# How many dates does it take to become boyfriend and girlfriend?

I've been talking to this guy I met online and we had our first date after about four days of talking, and we've been talking pretty much none stop since he dropped me back home last night :). We have our second date tomorrow, one which is much more relaxed than last night, I'm just wondering how many more dates I need to go on with him before it becomes official? Like an average

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• To become "an item", if that's what you mean (some people leave boyfriend/girlfriend for being a Serious item), it's actually quite simple. But first, what it's NOT:

1. It's not the # of dates -- types of dates can vary a lot. A 30m coffee-shop date is very different than an all-day date, an all-night date, or both. You can't calculate by raw # -- won't work.

2. It's not if you slept together or got past a certain "base". Sorry, that doesn't work either. Otherwise, someone would have a bf/gf from Spring Break, right? Hookups, or even memorable flings don't make them your bf/gf. You can't use how many "bases" you've crossed to make yourself an item.

So what is it? Simple. It's when time spent together is no longer thought of as "dates". It's when you have been seeing each other frequently, nobody asks anyone out, and it's a given -- without plans -- that you will hang out with them in boy-girl fashion.

Example of Bob being an item w/ Marci:
"Hey, Bob, this is Jim... what are you up to this weekend?"
"I dunno... no plans, really. Me and Marci are going to hit up downtown on Fri or Sat as usual -- what do you got going on?"

There are no plans with Marci. They're datING. It's a Given.

I break it down like this:
(A) Pre-Dating Phase: You're going out on dates. You or they step forward to make plans to see each other. It can flow super smoothly and be very predictable in some instances, but you're going out on dates and still processing things. That's where you are Now. In common run-of-the-mill boy/girl situations, it's going to last 2-4 weeks.

(B) DatING Phase: You have to really think about the # of dates you had -- but more importantly, you two together isn't all in 'dates'. You guys see each other frequently -- it's a given. No plans required. You're an item; you're exclusive by default.

(C) Relationship: You were an item for a while, and things grew more serious and intertwined.

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