Is there a difference between dating and girlfriend?

Been together with my boyfriend for almost 2 years now. I get referred to as girlfriend more often than not but on occasion when people refer to me as his wife, he doesn't correct or question. However, recently I have been referred to as the girl he is with now or girl he is dating... to fishing buddies. Am I now not exclusive?


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Most Helpful Guy

  • If he refers to you as the "woman he is dating" that is not a bad thing. It seems like a loss of status, (it would be in any other context) but it is actually high praise in this one context.

    Here is the thinking:

    The ugly connotation for wife and girlfriend amongst fishing buddies and other male friendships is this: She is the one you are 'stuck' with. (Think imagery of old ball and chain -- saw a garden gnome this weekend holding sign that said "just married", he was also wearing a prison uniform and there was a ball & chain around his foot.)

    The 'woman he is dating' phrase is actually high praise here because the implication is that he could stop dating you at any time... but he doesn't, because you are worth choosing to be with.

    Backward ass male thinking I know. But isn't this why we have Girls ask Guys in the first place?

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What Guys Said 5

  • Girlfriend sounds more official. Dating to me sound that like the beginning stage of a relationship where two people are starting to get to know each other to see if they are compatible for one another.

    In my opinion the dating phase should end the moment two people begin to either do sexual activities with each other or when they are comfortable enough around each other to where there is no longer that need to constantly impress them. Once those two things occur that is when I consider the relationship to be official and no longer in the dating phase.

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  • If your dating, that means your not exclusive. he may or may not be dating other women. It infers your not serious.
    As far as friends go, guys break each others balls all the time. We might call someone's wife "the woman your screwing right now"... or something like that. So don't hold him to what guy friends might say. The worse they get with it, that means the more serious he is. Most likely he has been talking too much about you and they know he really loves you. So they are busting his balls the other way with it.

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  • Dating is like a job interview: you have an available spot open and would like it filled. So you date, maybe even date multiple people, to "filter" out the prime candidates to those who are just wasting your time. When the time is right to make the decision, you will look at the candidates who are left and decide who out of those are best suited to the position.
    You will then offer that position, by means of making them exclusive, or by making them your girlfriend or boyfriend or whatever the case may be. Of course they are free to turn it down, but if you're lucky, they won't.
    Once they have accepted the position, you are bound by an unspoken contract of loyalty, commitment and integrity to the other person until such a time you feel you are no longer growing together.

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  • Dating can mean different things in different contexts. If someone says I'm dating x, it infers exclusivity. However, if someone says they are dating and doesn't name a person it means they are going on dates with different people.

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  • They mean the same thing for me.

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