I’d recently read that a man can go out with a woman 2-5 times (or more) before he considers them dating. A woman often leaps to that conclusion on the second date. (A male friend even suggested that some of us consider we’re “dating” a guy we haven’t met yet, only talked to by email or phone!)
I realize there are some circumstances where it could be nebulous. Perhaps you are workmates, gym mates, or classmates and you invite each other for coffee, a hike, a movie, or over to your house for dinner. Maybe you either go Dutch or take turns treating. Or one picks up the movie and the other dinner. Even if you are physical, like cuddling during a movie, unless there’s some smooching, it still can be nebulous. And sometimes even making out isn’t a sign that you’re dating.
In “What is the definition of a date?” I shared my confusion about what constitutes a date.
After dating a man a handful of times, with plenty of smooching, I made some reference to “our relationship.” He adamantly corrected me that we weren’t in a “relationship.” I asked what he called what we were in then. He said we were “hanging out,” and “seeing each other.” I don’t know when “seeing each other” becomes “a relationship” — at least in that guy’s mind. I’m guessing it has to do with deciding to be exclusive. Interestingly, we “saw each other” for 6 weeks before he told me in an IM that we shouldn’t see each other again. I guess that if we were “in a relationship” I might have earned a breakup email instead.
Some people have told me that meeting for coffee with someone from a dating site isn’t a date. It’s a “meet” to see if you want to have a date. I could argue both sides. Fundamentally, to me a date is when you spend time with someone to explore if there is romantic potential.
Because of this ambiguousness, I’m told that some men don’t get into “date” mode until the second, third or more encounter. Because he hasn’t decided to woo you, he sees no need to call regularly, dress nicely, or show other signs that he’s interested in you. He’s in “I like her, but not sure I’m that interested in her” mode. So if you think “second dates and beyond mean we’re dating and he needs to woo me with calls, flowers, etc.” you’re setting yourself up for frustration. If you get on his case about not calling, he’ll be out of there in a flash if he doesn’t realize you’re in different places. If he sees he needs to step up his romance or lose you, he will, if he’s interested. Otherwise, he may have the “let’s be friends” talk.
At what point do you consider yourself “dating” a guy?
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