I’m not sure when titles in relationships became such a big deal. I used to believe, when I was a little girl, that there were three titles in a relationship: boyfriend, fiancé and eventually, husband.
Now, fast forward 10 years, and I have been slapped in the face with the reality of the new, but definitely not improved, dating scene. There are working titles we go through with our significant others before getting to the final result of calling someone your “boyfriend.”
Here’s a breakdown:
1. Booty Call
This is the lowest ranking relationship status you can have with another person. You are strictly getting busy. You don’t see each other during daylight hours, he doesn't know your middle name and he doesn't care to. He won’t text you any earlier than 10:30 pm and he very well may find a reason for you to not spend the night.
2. FWB (aka Friends with Benefits)
This relationship has the perks of both a friendship and a sexual relationship (duh, the title says it all).
This is a casual thing: There are no expectations or commitments and it’s a pretty perfect setup. That is, unless one of you falls for the other, like Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake in "Friends With Benefits." Then it gets messy and complicated.
Beware of relationships like these. They are only successful for both parties when it has been discussed and understood it won't turn into anything more than a casual fling.
This is a tricky situation that no one really knows how to navigate. You talk regularly via text and maybe the occasional phone call. You both enjoy each other’s company but are unsure of the ifs and hows of taking things to to the next level.
4. Hooking Up
This is when the Talking and Booty Call phases are mashed together into a wonderful, but somewhat complicated situation.
You’re on a physically intimate level and talk regularly (if not daily), but you haven’t had the “where is this going?” talk yet. Feelings are starting to develop, but there’s no exclusivity.
He takes you out on dates and willingly picks up the tab. At this stage, he is putting in time and effort to be with you, and is also interested in seeing where this can go. However, he could be seeing and courting other ladies unless otherwise discussed.
You have had the talk; you are now "exclusive." So, what does that mean? It means that you have both agreed to not see other people. At this point, you have met each other’s best friends, spent the night at each other’s places, talk daily and see each other regularly. You may even be referred to as his girlfriend, but there is still one thing missing…
Congratulations! You are now Facebook official. In our language, this translates to an "actual relationship" and you can officially call him your boyfriend.
At this point, you have met each other’s families, attained the girlfriend seal of approval from his friends and may even have dabbled in the pet names and ooey-gooey benefits of relationships. Beware of the curse of becoming official: Don’t let the title change the relationship.
Or, if you're like me, and don't want the drama of defining relationships in your life, just stay single. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that!
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