How Does Hanging Out Turn Into Dating?

It had been two weeks since we started dating. At least, I think we were dating. We kissed and hung out a lot. That’s called dating, right? At 18 years of age, I should have had a better grasp on things like this. I guess this is the price I paid for giving up on love a few years back.

How do you know when you are ‘official?” When do you get to call the person you are spending time with your boyfriend?

Pondering this question, college-TK developed a foul-proof plan. It was brilliant and it would work!

When it comes to relationships, no one wants to come off as desperate or needy. No one wants to be the first to give in or the first to fall. My plan would make sure that D would have to give in first. I would make him say it first.

I called my best friend from high school who was attending a college a few hours away from my own. She needed to come visit me. I missed her like no other and I needed an excuse to bring up the question. A date was set, and I was ready.

One night, while D and I were hanging out in my dorm, I mentioned that my friend was coming to town and that I’d like him to meet her.

I asked, “how should I introduce you? Like, should I call you my friend?”

D responded, “what would you call me?”


My foul-proof plan was fouled! It laid grotesquely dismembered on the ground. My own question had turned on me.

This was one of those moments where seconds went by like hours. I could put myself out there, say what I really wanted to say and have the world crash before me. My mind went into overdrive as I tried to devise an answer that wouldn’t peg me as the one who gave in first.

Those thoughts took half a second. During the other half second, I decided to throw caution to the wind. If the man didn’t feel the same way I felt, then where was this relationship headed?

“Well, I mean, I would like to call you my boyfriend, but that only works if you think of me as your girlfriend. Is that what you want,” I said, avoiding eye contact so I could be sure to deliver my answer with an air of dignity.

I confess, I don’t remember exactly what he said to this. It was probably some typical D response like “that works for me.” I’d also come to learn that he’d routinely flip all my questions around so I had to answer them. It happens all the time.

There it was: boyfriend and girlfriend. Those precious labels never meant more to me. Almost five years later, those labels continue to persist.

Also, my friend liked him, which was an added bonus.


15 thoughts on “How Does Hanging Out Turn Into Dating?”

  1. Haha, cute. My boyfriend and I were endlessly annoying and strategic about such things.. Not sure why but yeah– it’s more fun if you force them to say it before you. Two steps back for feminism? Not sure… I told him about how Pink proposed to her husband and that he better watch out because I might get ideas so that would be two steps forward, maybe.

    1. I totally tease D by telling him I’m not above proposing to him.

      I wouldn’t say this was a step back for anyone. In fact, I think it built my confidence. Soon, I would realize that he would always flip any question back at me. Sometimes it’s annoying, but I can’t complain when I actually want to be the decision maker.

  2. The whole flipping decisions back on me would drive me a bit bonkers. Sometimes I just want to know what they think!

    However I have the same thing, I refuse to acknowledge without acknowledgement first. I’m not sure why, but I always wait. Maybe I should try changing this up a bit.

    1. I wanted him to admit it first, but I was already there. Hence my not-so-foul-proof plan.

      It does get annoying, but it also carries a deeper meaning in terms of how our relationship developed. He was the first person who ever seemed genuinely interested in what I wanted. I’m the type of person who likes to avoid conflict (when conflict would not help the situation), so I often went with whatever my friends wanted. D was the first to pick up on this and would say straight out “I don’t care what everyone else wants. What do you want?”

      That isn’t to say he won’t voice his opinion when necessary. He flips questions less and less these days (thank God).

    1. I can’t lie to save my life, so it’s easier to lay it all out there (and lucky me, D can’t lie to save his life either. It’s a match made in heaven or hell depending on how you want to look at it)

      And now I’m quite curious about how you establish these labels.

    1. It has turned out well. That’s why I always tell people I had everything planned out for life. Then D comes along and messes it all up (in a very good way ^_^)

    1. I remember having mini conversations with myself before this event. Are we dating? I think we are but does he? How do you know? We kissed; does that mean something? Does it mean something to him?

      The answer to all: Labels.

      (Not that that proves anything. But, then, a wedding ring doesn’t prove anything either. Like labels, it’s a symbol).

    1. …except that my plan failed! I guess I got what i wanted out of the situation, though. And my friend liked him. What more could I have asked for after just a few weeks of hanging-out/dating?

      1. Ahh, see, I see it the other way around. Your plan succeeded, in that you got what you wanted, the boyfriend title. Yes, it was in a round about way, but still, you got what you were looking for!

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