Start When dating becomes a relationship

When dating becomes a relationship

And if you land a boyfriend that way and then ‘win’ (and by ‘win,’ I mean you get the ultimate prize – marriage) then can you ever really relax, knowing they were so blasé about you when you first met that it took them six months, nine months, a year to refer to you as their girlfriend?

I’m not judging – I can see how easy it is to get into that situation.

Earlier this year, The New York Times published an article called “The End of Courtship?

“I’ve never willingly called any of the women I’ve been out with my girlfriends – even the ones I’ve lived with.

I always have to be really pushed into making it more serious – but that’s just the way I am, it’s nothing personal.” I’m not sure I buy this – how would his (lucky, lucky) girlfriend feel if she heard him saying, outright, that he hadn’t been too fussed about her when they got together, and that they’re only together now because of her tenacity?

You can see it there on the horizon – the whole “So where’s this going? The dating game has changed dramatically, and while it used to be as simple as a quick conversation along the lines of “OK, so we like each other, let’s make this official”, there is now a list of new stages in a fledgling relationship that can seem to make things more confusing.

Everything has become a little ill-defined, and I wouldn’t be surprised if you’ve asked yourself these kinds of questions: The early stages of dating should be when you’re having the most fun of all, so don’t let things worry you, because really this is when you should be running through parks holding hands and making slushy PDAs on the tube.

So, let me help you out with some suggestions next time you’re asked to define your non-relationship: “Well Gran, it’s funny you should ask, there is someone on the scene, we’re: sleeping together/seeing each other/dating/friends with benefits/friends (apparently the same as friends with benefits, but twice as infuriating) /having an affair (it’s unfortunate when, after 12 dates you discover that his reticence to define your relationship is down to his previously unmentioned wife) or wasting each other’s time until something better comes along.” I agree that technology – evil, brain-sapping technology – might play its part here. When I asked for further clarification as to what we were doing he said “We’re friends - you’re my friend.” Hilariously, when the article in question came out, a couple of my other exes read the piece and took credit for that particular quote (hint: it was none of them), which is a sorry example of quite how often I've gone down that particular road. My new rule is, eight weeks – if someone won’t call it after eight weeks, then I’m out of there.

We can be in touch with our potential paramours all the time – via texts, on Facebook, on email – and this constant contact can be misleading – giving us the impression that we’re embroiled in something much more meaningful than we really are. My reasoning being that if someone doesn’t feel strongly enough about me after a couple of months, then they’re never going to feel strongly enough for me to spend time and energy on them.

Personally, I tend to think that if you’ve been dating someone regularly for a couple of months and they’re not ready to commit to an exclusive relationship with you, they probably never will be.

If you haven’t convinced them of how remarkably brilliant you are after this time, what’s going to change?

The thing is, you can make any excuse you like when you really fancy, or even love someone.