A female friend of mine recently asked if she was in a relationship. It sounds odd, but it’s actually not the first time someone’s inquired about the status of the person they’re “seeing.” Maybe not in those exact words, but the sentiment is always the same: “How do I know when we’re exclusive?”
Making a relationship official is especially difficult in New York, where males and females alike, flirt with one eye towards the door. You know, just in case someone better walks in the bar. The Big Apple is all about opportunity, so singles are naturally terrified of settling. With the jargon of vague terms to describe relationships, it’s even hair-pulling trying to figure out when a love interest isn’t just breadcrumbing you, nonetheless, be sure it won’t be ill-received to call them your boyfriend.
COVID-19 might have simplified the process of making plans to none, but it didn’t make dating any easier. Turns out #fuckboys are not vulnerable to the virus. Before we get started, if your man only reached out once since the lockdown started, you’re not in a relationship.
For the rest: How do you know when the relationship has progressed enough that he should not be swiping on Tinder?
The first question that you must ask yourself is: Are you still swiping on Bumble? More importantly, when’s the last time that you woke up to morning breath that wasn’t his? If a positive pregnancy test wouldn’t require going on The Jerry Springer Show to figure out the father, then we can proceed. It’s not just up to the man to commence monogamy; the effort can come from either side. Expectations should be reflected in the mirror before projected onto your partner.
Newsflash: If you’re even considering forking other people on Facetime, chances are that you’re not the only one he’s six inches deep in. More than six inches? Oh, good for you, and good for the other chicks.
When you guys hang out, do your plans always involve sex? Now that the city is closed, are you still seeing him frequently just to hang? Now more than ever will show how much you both enjoy being around each other. Does he include you in his personal life, hobbies, work decisions, ect.? Does he share private information (yes, secrets!)? These answers will help place your relationship in the complicated spectrum that begins with a booty call and ends in exclusivity. Dating is the ambiguous stuff in between.
The world collectively ran out of excuses to not text back, because how often can someone be napping?
So let’s assume the best-case scenario. You’ve had sleepovers where the most action that happened was in the movie. You’ve become acquainted and pretended to like all his friends, though now you have an excuse to avoid them, thank God. He’s even shared with you his secret passion for knitting.
Woohoo! You’re in, kinda. It’s important not to celebrate early because you might be popping the bottle of good champagne for a waste. Many of my female friends have made it this far and still experienced what straight men do best, disappointment. Now it’s just served with a side of Coronavirus. He hasn’t fully committed yet until he’s posted you on his social media. Not an Instagram story. Not a group shot. It must be some sort of affectionate post, ideally with a transparent caption to go with it. Then, and only then, you’re probably in a relationship.
To avoid being sued, I must include the disclosure that it’s still not guaranteed. Unfortunately, the only iron solid way of knowing if it’s exclusive is by putting on your sexiest pair of big girl undies and asking. Once the desired answer is finally conquered, here comes the hardest part: You gotta trust the bastard.
Cover photo by Cottonbro from pexels