Dating nowadays is a joke!

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Half the time you don’t even know if you are actually dating. What used to be explainable and clearly defined is now nebulous at best. It used to be straight-forward – a “Yes, we are dating” or “No, we are not” summed up what you needed to know. There are now different classifications, but they don’t necessarily go in order. They are hardly distinguishable from the other – and some of them are flat-out weird:

#1 The One-and-Done Experience

This is what you would call the “one night stand.” It doesn’t matter if you met at a bar, in a Starbucks, or at work, the first date ends up being the only date. The original intentions? Who knows and who cares? You don’t see them or hear from them ever again. It was “fun” but that was all.

#2 The 2nd Glance

The next day, you realize you might have been slightly more intoxicated than you thought and want to give the person a second try. As you can’t entirely remember all the excruciating details of the first time around, you decide it’s time for Round 2.

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#3 Booty Call

This is the person who is on your short list if you are totally drunk or just having a bad day. Nothing needs to be said – they know exactly why you are contacting them. There is no expectation of any sort of relationship. There is a half-way care involved, but that’s about it. These relationships don’t tend to last long, but they are definitely part of the program.

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#4 Friends with Benefits

This is an interesting stage. You like each other and enjoy each other’s company. You don’t want the pressure of a “bf/gf” title so you mutually avoid it. But then, after a perfect day and a long movie, it’s oh so easy to just make out with the person sitting next to you. It’s all physical for the rest of the night but there is no romantic expectations as you are not lovers. The ooey-gooey stuff is kept for someone else. When you are done, you do a fist bump and go home.

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#5 An Actual Date

So what does this mean, exactly? Probably what it sounds like – you are actually going out to with each other to see if you like each other. You are not just hooking up or friends who get busy – at some point while on a series of dates or long phone calls in between, the ooey gooey romance talk will probably come out.

#6 A Fling

So it has been a couple of dates now but one or both of you see it isn’t really going to work out. So you end things after a few times – could be weeks or months and move on. You had your fun – now it’s time to find someone else.

#7 A Stepping-Stone

A stepping-stone is similar to a fling with one critical difference: only one of you knows that the relationship won’t last. One may start to consider the other as a real potential partner, but the other thinks only in terms of getting into someone else’s pants. The one who is not serious has decided they won’t settle down for a while –meaning the person they are with is just a “stepping-stone” on their path to find the real person. This often leaves the one who is more serious very hurt.

#8 The Back-Up

You consider each other good enough to be with – but not good enough right now. This usually is one-sided. One will totally be into the other one but the other person has them on the “back burner.” If Friday night opened up, they would not be their first phone call. But if the other 7 people they wanted to hang out with could not, then they’d certainly give them a call. Obviously, this gets incredibly complicated, as neither party really knowing what is going on as neither wants to completely let go. But no one wants to be a backup indefinitely.

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#9 Boyfriend/Girlfriend

Yes, you read that right. Those titles do actually exist. It’s an impressive stage that means a lot more now than it ever did. As you can see, there are many more options to choose from. But when one says the ‘B’ word or the ‘G’ word, that means serious business. They can start to be themselves and relax around each other. It does not mean they are on their way to marriage, however. B/G status can last for many years in some cases. But everyone feels better about it – at least you know how to define your relationship to the world on Facebook!