10 Signs: A Relationship Vs. Casually Dating

Question: If you are dating someone for 2 months and then she decides to end things, could this be considered a “break up” ?  We had sex, if that makes any difference.

Yangki’s Answer: Good question. Now… let’s get “sex” out of the way first… (;

Some 40 or so years ago, the moment you had sex with someone, you were officially “”boyfriend/girlfriend” and therefore in a relationship. People were upfront with each other and it was understood by the other’s actions that the intention was to go for the long haul/get married.

Not anymore! Nowadays, people prefer to “sample the goods first”, then decide if someone is worth a relationship. And it’s not just boys and men doing it anymore, even girls and women are playing the field.

This means that if things are not explicitly communicated, it’s hard to tell when it ends whether it’s a break-up or “just not interested anymore”.

In some situations, how long you’ve been seeing each other is relevant but in others, it is not. If you were seeing each other once a week or so, and rarely talking in between, technically it was not a “relationship” yet. You were just “seeing” each other to evaluate if the other is worth of a “relationship”

In my opinion, you are “in a relationship” when:

1. You are talking frequently and spending lots of time together, e.g. whole weekends together

2. You both know intimate details about the other and have established a level of trust

3. You’ve both agreed that officially you are now “boyfriend/girlfriend”

4. You’ve both said “I love you” to the other

5. You’ve both introduced the other to close friends and family

6. You both are comfortable enough with each other to let your guards down — and just be yourselves.

7. You’ve both decided you will not be seeing anyone else

8. You’ve at least had one major disagreement and successfully resolved it

9. You’ve had a conversation about where things are headed/future of the relationship

10. The emotional connection between the two of you has continuously grown stronger and more intimate.

If all or at least 8 of these things happened in the 2 months you were together, then it was a “break-up.” But if you didn’t get to the “relationship” level, then consider it, “just not interested anymore”.

That said, it’s really up to two people whether to call it “just hanging out” or “in a relationship”.

Here is the PROBLEM: If you thought you were in “a relationship” and the other person thought that you were “just hanging out” or casually dating, and after the relationship ends, and you try to get him/her back with the mindset of you were in “a relationship”, you are most likely to be unsuccessful because your reality (we were in a relationship) does not match his/her reality (we were casually dating).

You might also want to read: A Break-Up Vs. A Bad Start

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  1. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Mike B

    Hi Yangki,

    This is not an ex situation, but I love and trust your advice more than any other on the internet. I also understand this is not the right article to post my question but I could not find anywhere else to post it.

    I went out on two dates with a woman I work with. We had a great time both dates. I asked if she’d like to go out for a third date and she said she’ll think about it. That was three weeks ago. She flirts with me and does things to show me she likes me. I do not have any expectations but I am also thinking she’s leading me on. What do you think? Thanks.

    1. Love Doctor, Yangki AkitengLove Doctor, Yangki Akitengsays: Love Doctor, Yangki Akiteng

      Hakuna Matata (no worries)… 🙂

      You work together so you should at least know –from direct experience and from co-worker accounts — if she’s the kind to play guys just for the fun of it.

      It’s possible that this is her idea of “playing hard to get”. She probably thinks the first two dates came “cheap” and is raising the stakes just to see what you’re made of.

      The fact that she’s being flirtatious and makes sure you know she likes you means she’s trying to keep your interest alive. Try asking her out again, and see what she says.

  2. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Lacy

    I met my ex 2 months ago via a dating site. We immediately hit it off, he said he was very attracted to me and liked spending time with me. Just over a month into the relationship he became distant. I asked him if he wanted to breakup and he said things were too intense for him and we should just take a break for a week. After a week he called and said he wasn’t sure about the relationship anymore and wanted to breakup. He said he couldn’t give me 100 % of himself and I deserved someone who can fully commit to me. I took it cool and accepted the breakup. I know you don’t support NC, but in my case keeping contact will not make sense, what do you think? Should I go NC and for how long?

    1. Is NC for you to move on or to try to make him miss you?

      If it’s to move on, it makes sense. You barely knew each other anyways. But if it’s to try and get him back, I don’t think going NC will make him miss you. The chances of him contacting you are almost zero, and the chances of him responding to contact after a prolonged period of no contact aren’t that good either. It’s just one of those things that happen with very brief relationships.

      It seems to me that you were too needy, or pushed things too fast too soon and overwhelmed him.

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