Andrea and Cory have been seeing each other for three months, they sleep together, go on dates, hang out in each other’s apartments frequently, he even flew both of them to Miami for a weekend getaway, but Andrea has never met any of Cory’s friends.
Andrea is not even sure if she is Cory’s girlfriend.
She has asked Cory what they are, but He has assured her she is his girlfriend, saying He does not want to rush the dating process.
Andrea is confused; Cory makes her happy. He does and says the right things, but should Andrea be worried? It has been three months, why has she not met any of his friends?
Like Andrea, a lot of us are in relationships we enjoy but are not sure about. Are we dating? If yes, what stage of dating are we in?
Should I be concerned that things are not adding up, or should I allow things to play out with time?.
What is dating? This word has very different meanings depending on what era you were born into. In the 21st century, it can mean anything from casual hookups to committed relationships.
● One Nightstand
This stage of dating rarely leads anywhere. In this stage, after the initial meeting, in most cases, you and the other individual decide to have sex. There are absolutely no strings attached, and everyone goes their separate ways once the deed is done. There is no exchange of personal information or phone numbers.
● Friends With Benefits
This can be the most complicated and misunderstood stage of dating. Sometimes this leads to more serious dating stages, and other times it does not. In this stage of dating, you and a friend decide to get intimate regularly. In theory, this sounds like fun, but it most regularly leads to heartbreak involving one of the individuals involved.
The reason why this often leads to heartbreak is that feelings most of the time, get involved, and the dynamic of the friendship always changes.
To be in this stage successfully, you must always be honest with yourself about how you feel. It is also advisable to give yourself a time frame, so that you can end things before feelings get involved.
● The Stringer
This is a person that strings another individual along with promises of commitment in the foreseeable future, but these promises never materialize. They do almost everything people in healthy relationships do, such as having sex, staying over at each other’s apartments/houses, going on dates, and so on, but they are never fully committed to the relationship.
To know if you are being strung along, you have to watch out for a few of these visible signs:
- He/She is inconsistent
- He/She does not go out of their way to make the relationship work
- He/She never talks or wants to make concrete plans about the future
- He/She does not offer emotional support
If, after reading these, you feel like you are being strung along, you need to have a serious talk with the person so you can decide on the next step of action. It is advisable to remove yourself from the situation instead of hoping the person will change.
● The Side Guy or Chick
You are a side guy/chick when you are in a relationship with someone that’s in another committed relationship. Most of the time, the other individual is married or is in a committed relationship with another individual.
The word side guy/chick is becoming an increasingly popular term in this era. A lot of people who enter these relationships are not aware that they are a side guy/chick.
You go on dates with this individual, you hang out at each other’s apartments/houses, you go on vacations together, but something doesn’t seem right.
Here are five(5) visible signs that you are a side guy/chick:
- He/She is never around for major holidays.
- You have never met any of his/her friends/parents.
- You hang out at your place most of the time
- He/she’s phone is always on him/her.
- He/she does not even want to show public displays of affection.
If these signs are prevalent in your relationship, you are a side chick/guy. Andrea is a side chick. If you have not met any of his/her friends or family members after several months of dating, you are most likely a side chick/guy.
● The Committed Stage
Being referred to as a boyfriend or girlfriend does not mean you are in a serious/committed relationship. There are apparent signs that assure you that you are in a committed relationship where both partners are serious about each other.
Here are four(4) common signs that you are in a committed relationship:
1. You Spend a lot of Time Together
Couples that are committed to each other spend a lot of time together. As adults, life gets so hectic to the point you don’t have extra time to spend on mundane things. If your significant other goes out of their way to spend time with you, this is a sure sign that you are being taken seriously.
2. Your Partner is Attentive and Consistent
An attentive and consistent spouse is one of the main pointers that you are in the committed stage of a relationship. A person that pays attention to your needs and wants is serious about you. If your spouse goes out of his/her way to make sure you are happy, he/she is a keeper.
3. You Regularly Meet his/her Friends and Family
If your partner goes out of his/her way to make you meet and feel comfortable around his friends and family, then you are in a committed relationship.
4. You Plan the Future Together
Planning the future together is one of the sure signs that you are in a relationship. Your partner is talking about your future together, you both obtain a lease/mortgage in both names, open a joint account for incidentals, and so much more is a sure sign that your partner envisions a future with you.
We, humans, are complicated by nature, which makes dating a very complex game because you are dealing with another human being. You must be aware of what stage of dating you are at all times, so you do not waste your time with someone who doesn’t take you seriously. There is a saying ‘experience is the best teacher,’ do not be afraid to put yourself out there and date.
And if you find yourself dating someone outside your culture; don’t let the language barrier stop you from enjoying all the perks of dating. You can rely on online translation services like Google Translatoror The Word Pointto stay in touch and in line with your partner’s culture.