Does Dating Mean Boyfriend And Girlfriend? (Not At First)


Happy couple

Maybe you’re dating, and you want to know where you stand.

Boyfriend and girlfriend signifies a commitment and perhaps that’s what you’re after.

In this article I’ll look at what dating is and if it means you’re in a relationship.

Does dating mean boyfriend and girlfriend?

When dating, you’re still deciding whether you want to spend more time with each other. You’re spending quality time together and getting to know one another. After a few more dates, you may both decide to become officially boyfriend and girlfriend.

Dating is the beginning

You could meet someone online, at school, work or other social gathering. You could be with friends or on your way somewhere. There are all kinds of places when you could meet someone you like the look of.

You like how they look, their personality and the way they are. An initial conversation and exchange of numbers followed by a text, phone calls and a decision to go on a date.

Dating is when you go out and meet the person in a mutually enjoyable situation to get to know them better.

Dating is when we get nervous because it’s new and we want to make a good impression. We’re testing the water with the other person.

Dating is when you begin spending time with someone. You’re not really boyfriend and girlfriend at this stage.

Dating is the choosing phase

You could be dating a few people and you haven’t decided who you like better.

It’s ok to do this because nothing is official and you’re not crossing any boundaries.

Online dating is where people often choose between many potential partners. You may meet up with a few of them to see how you get on face to face.

It doesn’t mean anything yet. It doesn’t mean you’re boyfriend and girlfriend. There’s no commitment to each other.

Dating is still more than friends. You find someone attractive and are thinking about making a commitment to be with them in the future.

How and when to decide if you’re boyfriend and girlfriend

If you’ve been dating the same person and you feel you’re getting to know them better. You may feel you’re bonding more.

Sometimes you can tell by how the other person behaves. If your date has started holding hands with you or touching you more, it’s a good sign.

Maybe she’s started getting in touch with you more often. She’s started talking to you as though you’re the only person she cares about.

We often introduce a possible partner to friends to see how they get on and their opinion on them.

If you want to know if you’re “officially” boyfriend and girlfriend then you may have to ask. Especially if you don’t know.

It’s good to know, one way or another, otherwise you’re endlessly dating and you don’t want to be strung along.

Boyfriend and girlfriend means exclusivity

There’s no one else in the picture when you’re official. You’ve considered and rejected everyone else.

When you’re officially together. You are partners and this means you’ve chosen to take things further.

The choosing phase that dating is for many has gone. You’ve both found someone who you really feel has the potential of being together with for longer.

You will still go on dates. Even married couples go on dates. But you’re exclusive to one another, so your time and thoughts will involve each other even more.

You may have introduced each other as “girlfriend or boyfriend” to other people.

Happy couple

Girlfriends and boyfriends behave differently

You can tell a boyfriend and girlfriend just by observing them. You can tell it’s more than dating by the way they are with each other and everyone else.

They’re more relaxed around each other because there’s an acceptance they’re together. They feel less need to impress.

You have someone who has needs you need to think about. You don’t have to worry about these things when you’re dating.

They care more about each other and are concerned about how they feel. They like to involve them in everything they do to get to know each other on a deeper level.

Past relationships are in the past and you’ve moved on with your lives, which include your new other half.

Now you’re in a proper relationship

Being in a relationship and there are certain expectations of each other.

You’ve made a commitment to be loyal and faithful to that person. You’re seeing what a long term commitment might feel like.

In this stage, you may be asked to meet their parents. Every parent wants the best for their son or daughter. So meeting their partner is often interesting for everyone involved.

When dating, you can be flirting and playful to test the waters. A relationship can be more serious when it comes to intimacy, both emotional and physical.

A relationship is built on trust and truthfulness, and that’s what you expect from each other. You can depend on the other for emotional support.

Differences between dating and a relationship

You communicate far more in a relationship than when you’re dating. The need to get to know everything about the person increases because of the commitment.

You’ve confirmed you’re now part of each other’s life so you like to know what each other is doing. When dating, you’re still very independent.

A relationship is when you’ve chosen the person as someone who has the potential of being with. You may want to live together in the future.

Eventually you may consider them as someone who you’d like to have children with if that’s a life choice of yours.

This may seem very far in the future for some, but becoming boyfriend and girlfriend is the start of the journey.

With all this, you can see how different dating is. Dating is like a job interview, whereas a relationship means you’ve got the job. Now you’re seeing how you work together.

A relationship signifies a possible future

If you’re young or you’ve only just started calling yourselves boyfriend and girlfriend. Don’t worry, you don’t have to spend the rest of your life with that person.

But a relationship is a wonderful journey with many turns, ups and downs. Some people stay boyfriend and girlfriend for years. Some stay that way all their lives.

You might be one of them and feel you need to make no further promises to each other. Other times, one of you may want to take things further and get engaged.

You might feel you’d like to be married and have children. Children is when you really are tied to one another for the rest of your life.

There are usually many dates and some serious talks before you get to this stage. Sometimes it may occur a little quicker.

Final thoughts

Dating is not boyfriend and girlfriend, it nearly is, you’re halfway there. When you date you’ve already been considered someone worth going on dates with.

It’s just different from being officially an item. Rather than give your relationship a label. See what you think of each other.

After talking about what you think of each other. If it’s going well, you may find you’ve already shown some kind of commitment.

Without realizing it, you may be what others would consider boyfriend and girlfriend. What I’m saying is let the relationship flow before worrying about your status.

If it makes you feel better and you need to know you can always ask, just to check. Either way, enjoy each other’s company and see how far it goes.

Emma Taylor

I'm a relationship expert with years of experience who's given advice to hundreds of people. I hope you've found some good advice here too.

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