Are we still dating or in a relationship?

Asked by Anonymous

Dating can be a confusing interaction to navigate.  When we date, we are extra aware of our own actions and words, the other person's actions and words, and looking for signs throughout that can be somewhat stressful. As you navigate the dating world, it can also be confusing when you have entered into a relationship or not.  That transfer from dating to a relationship can look different for every person.  For example, some people might believe that you are exclusively dating that person when you go from dating into a relationship.  It is important to be transparent about your expectations regarding being in a relationship versus dating.  Being clear about those expectations can be scary for some people, but it is important to challenge yourself to do so you are not setting up the relationship for failure. 

It is very common to have a conversation to help define the relationship. This is a healthy step to take with someone you are dating to make sure you are on the same page.  If you do not do this, it can lead to each of you going in a different direction, which will likely lead to getting hurt.  As you do this, it will be important to think about if labels are important to you.  There is no right or wrong answer there, but make sure you own what is important. 

If you are not comfortable defining the relationship yet and having a conversation, it can be helpful to look for certain signals of if you two are dating or in a relationship.  You can keep an eye out if they are talking to other people, if they are available or not if their lack of availability makes sense and other things.  It will also be important to also pick up on the good signs, such as introducing you to their friends or family.  Try to have the goal to pick up on enough signs to eventually be able to talk with the person you are dating about where things stand.