When our grandparents were young, they said they were going steady when they dated a boy. When our parents were young, they went on a few dates and had boyfriends. There really wasn’t much complication. Today, it seems like we have so many different options when it comes to “relationships” with boys—and while they’ve got various levels of commitment, these options are really a series of stages that may eventually lead up to the big show: boyfriend and girlfriend.
Option 1: Talking
Talking can come in many different forms—you go to the bar, having the option of meeting a guy and giving him your phone number, or Snapchat, or full name so he can look you up on Facebook later. Then you can Snapchat him, text him, or Facebook message—all of which is summed up as “talking.” With no strings attached and minimal exclusivity, you’re still left with the option to meet or talk with someone else.
Option 2: A Thing
What is a thing? This one is confusing for many people to understand—but we tend to define “a thing” as hooking up with someone numerous times over a month or longer. These individuals do not have to text each other while sober, but they will usually go home together at the end of the night, or get that fun message at 1am. Even so, you still have the option to go home with someone else if you so choose to do so. There is no commitment.
Option 3: Exclusively Hooking Up
The commitment level has begun to increase by this point. Now, you two are only hooking up with each other—but this doesn’t mean you can’t talk to other boys or flirt for free drinks. What is really implies is that you go home with each other together, and with no one else. Here, you’ll probably hangout sober and text relatively often. Your degree of commitment and trust towards one another is not quite at a relationship level yet; this is where people either decide to stop or take the leap to the next level.
Option 4: Boyfriend and Girlfriend
You have officially become boyfriend/girlfriend. This is the stage where trust evolves and you begin to go on dates, and spend all or most of your time together. You are finally in the relationship that either A) you’ve dreamed of, or B) you had never thought you’d end up in. Either way, you are taken and committed to just one person. All of the hard work and progress from when you first met to finally becoming boyfriend and girlfriend has paid off. Good Job!