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Everyone has different ideas of what’s right when it comes to dating etiquette.
Some prefer to stay monogamous from the start, while others like to keep their options open, just as some view sex as something to be saved until the blossoming of a full-on relationship, while others need it early on to determine levels of chemistry and attraction.
The key is to be honest in your intentions without being bossy about the behaviour you expect from the man or woman you’re seeing.
If you keep these discussions light and non-confrontational, you’ll soon know where you stand, and if you’re not happy with their stance, you can decide early on whether it’s something you want to proceed with.
Earlier this year, The New York Times published an article called “The End of Courtship?
” explaining how proper dating has been replaced with casual hook ups and ill-defined relationships. And when I say I’ve learnt this the hard way, I mean it.
So you’ve been dating one special person for a few months now, but haven’t had the courage to have “the talk” about exclusivity. If he or she shakes at the thought of labels and won’t define your relationship as “girlfriend” and “boyfriend,” it’s a red sign that your relationship just hasn’t become exclusive yet and they might be keeping other options open. Why bother looking for someone else when you’re clearly off the market and you’ve won the prize? If someone wants to make the relationship exclusive, they won’t be logging on while you’re asleep to stare at emails and photos of others. When someone wants to date others, they’ll leave one of the weekend nights available.
While some people make their intentions known and agree to becoming exclusive at a certain point, others go with the flow with the hope that they’ll become his or her one and only, even before becoming Facebook official. When someone is really into you and has made you their steady squeeze, they won’t be hiding you and will be proud to show you off. When your significant other stops introducing you as just a friend and it’s replaced with BF or GF publicly, chances are you’re the one-and-only. When you’re excited about being together every weekend, you should know that you’re the one-and-only. You’ve whispered those three special words of “I love you” to each other. If he’s playing the field, all the ladies will know it’s his birthday and will want to be by his side. Not every day is filled with hearts, bells, and whistles. From a toothbrush to an extra set of panties and makeup, when your sweetie carves out a place in his closet or bathroom for you and vice versa, you’ll know it’s serious.
OK, so you’ve navigated the world of online dating, read hundreds of profiles, sent countless messages, been on a handful of dates.But if you’re not seeing anyone else, and you’re seeing a lot of each other what on earth is it if it’s not a relationship?One friend (who wishes to remain anonymous lest her non-boyfriend reads this) explains: “I’ve been seeing this guy for four months now – we’re dating and see each other a couple of times a week.Either way it’s a win, because if the latter is the case, you’re far better off knowing the truth and getting out of there… Invariably if the person I’m speaking to has been single at any point in the last decade, then yes, they know exactly what I mean, because if there’s one scenario that’s become endemic amongst myself and my peers, it’s our inability to define a relationship after the first five or six dates. Is it too soon to refer to someone as your boyfriend? If you’ve been on 12 dates with someone, you really don’t still want to be seeing other people do you?
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.