But what does it really mean?
I was chatting with my friend K. today and she was feeling frustrated because she’s at the point with this guy she’s been dating where she wants to lock it down. The title. The Girlfriend Title. It’s been almost 10 dates and about as many weeks. The relationship is getting more serious. He’s starting to plan day trips and talks to his mom about her. And K.’s waiting for an exclusive commitment before she’ll have sex with him. I like that she’s being true to herself.
In my opinion, things are going really, really well. Like, they couldn’t be going any better. Yes, it could all fall apart at any given moment because that’s just life. But signs are not pointing toward that. They are pointing to an exclusive relationship. And while K. is ready for The Big Relationship, she has to let her future BF discover on his own that he is, too.
It’s hard though, when you get to the point of “So … how many dates have we been on?” And you’re tallying up that number to arrive at the conclusion that you should be in a certain place based on that number.
First off, don’t should on yourself. And B., know that men (and women) sometimes take a little longer to figure out their business. (And beware the people who want Insta-Relationship. They are quite possibly attempting to lock you down before you get to see the warts of their life so you can make an educated decision that you actually do want to be with him/her versus just liking the fact that you have someone to cuddle with that second.)
Similarly, I was questioning my brilliant colleague T. a while ago about if it was okay to call the guy I was seeing after we’d had kind of a serious conversation. “No, Louie,” said T. (He calls me Louie sometimes. Kinda like my neighbor calls me Hooker sometimes. It’s a gay thing.) T. explained further it was less about waiting around for him and more about letting him come to the conclusion that he wanted to call me. And when he did, I would know it came from his heart, not as a reaction to my phone call (or text or email or other technological smoke signal). I went with it. He called. It didn’t end up working out for other reasons, but, still, he did call.
So it seems that women have to wait a bit for men to get in touch with their feelings. Just because we know, doesn’t mean they know. And that’s okay. That’s how men are. And I mean that in a really good way. Someone has to temper a woman’s need to jump right into relationships right away. It’s okay to draw things out at the beginning and allow for some of the tugging and pushing and pulling.
Now you don’t want to stay in gray-area land forever. But there’s a thick, bold line between jumping the gun and singing Beyonce to him in a black leotard and realizing that you are caught in relationship purgatory. If it’s not clear to you where you are, ask yourself this:
After dating for 2-3 months,
Does he only call you?
Do you only see each other 1ce or 2ce a week and usually on the same days?
Does he have a hard time looking you in the eye?
Have you had sex without talking about the essentials (like, whether either of you are sleeping with anyone else)?
Does he fail to make future plans?
If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, there might be a problem. Like on WebMD, signs and symptoms can vary widely and don’t necessarily mean anything is wrong. But it’s worth noting and addressing. Temper yes, but don’t buckle.