I've noticed a startling trend in the dating world: Something I'll call the "faux-girlfriend" phenomenon. That's when a guy treats you like a girlfriend in a lot of ways -- you spend holidays together, you've met his parents, you have your own clothes drawer at his place. In fact, things are so girlfriend-y that it seems the next logical step would be fiancee-y and then wife-y. But something insidious and underhanded is going on. There are men out there (and women too, I imagine) who treat you like a girlfriend -- but not really. That's usually because while he wants the regularity and companionship of a real girlfriend, he doesn't want the responsibility, the downsides, or the idea of cutting off his options.
How do you know if you might be the faux-girlfriend? Here's 6 bigtime clues.
Facebook status. Yes, no matter that you spend six nights out of seven together, and he calls you crying whenever he needs a pep talk, he still has not changed his status from "single" to "In a relationship." I know this sounds cliche, but it's a big one -- if you ask him to do it and he comes up with reasons why he can't. He might say he's a "private" person and doesn't want anyone knowing his personal life. What he really means is that he doesn't want the various cute women he's friended knowing his personal life.
You don't know where he lives. While this seems laughable, it's actually pretty easy to fall into a routine of meeting strictly at one person's place -- especially if that person is closer to where the action is. Maybe he constantly comes up with brilliant excuses as to why you can't see his place, like his roommate is messy or a psycho. The real reason? He wants to be able to safely retreat there if you break up and have you not know how to find him!
He doesn't introduce you as his girlfriend. Whenever you're out with your man and run into someone he knows, he hems and haws, and finally mumbles, "Oh .... err ... and this is Amy." Yeah, no "this is my girlfriend, Amy." Or, "this is my girlfriend." Sometimes he may even rub salt in the wound by saying, "This is my friend, Amy."
His friends don't have a clue about you. He's perfectly willing to hang out with your group of friends, but when it comes to meeting his, he always has excuses. Maybe he even goes so far as to say that he prefers just being with you and your friends. Or maybe you've met his guy friends, but somehow the female ones remain ever-elusive. If he's got friends he sees -- even if it is just the occasional after-work drink -- he's not bringing you along, there's a reason. He's either embarrassed by you, or doesn't want to cut off the potential of meeting other women through his friends or turning one of his female friends into something more.
He never spends money on you. I'm not saying a guy has to pay your rent, buy you Louis Vuitton, and shell out for every single meal and event. But a guy who thinks of you as his girlfriend won't make you pay for your own slice of pizza. If you go to a club, he'll pick up your entrance fee. If you find yourself paying for HIM, he definitely doesn't think you're his girlfriend -- more like his free ride.
He never talks about the future. By the time you've been with a guy for awhile -- sometimes even just a few months -- he'll start mouthing future plans without even quite realizing it, saying something like, "Yeah, when we move in together it would be great to get an apartment with a gym," or even "Our kids are going to be so cute." If you never hear anything about you in his future, it's because he doesn't see you in it.
Have you ever felt like the "faux-girlfriend"? What signs were did you get?
Image via andronicusmax/Flickr