“Null Dating” Means No Difference

germBasketball is a pretty big deal in Indiana. In 1986, Hollywood made a movie called Hoosiers and filmed it about forty minutes from where I live. It’s, of course, all about the relationship between basketball and our great state in the middle of the Midwest. Many of us, myself included, dedicate our beloved Friday nights for the sake of following our school team.

A few weeks ago, I ditched my decently-sized school for my boyfriend’s very quaintly-sized school’s home basketball game. He sat in the student section and wore camo on camo on camo; those kids wore so much camo that no one even knew there was a student section. Meanwhile, I chatted it up with his mom and, in return, received a handful of odd curiosities which engendered questions regarding why I didn’t sit with my boyfriend.

We weren’t in an argument. Nothing was wrong. I simply wanted to go to the game without finding myself engulfed in the enthusiasm of the student section in which I don’t belong. When it all boils down, the reality is that I’m in a high school relationship. It’s exciting. It’s youthful. It’s high school. I talked to a few of my friends who have seen a few more years pass by than myself, and we discussed that, if this relationship ended, would some part of myself be left in the rubble? Would I feel like Indiana without high school basketball?

Here’s the buzzer-beater: It’s called null dating. We don’t text unless we have news. We don’t spend half of the day staring into our electronics at pixeled images of each other. We aren’t together unless there’s a reason — like a basketball game. Why not? Well, null means no difference; going into a relationship and planning to carry out your lifestyle the same way that you did before the relationship started is vital, and it encourages relationships to glide at their own pace. If I thought for a minute that my life would create a better environment for myself and the people around me, I’d take action and resume my life no different than how it was before hindrances arose.

Here are some friendly tips to help you:

1. It’s important to remember to love the way that your life flows before allowing anyone to collide with you.

2. Keep your morals, values, and beliefs at the apex of your relationship.

3. It’s okay to think about yourself first. You’re the only person who has to live with yourself for the rest of forever.

4. Space is a good thing. Get done what you need to get finished, and don’t let anyone interfere with your nonnegotiable priorities.

5. Think for yourself, but also allow people you trust to help guide you.

The idea of null dating may seem old-fashioned with all of the media facets at our fingertips, but what’s most important — especially in an exciting, youthful relationship — is you and your beautiful life.


K.J. Owens
K.J. Owens is an Indiana-loving senior in high school as well as an aspiring novelist. Language is a fascination of hers, from English to Spanish to American Sign Language. She may not be the greatest in the art industry, but she still finds herself getting the oils and brushes out and making a mess (which is a strength of hers) when not writing or working on independent studies. Her ongoing goal is to embrace every day, greet every person she meets, and let the world surprise and engage her an hour at a time.


  1. “Null Dating” sounds exactly like what dating should be — I’ve always been frustrated when looking at couples who seem to be co-dependently attached, who are constantly jealous of their partner’s friends of the same sex, who worry what a 30-second delay in a text message might mean. When I was in high school, I thought this might be an age thing — but I think it’s what relationships are evolving into. I don’t like it.

    This is a lovely and insightful article. Thanks for sharing!

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