Disclaimer: everything written in this blog post is based on truth, however names, places, dates etc have all been changed to ensure the privacy of the people involved.
The Going Nowhere Seeing Each Other
Tom and Grace worked in the same office, there was a lot of obvious (which they assumed was sly) flirting and one team party later they found themselves making out in a cupboard.
He was smitten, she was aloof. What happens now?
They date – dinners, coffees, cinema and even hanging out at each others homes.
Six months later, they are still seeing each other.
Tom gets drunk with a colleague who questions him about what’s going on:
Do you want something more with her? Do you see a future? Don’t you want to ask her where it is going?!
Tom responds, of course he does, he’s been hanging out with her for six months – it would seem only natural to want more.
Said colleague goes to Grace and tells her everything – freak out ensues.
I never said I wanted anything serious, you should have told me you felt this way, if you want more then maybe this needs to stop?
The Natural Progression Seeing Each Other
Suzie and Jo met on Tinder, their first couple of dates in the generic bars of Edinburgh were what you could describe as ‘classic’ – awkward, anxious and sprinkled with a lot of booze.
They ‘levelled up’, Jo asked Suzie to come to a party where she would be meeting his friends. It all went well, she destroyed them at flip cup and gained the respect she never knew she needed.
Suzie took Jo to her friends birthday, a few jokes that went down like a lead balloon, and some banter with the friends boyfriends and Jo passed the friend finishing line.
They drunkenly told each other they were exclusive. But when there is alcohol involved does it count?
Suzie decides to take Jo to her parents house for dinner, it felt like he was ready to take on the ultimate challenge. What Suzie didn’t know was that Aunty Fee was also going to be there.
Mum introduces Jo as Suzie’s boyfriend, Suzie feels the world melting around her, the heat rash creeps up her neck and the sweat pours from the top of her head, she thinks – that’s one way to make a guy bolt. Jo doesn’t react politely shakes hands, cool as a cucumber ensuring he does in fact complete this level.
Later that evening they decide:
Shall we just do this then?
Seeing Each Other Has Always Been Confusing to Me
Ultimately, it seems to be the period of dating before you decide you are exclusive.
Upon listening to friends stories, it needs a lot of communication so no one gets dragged along on a journey they didn’t sign up for.
How long do you see each other for? I guess it depends on the couple, how much they hang out and how ready they both are. Have all of the boxes been ticked?
Does it have to do with the other person or the couple as a whole? Maybe we just need the time to ourselves to realise whether we like the person who we become when we start dating someone, or even if we are ready to date someone.
I guess what confuses me most is, where did it come from? We’ve all been in that scenario where our parents call the person we’re dating our boyfriend or girlfriend when the word has never been uttered from either persons mouth. In a parents logic:
You’re dating each other, therefore you are exclusive.
I don’t know anyone who would be comfortable with immediate exclusivity.
I Asked My Friends What They Thought
“I think it’s a legit thing where you’re figuring out if you like each other – but the real question is when are you seeing each other?? Like is it after 3 dates? 5 dates? 10 dates? Please tell me.”
“When you’re dating (and shagging) but nobody wants to put a label on it yet. Sometimes means you’re exclusive without saying it but then again BOYS WILL BE BOYS and will be seeing 16 other girls too.”
“Getting to know one another before committing to being with someone for potentially a long time. Doesn’t necessarily mean you can get with other people, if you properly like someone I think you shouldn’t want to see anyone else, but if your not sure then maybe they are not the right person. That said, I think the nature of meeting someone is harder and therefore sometimes takes longer to get to know someone and should give them at least a few chances.“
“Period of getting to know each other for sure! Gotta be right before you take that plunge! Waaay easier to break things off with someone you’re seeing than dumping someone if things go west in the first couple of months. Also transitioning from single life to having to consider someone all the time! The ‘un-selfishing’ process takes time … maybe it’s an adapting period? Also forgot to add, it’s not a free pass to get with other people willy nilly, especially as time goes on but I do agree with it being a more lenient time in terms of loyalty!”
“The stage before being in a relationship. You’re confused about whether you are actually exclusive but in fact, one or both of you are. The step past a situationship.”
“So, to me it’s that grace period where you are exclusively seeing that person and no one else, but not committing to being bf and gf. My mum doesn’t get it at all, she doesn’t see the point but I guess I see it as protecting yourself if it doesn’t work out in the early days – avoids not having to go through an official ‘break up’ for someone you only gave a few months of your life too.”
“It means we’ve been dating and now decided to hang out more regularly. I think this is quite a fluid phase and up to the individuals to put in the rules of what this means to them. It’s the phase that decides if you’re going to become official. Not always exclusive but the phase that leads to being exclusive – hope that makes sense!”
“The worst and best phase of getting to know someone, uncertainty, no security, adventure, discovery, judgment.”
Now that I have written about it, and heard from people there’s a lot more clarity for me, at the end of the day it’s down to the couple (if they are even calling themselves that…)
What are your thoughts?
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