The classic question: “Are we dating?”
It’s such a simple one to ask, but those three words could easily ruin things between you two if you never had this conversation before. You feel like you’re overstepping some imaginary boundary.
People nowadays get easily confused with all of these new dating terms. Everything seems to be harder because you don’t know if you’re in a serious relationship or just casually dating.
What’s going on? You want to define things because it’s important for you to know what you got yourself into. But you can also see that he’s not trying to initiate this conversation.
He’s avoiding the topic like he’s scared of your reaction. That’s also your reason for being here.
You want to make sure that you’re not seeing things and also know that he’s not toying with your emotions. You want to have the talk when the time is right, but you need to know what’s going on.
There are signs that you’re dating that are obvious. Even if the two of you are avoiding the subject, you can know his opinion of your relationship status before you even get the chance to speak about it.
I just hope that you’ll be able to talk to him about this sooner rather than later.
For now, here’s the answer to your question, “Are we dating?”
How do I know we’re actually dating?
1. You’re spending time together
When I say that you’re spending time together, it’s an understatement. You probably spend all of your time with each other and it’s one beautiful moment after another.
After the first date, you started your casual relationship and nothing seems to top his presence in your life.
In the beginning, you would only see each other for physical pleasure. You probably don’t even recall when the attention shifted to other things. But it happened.
You’re seeing each other for a multitude of reasons and it’s not nearly as often about the physical aspect as it was before. Now you spend a lot more time talking and doing interesting things together.
That’s why it’s so confusing. You want to believe that you’re dating, but we have to look further into it. It’s just that you know as well as I do that men don’t spend this much time with someone unless it’s something serious.
2. You’ve met each other’s friends
Every outing is special, but when you met each other’s friends, it was especially special. Now you spend a lot of time with them.
Your potential partner thought you’re special enough to bring you around to meet his friends. He saw this as an opportunity to turn you into a much bigger part of his life.
That’s also why you introduced him to your friends. You thought that things were serious enough to let him meet them.
But it doesn’t necessarily help your dilemma of “are we dating?” because you’re not sure if he did this before he met you.
That’s why you should pay close attention to their behavior around you. It’s a huge sign that you’re dating when you know that he’s never done this with any of his exes.
His friends won’t be able to resist the opportunity to tell you how they never met someone so special to him, or that they’ve never seen him this happy. Anything along those lines is a clear indicator that things are going how you’re hoping.
3. You have meaningful conversations
Sure, you can have meaningful conversations outside of a romantic relationship. Your friends and family know a lot about you because you know what closeness feels like.
But here he is, charmingly gorgeous, telling you stories about his childhood. He opens up about his past relationships and even lets you in on his dreams and aspirations.
At this point, you feel comfortable enough around him to share things about yourself as well. You know that this is normal for two friends, but friends who share a physical relationship as well as an emotional one? That’s quite unusual.
Usually, when guys only want you for your body, they’ll be uninterested in listening to your problems. But this guy isn’t like those men – he’s something special.
That’s why it’s so baffling. You want to believe that you mean something more to him and that he’ll pursue you for real. But even if he hasn’t done anything to define your relationship, you can assume that you’re dating if you have an emotional and mental connection.
4. Your parents are acquainted with him
How many of your exes have met your family? Your parents probably don’t even know half the guys that you were seeing before. But here we are…
They know about him, they met him, and they’re always trying to figure out when things will go further. Whenever they ask you what’s going on with you two, you just brush them off, but you know that it’s because you, yourself, are not even sure what’s happening.
This becomes even more special if he’s introduced you to his parents or close family members. If that’s the case, then honey, you’re dating.
Men avoid meeting the family of their actual girlfriends because they’re scared of the seriousness that’s implied with it. To them, it’s extremely scary and their commitment issues can’t handle these things.
That’s why we can assume that he’s really trying to get closer to you. He probably thinks that his intentions are obvious at this point. If he didn’t want something serious with you, he would’ve bolted before it ever got to this point.
This could be one of the signs that you are dating, even if the two of you haven’t made it official. Hopefully, you don’t ignore this important stage of dating.
5. Neither of you is dating anyone else
It’s so weird to ask “What are we?” or “Are we dating?” just out of the blue. It’s hard to initiate these conversations face-to-face, but it’s also harder to stay just friends with someone you’re really into.
You’re probably great friends at this point, so you know when he’s dating someone else. But he’s been so quiet about that for a while now.
He told you that he doesn’t want a new relationship, especially not a committed one. He’s not even using dating apps anymore. You can assume that he likes you and that this casual hookup is much more important to him than you thought initially.
If he dates a lot and now that he’s gotten his hands on you, he doesn’t look in the direction of anyone else, it’s a great sign that things are going your way. You’re dating, or at least you’re getting closer to this conversation.
6. You make plans for the future
It doesn’t matter if he’s talking about moving in together or about traveling together. He’s always talking about something that he wants to do with you in the future. He makes plans because he wants to keep you around for much longer.
Planning for the future is something that lets you know just how interested he is in you. He doesn’t want to lose you any time soon, so he spends all the time he can with you, and always prompts something new.
He even takes the time to find a nice location to travel to together. This man doesn’t leave anything to chance, so he makes sure that you have every reason to come along.
A man who doesn’t see you in his future wouldn’t even try to be with you any longer than he has to. He wouldn’t try so hard to include you in his life, because he wouldn’t see any point in it.
7. You openly talk about your attraction to each other
How often do you meet a guy so open about his attraction to you? You’re beautiful and he appreciates your features.
He knows that he’s walking on dangerous ground when he compliments you. But this is so much more than that! He makes sure to let you know that he doesn’t just appreciate you, but that he finds you to be the epitome of beauty.
You also feel comfortable enough to be open about these things with him. You tell him that you like the way he looks when he changes something about his appearance, and you even let yourself flirt with him when you like what you see.
So it’s safe to assume that things are going in the right direction. You like him and vice versa. Neither one in this union is too shy to express their interest in the other.
8. The idea of him with someone else makes you go crazy
Okay, let’s be honest, you can be jealous even if you’re not with someone. How many times have you had a crush and gone green-eyed whenever he talked to someone else?
But when you’re thinking “Are we dating?” you don’t even want to think about the possibility of him with anyone else. It’s one of those things that make you feel sick to your stomach.
I can assure you that he thinks the same thing. He doesn’t even want to consider seeing you with someone else. He always asks you if you’re seeing anyone and if someone makes a move on you, he makes sure to tell you that you’re better than that.
This man doesn’t want to lose you and it’s so obvious. He wouldn’t be doing this if he didn’t want to be in an exclusive relationship with you.
Dating other people has become taboo because you’re both focusing on each other.
9. People just assume you’re together
It doesn’t matter where you go or if you know the people around you, everyone just assumes that you’re together.
You can probably confirm this because no one makes a move on either of you when you’re together. Everyone just keeps their distance because you look like an actual couple.
If you had a physical relationship before these situations, he acts as if he can’t keep his hands off of you. He’s always touching you, even though other people are watching.
The looks that you exchange and the inside jokes that makes you both laugh are enough to make everyone assume that you’re the dream team. Some people even come up to you to tell you what an adorable couple you make.
They get so surprised when you tell them that you’re not together. They’re no relationship experts, but they know love when they see it.
This is a very good sign that you’ll have the most important conversation for your relationship very soon. You won’t have to wonder “Are we together?” for much longer.
How you should have “the talk” with him
Now that we covered all the basics and you know the signs you’re seeing are there to remind you that you are dating this man, it’s time to have the talk.
It can be extremely nerve-racking because you don’t want to frighten him, but you’re also tired of waiting for him to make a move. So let’s go through this together.
1. Make sure that you want this
It would be awkward to have this conversation only to realize that you don’t want this. You have to be sure that you want him and this relationship.
You can figure this out by asking yourself if you’re seeing any red flags in him. Do you see something that you wouldn’t want to deal with later down the path?
Do you believe that he’s able to meet all of your relationship needs? Can you meet his?
These questions are important to answer before you even get to the conversation. You could just be attracted to the attention he’s giving you and if that’s the case, it’s better to stay away from him for the time being.
2. Know that it’s okay to ask for the things you need
Regardless of whether you’re at the beginning stages of a relationship or in a long-term one, you have the right to ask for the things you need.
Even while dating casually, you can always determine your boundaries and define what you want.
Now, you may feel bad about being so straightforward with him, but you don’t need to. You can just as easily talk to him and figure things out together.
Your fear will paralyze you to the point where you’ll feel like you don’t have the right to start this conversation. But you’ve been asking yourself if you are dating and we both know it’s getting ridiculous.
You’re just afraid because you’re a people pleaser and you can’t imagine putting yourself first. But this is finally the time to change that.
3. Don’t be afraid of pressuring him
What I mean by pressuring him isn’t that you should demand an answer right away, but you should pressure him into having this conversation. He can’t just expect you to ignore your own heart and hope for your feelings to go away like that.
Tell him that you need to have this talk and the least he can do is listen to you. So instead of letting him off the hook, you have the right to set this expectation for your relationship.
Are you dating this person if you have to make this elaborate plan to talk to him?
You shouldn’t want to do this over social media because it may not end the way you’re hoping. Meet up and talk things through. You deserve that much after all of this time.
4. Tell him that you’re nervous
The best thing you can do right now is to be honest about the things that are going through your head. That you’re insecure and nervous at the moment.
You shouldn’t use this as a way to undermine your experience, but rather as something that lets him know that it’s taking you a lot of courage to make this move. You’re letting him know that you’ve been thinking about this a lot and that you’re finally ready to fight for this relationship.
5. Be honest about your feelings
If you’re honest and direct about what you’re feeling, then there’s no way he’ll misunderstand you. He’ll know that you’re true to yourself and that you’re not trying to make him uncomfortable.
Things will go smoothly when you finally open up and tell him that you’ve been feeling something special towards him. You’re falling for him more with every passing day and he can’t be that oblivious to it.
Your feelings are valid, so share with him the moment that made you realize this is more than a platonic relationship. This can show him that you’re not just saying this for his attention, but that you’re describing your true feelings.
6. Keep things light
Don’t think that you need to make everything gravely serious for him to understand the message you’re trying to convey.
He’ll feel much more comfortable around you if you show him that this isn’t the conversation he’s been dreading for such a long time. He should know that “Are we dating?” was going to come up at some or other stage.
Finally, you got the courage to ask him about your relationship status, so don’t make it awkward. Show him that you’re still the fun person that he fell for.
Tell him that he’s safe and that you’ll understand his decision, whatever it may be. But you can also make him laugh by keeping things light. Don’t be too serious because he’ll run away before you even know what’s going on.
7. Let him take his time
You’ll want to get an answer right away. That’s understandable.
You’ve had enough of this cat-and-mouse game, so you just want to get things settled. You want to call this man yours and you finally got the courage to tell him that.
But here’s the real problem: What if he doesn’t know what he wants just yet?
He’s been reluctant to have this conversation with you for a reason. He hasn’t wanted to talk to you because he doesn’t know which way it’ll go. Now that you made the first move, he’s completely baffled.
He needs the time to think things through.
I mean, it’s great if he gives you an answer right away, but you can’t expect that from him. You should still give him time. Show him that you’re still patient with him and you’re not going anywhere.
Just the fact that you’re willing to wait a while for him will give him more motivation to be with you.
8. Decide what you want to do next
What if he’s taking too long? What if he ghosts you afterward? Would you want to be with him if he told you that he only wants a casual relationship and nothing serious?
Your mental health might not be able to handle that. You want to take things to the next level, but at the last minute, he decides to break your heart. Would you let him break up this agreement that you had beforehand?
All of these questions are important for the development of your relationship. You’ll know what you have to do, no matter the outcome of the talk.
It’ll help you figure out how long you’re willing to wait for him and what you should do next. This will make your next decision so much easier, just by the fact that you’re more aware of your own needs.
You have to protect yourself first and foremost. Even if he doesn’t know that he’s hurting you, you should put up the needed boundaries to keep yourself safe.
Now it’s your time to sit back and wait for his decision. But give your offer expiration date. If he doesn’t contact you within that time span, he shouldn’t even try to talk to you.
If after you ask him “Are we dating?“ he responds that it’s been nothing more than a hookup to him, let him go to find his next victim. You’re better than that.