Defining Dating: A WTF Question/Answer Thread

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Defining Dating: A WTF Question/Answer Thread

Dawn (Lilac Distraction) Dawn (Lilac Distraction)
So, back story. I've been seeing this guy for about a month now. We met on an online dating site. Talked for a couple of weeks casually. We decided to meet up for dinner. Still strictly friendly, even though we referred to it as a 'first date' later on. It was apparent we connected on an intellectual level. Sure enough, we connected crazily on a physical level later in the evening. (Fast, I know.) Since then we've been hanging out on a regular basis. He usually ends up spending the night even though he expressed reservations about sleeping with me again (emotional reasons on his part). Sure enough, it happened a few other times. We've expressed romantic interest and strong feelings for each other. We've given each other a lot of support during rough times. He says he values me so much that he wants me in his life for a long time. Spending time together and communicating often is a priority. We're physically affectionate. All that stuff . . . but we're not 'dating' he says.

This is what got me to thinking. Where are the lines between "friendship", "dating", "a relationship", and something "serious"? I mean, does anything about the interactions between the two of you or the feelings you have for the other person change regardless of what you call it? I brought up the idea of being "together" to him and he got totally freaked out about it and said he wasn't even ready to "date" anyone and wouldn't be for a long time, and that a "relationship" with someone is really far off in the future. Why do we have the need to label these things? Does it give them some sense of value that they don't have without the title? A sense of security that should already be there without some word attached to it?

And also, what about this whole "love" thing? Where does that come into play? How do you know when you're falling in love, in it, or out of it and where are the lines drawn? Why should you wait so long for someone to tell them how you feel if you believe it to be true? Why does it freak people out so much? Why is it defined so differently in a romantic sense, almost like it's a ball and chain or a trap, but it's not that way at all with family members or friends?

I've just come to realize that there's no black and white to any of this. It's all grey area that can't really be defined. People take these simple words way too seriously.

I'd love to hear everyone else's opinions on this. I'm trying to gather other opinions and views on it at the moment so I can understand it all.
05/07/2012
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Chilipepper Chilipepper
Emotional protection. By declaring boundaries, they feel in control of how much emotional attachment they can give/accept. Of course, the mind/heart/soul don't believe in such twaddle, so things happen one way or another. Denial and delusion are quite powerful to the mind, despite what the body and heart are doing.

Just my $0.02 on the matter.
05/07/2012
Lickable Lollie Lickable Lollie
I was once with a guy that I even lived with and he refused to call me his girlfriend. It turns out that it was because he was busy screwing other girls and figured that it was ok because we weren't in a relationship. It was BS...It seems strange that you met him on a dating site but he doesn't want to date. I've been in that situation, too. I've been with my current boyfriend for about 3 months and we told each other that we loved each other within the first month!
05/07/2012
Dawn (Lilac Distraction) Dawn (Lilac Distraction)
And he and I have both been through the ringer in relationships with people that hurt us pretty badly, so I understand that much.

But then what do you do when you disagree on these things? One of you considers you two to be dating and the other doesn't. One says they love the other person and the other doesn't. Not because the feelings aren't mutual, but because you define things in a different way.
05/07/2012
PeaceToTheMiddleEast PeaceToTheMiddleEast
Quote:
Originally posted by Chilipepper
Emotional protection. By declaring boundaries, they feel in control of how much emotional attachment they can give/accept. Of course, the mind/heart/soul don't believe in such twaddle, so things happen one way or another. Denial and delusion are ...
I totally agree with you on this.
05/07/2012
shySEXXaddict shySEXXaddict
Quote:
Originally posted by Chilipepper
Emotional protection. By declaring boundaries, they feel in control of how much emotional attachment they can give/accept. Of course, the mind/heart/soul don't believe in such twaddle, so things happen one way or another. Denial and delusion are ...
I agree!
05/07/2012
Zombirella Zombirella
I'm not comfortable with friends with benefits and I just feel used. Before I met my fiance I had gotten out of a 4yr relationship and a guy that I was friends with that had shown interest in me before when I was single started texting me and we would hang out with others or alone. He was overly flirty with me and complimenting me. Hugging me or having me sit on his lap and stuff. I really started to like him that way and things happened, I spent Valentines day with him, he made me dinner. He was really nice and sweet. He introduced me to his grandma and mom. After awhile I was wondering why he didn't make it official yet so I hinted around in a text to him about it. Then he said he wasn't ready for a relationship yet. I was really hurt and I felt used and confused. I mean to show an interest in me all those years, saying stuff to my dad about me asking if I was still seeing so-and-so then you get me, everything is good but you don't want to be my BOYFRIEND?! I still don't get it. It really hurt. I just started making up excuses when he would ask to hang out. I still acknowledged him when I'd see him but nothing has ever been the same. And now it's just weird when he comes up to me and my fiance and talks to both of us like nothing ever happened. Maybe I'm too much of a romantic? I was still even more puzzled when a month later he starts dating someone, wth. Oh well, I found someone that I click with more so I guess everything happens for a reason. But had I known that was going to happen I never would have let things get that far because I lost a friend. Like I said, I'll say hi or speak to him but it isn't the same. And he wasn't the type of guy to sleep with random people or see how many girls he could get, he isn't a cheater.

I think it depends on you personally and what is okay with you. If waiting is okay with you, if you don't feel how I felt then you shouldn't base your actions on what the rest of us say or think.

I feel more comfortable being sexual with someone if they are going to be my boyfriend and give me that title that I want and feel I deserve. It makes me feel better.
05/07/2012
Antipova Antipova
Quote:
Originally posted by Dawn (Lilac Distraction)
And he and I have both been through the ringer in relationships with people that hurt us pretty badly, so I understand that much.

But then what do you do when you disagree on these things? One of you considers you two to be dating and the ...
The way I see it, we always define terms and set up boundaries as ways to basically signal our current level of commitment.

Say, in order to protect himself, he promised himself he'd take things slow and not date for a while. He's relaying that information to you---"I'm not going to get too attached just yet because I know XY and Z about myself so I am going to take countermeasures aX, bY, and cZ to prevent myself from making a mess."

Only with fewer words, because people don't talk like physics problems. (Myself obviously the exception?)

Of course, how much of his stance on saying "we're not dating" is from that previous mandate he might have made himself, and how much of it is just because he really isn't feeling that attached (whether because his heart is listening to his rules, or because of any other possibilities) is totally up in the air and I don't have a clue.

The step I'd take in this situation, if I was you, is probably to say "all right, we're not dating---but can you let me know what you expect of me?" With respect to, "if I sleep with other people, would you be sad?" and similarly, if he was to sleep with other people, would you be sad? That should get talked about.

I have way more often played the role of your gentleman than I have you, in these situations. I'm usually "this is awesome and fun! See you tomorrow! But this isn't a relationship, capice?" Whenever people are upfront and ask me how I'm feeling I'm always happy to do my best to outline my expectations.

Best!
05/07/2012
Dawn (Lilac Distraction) Dawn (Lilac Distraction)
Quote:
Originally posted by Antipova
The way I see it, we always define terms and set up boundaries as ways to basically signal our current level of commitment.

Say, in order to protect himself, he promised himself he'd take things slow and not date for a while. He's ...
Wow. Just wow. You know everything ever.

I came to a major realization about this. The things you brought up about going with his "rules" are really true. I ask him to explain what a "relationship" or "dating" are to him so I understand how it's different than what we're doing now and he says he knows and that's what really matters. To me, it seems as if he doesn't have a clue. He's usually very good at explaining things.

And since he insists that this is a "friendship", I've decided to tell him that that's all it will be, since he's obviously seeing it as more than that but not admitting it. We had a long talk yesterday about all of the things that had been going on between us. He maintained that whole "friendship" deal even when I pointed out that things were beyond that sort of simple relationship. Right after this conversation he asked me to come lay in bed with him for a minute while he took a nap. He asked me to give him a back rub. Then offered to come hang out tonight and spend the night. Totally not just "friendship" and my boundaries are the ones being crossed here.

So until he decides to acknowledge this as what it is, even though I don't agree with these labels, I'm going to put some boundaries in place. No spending the night. No touching. No physical affection. No sleeping together. No expectations. No feeling responsible for the other person. No having to be accountable for your actions outside of them. Only hanging out one or two nights a week and not for extended periods of time. No expressing feelings above that level of simple friendship. I can't have someone want all of these things and expect them to be given when I'm not really getting anything out of it.

That, and I'm telling him I want to take a week long break from each other. He was supposed to spend the night. He's probably fallen asleep early (there are reasons for that and everything). I'm glad he didn't come over. The shitty part is that I still have his wallet he left over here.
05/07/2012
PeaceToTheMiddleEast PeaceToTheMiddleEast
Quote:
Originally posted by Dawn (Lilac Distraction)
Wow. Just wow. You know everything ever.

I came to a major realization about this. The things you brought up about going with his "rules" are really true. I ask him to explain what a "relationship" or "dating" ...
This sounds like a very good step for right now. Sometimes it must be done.
05/07/2012
Antipova Antipova
Quote:
Originally posted by Dawn (Lilac Distraction)
Wow. Just wow. You know everything ever.

I came to a major realization about this. The things you brought up about going with his "rules" are really true. I ask him to explain what a "relationship" or "dating" ...
Aw !

And yes---I feel like I left out a lot of things in the middle, but you seemed to pick all of them up. Well done Basically the whole "if your expectations are not the same as his expectations, then back off to the level where it's equal." So it looks like you're taking the same steps I would.

I feel for you! And bummer about the wallet.
05/07/2012
Dawn (Lilac Distraction) Dawn (Lilac Distraction)
Quote:
Originally posted by Antipova
Aw !

And yes---I feel like I left out a lot of things in the middle, but you seemed to pick all of them up. Well done Basically the whole "if your expectations are not the same as his expectations, then back off to the level where ...
Leaving it in my unlocked car while I'm at work so he can pick it up.

Bad thing is that me pulling away and giving him what he wants will upset him and cause him to come running back, and I know this because we both struggle with that fear of relationships, yet this fear of abandonment. I've sat there and been like "I haven't responded to his text saying that he needs space in __ minutes, he'll be calling me in no time." Not healthy, but in a way we both understand why the other acts this way.

I told him that I'll let him know when I'm ready to resume things and that if he has any huge change of heart that he knows where to reach me.

Sucks, but it's what has to happen.

Even bigger part is that this all happened because of the need to define and restrict something that was natural instead of just appreciating it for what is is. Moral of the story right there.
05/07/2012
aliceinthehole aliceinthehole
Quote:
Originally posted by Antipova
Aw !

And yes---I feel like I left out a lot of things in the middle, but you seemed to pick all of them up. Well done Basically the whole "if your expectations are not the same as his expectations, then back off to the level where ...
not if there's cash in it.
05/07/2012
Dawn (Lilac Distraction) Dawn (Lilac Distraction)
Quote:
Originally posted by aliceinthehole
not if there's cash in it.
Mine, actually.

He just lost his job and he has no money for gas to look for another one, his sister just got put in the hospital the other day because of unexpected brain tumors and she's in critical condition so he's incredibly stressed, his parents he was staying with after moving back here kicked him out so he has the end of the month to fin a place, his best friend's truck broke down so he's driving 40 miles back and forth each day to make sure he gets to and from work, he needed his medication for his depression and anxiety but had not even a dime . . . and all of this was in the last two weeks.

I handed him about $70 last week. He feels horribly bad about accepting my help, but he has no other options.

And I feel bad because he has $3 in the wallet and nothing else. I almost feel like slipping $20 in there just as a gesture to let him know how I do still care.

Ugh. I feel so weird and bad about doing this right now, but . . . I mean, it's half of his decision, too.
05/08/2012
Antipova Antipova
Quote:
Originally posted by aliceinthehole
not if there's cash in it.
*grows up to be a pickpocket*

*blames Alice*
05/08/2012
Dawn (Lilac Distraction) Dawn (Lilac Distraction)
UGH! I'm writing him all of this in a message on facebook and one on the stupid things on the side of the page says:

"The best lover I've ever had always moved at his own pace taking clues from my body about what would work best between you..."

Fuck. My. Life.

Because that's exactly what happened between us. Even from the first moment he touched me PERFECTLY. Like no one ever had and how I'd always wanted. (Plus, the sex was FANTASTIC and that's usually never the case with someone new.)

That, and the fact that his wallet, which is something he really needs, has been in my possession not once, but twice (once my fault and once his) during these critical situations.

Again, ugh. This sucks.
05/08/2012
Antipova Antipova
Quote:
Originally posted by Dawn (Lilac Distraction)
UGH! I'm writing him all of this in a message on facebook and one on the stupid things on the side of the page says:

"The best lover I've ever had always moved at his own pace taking clues from my body about what would work best ...


(We need a 'supportive' hug instead of a 'party' hug---so please interpret a supportive hug!)
05/08/2012
Dawn (Lilac Distraction) Dawn (Lilac Distraction)
And I ordered stuff for us as buyouts but it hasn't gotten used.



I wish he would stop being so stupid.
05/08/2012
js250 js250
Let me try to get a couple of the facts straight--please correct me if I am wrong.

1. You have only known each other for a month & a half.
2. You have only been seeing each other physically for 1 month.
3. You two got physically involved the first night you met.
4. You have chemistry together.

What is the rush? Why are you being so eager to build a parameter around your relationship? Why is he scared of the word 'dating'? This is the time you two should spend getting to know each other, not driving each other away from each other. This is not the time to push for a commitment--but a time to explore your different options with each other. To build the foundation of friendship, communication, trust and then, once these relationship foundation blocks have a good start, you know, like, trust and communicate well together which does take TIME and patience, then you can discuss your expectations.

Actions speak louder then words. It seems to me, from what you have written, that both of you are enjoying each others company, like spending time together and are sexually compatible. That is a start...but not a goal. Don't push him away, but accept and respect his fears and work with him on developing the trust for an exclusive 'dating' relationship--then you can work on the next step.

Dawn, I feel bad for you and know you are hurting and confused but relationships cannot be rushed--especially not the great ones!! It can be the hardest ting in the world to do, but start working on building his trust in you and your friendship. I really am not trying to lecture you or come down on you, sorry if it sounds like that, I just want you to really look at the idea of "is he worth being patient for and is he worth your friendship?

Huge hug!! Sorry you are confused and upset right now--hope it gets worked out soon!!
05/08/2012
Dawn (Lilac Distraction) Dawn (Lilac Distraction)
Quote:
Originally posted by js250
Let me try to get a couple of the facts straight--please correct me if I am wrong.

1. You have only known each other for a month & a half.
2. You have only been seeing each other physically for 1 month.
3. You two got physically ...
What I want most from him is for him to realize that what he asks and wants from me aren't a simple "friendship" like he claims this is. He breaks his own "rules". He flip flops on how he feels about something. I don't want labels. I don't want him to downplay what's going on between us, either. Everything was natural and doing fine, but now we have this huge distance between us because of all of this.

I told him my feelings last night and how we should take a complete break from each other to work out our own thoughts and feelings so we can have a real friendship as he defines it and not this whatever thing. He threw another label at me saying my boundaries of us not doing anything over a simple friendship makes us acquaintances and that wasn't right.

Then he shows up to my work when I'll be getting there so he can get his wallet. I felt a little cornered considering I told him I didn't want to speak to him for a while because of that break.

I think I'm just going to give up on all of this . . .
05/08/2012
Femme Mystique Femme Mystique
Quote:
Originally posted by Dawn (Lilac Distraction)
What I want most from him is for him to realize that what he asks and wants from me aren't a simple "friendship" like he claims this is. He breaks his own "rules". He flip flops on how he feels about something. I don't ...
It sounds like he's not being very fair to you. I understand that we all have to protect ourselves, but wanting to continue to be intimate with you while just calling you a friend is pretty inconsistent. If that was the understanding in the first place, that's one thing, but he called it a date and then didn't want to say after a month that you were dating, and it sounds like you weren't even asking for him to say it was exclusive or that you were in a relationship. I don't understand his hangup with the term.
05/08/2012
El-Jaro El-Jaro
Quote:
Originally posted by Dawn (Lilac Distraction)
Mine, actually.

He just lost his job and he has no money for gas to look for another one, his sister just got put in the hospital the other day because of unexpected brain tumors and she's in critical condition so he's incredibly ...
I think you might've nailed it here. I know that if I had all that stuff going on, committing to a relationship would be REALLY challenging.

Good luck!
05/08/2012
Chilipepper Chilipepper
Quote:
Originally posted by Dawn (Lilac Distraction)
Mine, actually.

He just lost his job and he has no money for gas to look for another one, his sister just got put in the hospital the other day because of unexpected brain tumors and she's in critical condition so he's incredibly ...
Sounds like he needs a friend more than a lover ... too bad he's reaching for the wrong type of comfort. Some people have a hard time figuring out that what they really need is love and support and they interpret it as needing sex because they don't have experience in non-sexual intimacy.
05/08/2012
Antipova Antipova
Quote:
Originally posted by Chilipepper
Sounds like he needs a friend more than a lover ... too bad he's reaching for the wrong type of comfort. Some people have a hard time figuring out that what they really need is love and support and they interpret it as needing sex because they ...
Heh. This sounds like me. A lot.
05/08/2012
ghent529 ghent529
My GF and I did the whole FWB thing for a whole 6 months we don't count it tho. cause out of respect for her when we went out i introduced her as my GF. and not the girl I'm fucking.. haha. she spent the night every weekend. and when I would tell my mom or my sister that we weren't dating they would be like yeah right are you stupid... and I guess I was. But now we live together and Have for over a year. I'm so glad we put that childish FWB thing behind us. because no matter what someone always develops feelings. and maybe even gets hurt. thankful for us we had a happy ever after... but it's not always like that. and it's not always a bad thing to keep your gaurd up.
05/18/2012
Total posts: 25
Unique posters: 12