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The Claim Game: A Man Won’t Claim a Woman He Doesn’t Want

by Anslem Samuel Posted Oct 12th 2010 11:15AM

There’s a big difference between actually being in a relationship and just thinking you’re in one. If there’s any confusion as to which one you’re in, chances are you’re experiencing the latter. But the real way to tell is if the other person is willing to claim you.

Look at how Nelly denied ever dating singer Ashanti during a recent radio interview. Despite photos of them cuddled up on the beach and walking hand in hand at T.I. and Tiny’s wedding this past August, it was clear that they were just “friends.” And if there were any other doubts, Ashanti told last week, “I never said I was his girl. I never quote, unquote, ‘claimed him.’ I never said we were an item and neither has he, so there you have it.”

I’ve always had a thing for Ashanti and now even more so. The average woman in her situation would have probably gone off the handle and called dude out his name, but here’s an example of a real down-ass chick. Clearly, Nelly and Ashanti had a conversation about the extent of their dealings with each other and are on the exact same page about everything, which is rare when it comes to relationships — platonic or romantic — between men and women.

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Whether Nelly and Ashanti were “dating,” “kickin’ it,” “chillin'” or just sleeping together is beside the point and none of our business. The issue of someone not “claiming” the other, though, could easily get messy — especially when you’re in the public eye — but as long as the people involved know where things stand and don’t let other folks get in their business that’s all that matters. But that’s where a lot of people mess up.

As much as women like to think that men are natural-born liars, we’re actually pretty honest if you listen to us. I don’t care how much a man might act like he’s in love with a woman, until he actually says it (and means it, of course) he’s not. Still, a lot of women go off what they think as opposed to what they know and wind up getting their feelings hurt.

If a man tells a woman he’s not looking for a relationship and just wants to “kick it,” then that woman better get her soccer cleats ready if she plans on hanging out with him. Because when that hotter-than-you girl calls him up (or vice versa) to catch some drinks after work and she asks if he’s single, guess what? He sure as hell won’t be claiming you.

Truthfully, neither should you because he’s not yours to claim. You can hang out with someone seven days a week or hold hands in the street all you want, but until y’all have a conversation about whether both parties agree on the status of your relationship, that ain’t your man and you’re not his woman.

If the concept of the claim game is too hard for you to digest, let me break down like this: Relationships are a lot like shopping for a car. You have lots of options, and it’s always best to test-drive a few before making a final decision. Sometimes, you take a whip for a spin around the corner and other times you might lease one for a few months or years. Just because you spend a lot of time in a leased whip and get to take it home, though, doesn’t mean it’s yours. There’s always an option to trade it in for a better model because people only buy what they really want.

The same applies to an unclaimed woman (or man). No matter how comfortable that leased relationship may feel, it’ll never compare to one that you own outright. The best way to avoid any confusion with where things stand with the person you’re seeing is by talking to him or her to see where their head is at. Otherwise, you could end up thinking you’ve got rights to claim someone that just views you as an option.