There was once a time when you defined your relationship status in one of three ways. You were single, dating or married. There was no in between and there certainly was no uncertainty. If you were with someone, you knew it. Oh how much simpler life seemed back then.
Nowadays it's hard to know exactly where your relationship stands, or even if you are in one to begin with. Listen to people describe their status and you will hear things such as :
"I'm talking to this guy."
"Yea I've been chilling with a girl I met a few months ago."
"I'm hanging out with him this weekend."
"We're just seeing how it goes."
"It's just casual"
"It's just a thing."
and my very favorite-
I'm not sure if it's a desire to remain unattached or a fear of what could happen, but people tend to not define their relationships lately. It's easier to play it by ear, leave it untitled and just see what happens.
The problem is that you never quite know where you stand. It leaves you unsure of how to handle even the most ordinary and mundane situations. No, a title doesn't change the relationship or what lies as the foundation you are building on. But sometimes that title lets you know how to handle simple things. It also helps you to keep your expectations realistic.
Everyone starts off gradually. At least they should. But eventually there's a time when you have to define what is going on. Are you there? There are a few clear cut signs that it's time to talk to your not quite other half and decide just where things stand.
- You are turning down dates
Let's face it. When you are into a guy, you will reject others. But is he doing the same? When you have a casual thing with someone, it's unclear as to whether you are supposed to be dating other people. When you start to realize that you are turning down guys that you would otherwise accept a date with, you might want to make sure that you are actually in a relationship with the guy. Unless you have a goal to own a bunch of cats one day.
- He practically moved in
Do you find that it's tempting to charge him rent every month? Is he at your house more than his own? Do you currently have possession of personal items that are his? The reality is that if there are enough things in your place to make it hard to convince potential suitors that you are single, it might be time to find out if you are.
- Friends and family are trying to fix either of you up
Nothing sucks quite as badly as that moment when people close to your 'friend' start trying to fix him up with girls they met and you are thinking that he's into you. Even if he turns them down, the reality doesn't leave. They do not consider you a serious part of his life. If you do, then it's time to make sure you are.
- You aren't sure how to introduce him
If you ran into a coworker while out, how would you introduce him? If you find that more often than not you stutter a bit when trying to introduce your man, then you should find out how he views things. Nothing says we are having non-committed sex quite like taking a pause before the word friend when making introductions.
- You haven't met the people he's close to
If you know about who he's with when he's not with you, but he hasn't had you around them then it's possible that you are taking things more seriously than he is. Knowing of his friends, parents and colleagues is a big stretch from having been around them and they know who you are.
- You're not sure you are the only one he's seeing or sleeping with
Once you are having an intimate relationship with anyone, it's time to define the boundaries of that. Even friends with benefits should establish whether or not the 'friend' has other 'friends'. If you think in terms of the fact that you are essentially sleeping with everyone he's sleeping with, don't you think it's important to know if there are others?
- You think about it more than you should
We have gut instincts for a reason. If something is playing heavy on your mind, it's a pretty good sign it is important to you. When you realize that as he's kissing you, your mind is wondering what he thinks of you; it's time to find out.