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Old 04-17-2018, 05:24 PM
AlwaysGrowing AlwaysGrowing is online now
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Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 905
Default Progression from dating to "a relationship"

I was wondering if any of you have any opinions on the progression of relationships. More specifically, when do you consider yourself "in a relationship" versus just "dating."

To give some context, I have always been a person who takes it slow. Hubby and I started dating in high school. Even then, I refused to "go out" with him/be his girlfriend for MONTHS. We were friends, hung out in group settings and one-on-one, and got to know each other extremely well before entering into a relationship. With Boy, we dated, I fell hard, walked away because of stuff in his life, then started out friendly/FWB before having the talk about being "boyfriend/girlfriend" almost a year later. Every interaction I've had with people and moved quickly (i.e. Doomed - deciding we were "in love"/"in a relationship" and such) has ended swiftly and badly.

So, I don't consider myself "in a relationship" for quite a while. Many dates, many casual hang outs, preferably after determining how sexually compatible we are. Basically, I don't want to invest in romantic expectations until I'm pretty sure it'll work out well enough. Even if it ends, I want it to end amicably and respectfully.

What about all of you? Do you consider yourself in a relationship after just a few dates? Do you wait months before making it "official"?
Me: AG - 28yo, finding herself
Hubby: My awesome husband. Together for over a decade.
Boy: Boyfriend. Known for about 6 years - involved off and on the whole time.
Little Girl: My and Hubby's daughter. 2.
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Old 04-17-2018, 05:35 PM
lunabunny lunabunny is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 726

Except for my first boyfriend, I've never really "dated". Basically, I've never agreed to go out with someone (romantically) unless I am already reasonably sure it's going to transition into a relationship.

How can I tell? I can't really answer that. Either I was already really good friends with the person, then one day we just happened to look at each other a different way and mutually "knew" something had changed. Or it's been a case of (mutually) falling hard and fast for each other in a way that's rendered discussion on the subject almost unnecessary.

In other words, there hasn't really been any discernible time between that first date, or initial admission of feelings, and being "in" a fully fledged relationship.
Me, Lunabunny: F, 50, heteroflexible
Jester: M, 59, straight, primary partner (LD)
Boho: F, 57, heteroflexible, primary partner (LD)

Red: M, 53, straight, ex-husband
Bud: early 20s, son
Lola: early 20s, daughter
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Old 04-17-2018, 05:45 PM
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vinsanity0 vinsanity0 is offline
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: South Florida
Posts: 1,885

For me, having regular interaction with another human being is a relationship. When it comes to sexual relationships I have to be careful how/when I use that word. Some people think it means I think we are running up the relationship escalator. But, for me, the relationship can be casual, play partner, fwb, gf, wife, whatever it progresses to on it's own.

When it comes to relationships, I jump in head first. That makes things interesting.
Vince 55/het/m
Bella 52/f mono seriously dating
Mary 55/het/f/married platonic LDR
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Old 04-17-2018, 07:01 PM
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kdt26417 kdt26417 is offline
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Location: Yelm, Washington
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I don't have much of a "just dating" mode ... I tend to (try to) jump right into a relationship. Sometimes that works out well, sometimes not. Both of my "successful relationships" started out as just (platonic) friendships. The transition into something romantic was rather abrupt (in both cases).
Love means never having to say, "Put down that meat cleaver!"
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Old 04-21-2018, 12:04 AM
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majormerrick majormerrick is offline
Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 73

With my husband, we've always been friends first. We grew up together, and our relationship was hit-and-miss for years until just recently. I think we've finally figured out how to make it work. I was his "official" fiancee for forty days. I thought that took a long time, but since we'd waited for many years while we grew older and wiser, once I decided I wanted to be with him I didn't want to wait anymore.

With my GF#1, she wanted to be my "official" girlfriend right away. For her, it was security. She was a late-bloomer, and I was her first partner ever. I think my wild past made her a bit anxious.
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Old 04-23-2018, 05:01 PM
breathemusic breathemusic is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 585

I'd say that anyone that I've been dating for a while (weeks to a few months, depending on frequency) and things are going smoothly enough that it feels like we'll continue to see each other with some regularity.... I'd call a boyfriend. I mean, I'm not sure that the moniker really matters though. You can put a lable on it or avoid putting a label on it, but if you see someone regularly and care about them.... then it's certainly SOME sort of relationship. What's more important is that both of the people involved communicate about what the expectations are for that relationship.
Me: 32, female, nesting partner and Domme of Sudo, dating Echo
Sudo: 36, male, lives w/ me, no other current partners
Echo: 34, male, Dom, dating me, married w/ 2 kids

RCT (or Ty): 32, male, mono, current roommate/friend, dad to Lizzy
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Old 04-24-2018, 03:23 AM
Ravenscroft Ravenscroft is offline
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: NW Minnesota
Posts: 1,724

Such questions depend largely on how the individual defines the terms. Unless everyone in the conversation uses the words similarly, they're not even speaking the same language.

I've known people to blandly say they were "dating" someone with whom they were having sex at least a half-dozen times a week -- in one instance, they'd been living together for a year.

I don't consider myself to be very experienced at "dating," which to me carries all sorts of implications about societal expectations, & following some sort of ritual I don't quite grasp, & generally being nudged toward the infamous Relationship Escalator.

...yet I also really enjoy getting to know a person in one-to-one interaction, all the "chatting about books over coffee" & "taking in an excellent dinner" & "hanging out with the band" stuff.

I have lots of friends with whom I have relationships, even though I haven't "dated" any of them.
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