Firstly, let‘s establish what we mean by the terms ‘dating’ and ‘relationships’. When does a date become a relationship? On the third or fourth date? When you’ve slept together? When you’ve both agreed to move on to the next stage?
While all of these factors come into play, like anything else in the dating world, it’s not an exact science. It tends be a mutual thing, an agreed acceptance by you and your guy that your relationship is special, probably exclusive and going somewhere. It can still be exciting of course, but there are certain assumptions that are made — like Mondays are movie nights or Friday evenings are spent independently of each other. By this stage you are probably not wondering if he‘ll ever call again, you know that he prefers briefs to boxers and whether he takes sugar in his coffee. If you have never met any of his mates, don’t know which football team he supports or whether he‘s still playing the field, then you’re probably still in the dating phase.
You need to remember that while finding a guy to date is a challenge, it is not a competition. Enjoy the pursuit, the goal setting and the excitement- but don’t let yourself believe that in you‘re in a race to some sort of finishing post with your other girlfriends.
It is often true that when you’re in a relationship, you seem to be more popular and attractive than when you’re single. This is because being part of a couple seems to show that you are appealing and successful. And ironically you often become more desirable to other men. This is in part due to the fact that a woman who is spoken for is often the ultimate challenge to another guy — their competitive genes often outweigh their common sense A and in part due to the safety element of being able to relax, chat and even flirt with someone who, because they are dating one of their mates, is unlikely to put any demands on them. This extra appeal though, is also down to the natural self-confidence that people exude when they are happy and in a relationship that makes them feel good.
Dating is great- it’s fun, it has its own special momentum and it doesn’t have to lead to a more serious relationship. It might of course, but part of the fun is just enjoying your time together, the discoveries that you make about each other and the sheer, simple pleasure of not having to wonder whether he is ‘the one’ or where it might be leading. Always remember that a date is just for a few hours, not for the rest of your life. What have you got to lose?