lincolnanthonyblades

      07/17/2012 at 12:42 PM

      Co-Sign. I Never Had To Ask This Question Either, Because I Always Felt Being Open And Honest In A Relationship Was Important.

    • iluvwhoiluv

      07/17/2012 at 1:18 PM

      Yes, indeed!

  3. ChloeRayne516

    07/17/2012 at 8:58 AM

    If someone isn’t communicating how they feel about you VERBALLY, I PROMISE you they are communicating how they feel about you through their actions."

    RealTalk!!! Like I always say people's actions and words should align with each other.. if someone is telling you one thing but doing something totally different, let that be a red flag. This is how alot of women get caught up and end up disappointed when dude says he wasn't looking for a relationship with her although he was beating it down and even spending some quality time…. His words did not align with his actions… When a person tell you or show you who they are BELIEVE THEM!!!

    • lincolnanthonyblades

      07/17/2012 at 12:35 PM

      OH I'm Writing A Topic Tomorrow On What You Just Touched On…Hopefully You Can Forward It To Some Of Your Girls!

      • ChloeRayne516

        07/17/2012 at 12:45 PM


        looking forward to it.

      • iluvwhoiluv

        07/17/2012 at 1:19 PM

        I can hardly wait!

    • NurseJilly

      07/17/2012 at 2:18 PM


  4. Candice

    07/17/2012 at 11:26 PM

    When you have to ask, "Where is this going?", it's usually a bad sign. I went through this issue about 3 months ago, I was looking for a relationship and he wasn't. Now I've learned from my mistake and I'm very honest about what I want and if it's something he can't get down with? Deuces!! I don't waste my time with him.

  5. dimmabl

    07/17/2012 at 11:41 PM

    I "liked" this article on fb on the strength of the title. Hahaha, it wasn't what I thought it was about *clears throat* (arguments and craziness and such where someone might ask themselves "what are we doing here"). I don't think a relationship is dysfunctional just because someone has to ask what exactly is going on in the relationship. Sometimes the relationship looks like it is working as it was discussed and one person is perfectly happy. Then another person wants more and, yes there is anxiety and fear when a person needs to ask that question, tries to go about getting it in an indirect way. I don't think a person having those feelings and not knowing how to share them more expressively means non- or badly functioning. I think so long as communication is opened it is a good thing. I am assuming that the question is not asked with some funky ole angry *ss attitude. Even if it is though, that says more about the one person than the quality of the relationship.

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