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?1