like: “catching feelings”, “talking”, “just kicking it”, “friends with benefits” and “it’s complicated”, make it difficult to know what is considered a relationship and when it actually starts?You are not in a relationship with someone until:
- You have talked about it
- You’ve been asked / someone has been asked
- There is an acceptance and agreement
Have the two of you talked about being in a relationship and being exclusive? The simple act of going on a date needs to be looked at as if it’s a contract negotiation/ job interview, and you are interviewing for each other’s heart, time and company. Dates are the time to talk, negotiate demands, wants, needs and expectations of a relationship. Most generally accept that “talking” is a stage of dating now. Inform them of what you’re comfortable with and what’s a deal breaker. Set limits and goals for your relationship, what’s the ultimate destination, what will it be built on and based off? As with any other negotiation, you can walk away at any time and you can always say no! People often get stuck in relationships they don’t want to be in because they didn’t truly talk and get to know each other when they were “talking”.
After all, in negotiation someone has to make an offer that gets accepted, denied or renegotiated. Consider the things you do for each other and the incentives of this proposed relationship. The thing he does to woo you are things to show you what the perks of being with him could or would be like. But it still doesn’t guarantee a relationship until all three criteria’s are met. Sadly, no amount of sex, hotel stays, family meetings, length of time, gifts, out of town trips, or special events, means anything until you have an agreement.
Negotiation goes both ways, has to work for both parties, and need assurance that after acceptance the incentives don’t stop. Too many make the mistake of chasing the title. Many ladies give away girlfriend benefits, priorities, rewards, or experiences to a person they’re unsure about (e.g. cooking, cleaning, staying the night, or life-altering decisions). Women often do these things in hopes of being a girlfriend, but until there’s confirmation, it’s just hope and a maybe.
There is no time limit to the title. It’s usually a feeling or an event that seals the deal for men to commit. So stand firm and don’t compromise or contradict your standards because he won’t compromise his.
Just giving a woman a title because it’s been a few months, is settling for men. Until you’ve had the conversation about dating each other exclusively, someone has asked (you or him) to start the relationship, and there has been an acceptance and both of you agree that you’re in a relationship; keep your options open. Don’t assume anything and don’t isolate yourself and destroy all your platonic friendships so he’s all you have. Because your relationship has not officially started until all three of those steps are hashed out.