When you meet someone new, things can happen pretty fast. First dates, first kisses, first -- ahem. If you do indeed make it over what my girlfriends and I like to call the "three-date hump" and find yourself hanging out with one another on the regular, things then start to get ... interesting. You know what I mean, that interesting gray area between "just friends" and full-fledged relationship status.
Are you his faux-girlfriend, or his girlfriend? Does he treat you like it? Do your friends think you're dating? Have you mentioned him to your folks? Well, check out 8 signs that you two should take the next step:
1. He's met your parents: In most cases you don't let someone you don't care about meet your folks. Sure, it may have been a short run-in -- but the questioning that comes from one of 'em after the meet and greet is only really worth it if you're into the person.
2. You've met all of his "good" friends, and you all get along: Of course, the vibe between you and your boo is the most important part. However, if you get along with his friends, it makes ALL of the difference. Can you see yourself hanging with these people a lot? Would you enjoy it? If the answer to those questions is yes, then, well, it's a definite factor.
3. He pays for you, everywhere: All right, definitely not a MUST by any means. And of course, it's not that you don't offer, it's that he feels weird letting you. It's sweet, not overbearing, and you feel taken care of.
4. No one else is in the picture: Being intimately exclusive is a must, but being emotionally exclusive is even bigger. All of your eggs need to be in one basket to pull the trigger. Have an ex who is tempting you physically or a guy you still crush on that's NOT Ryan Gosling? Well then -- those are all things you should figure out on your own time before saying "let's do this."
5. You don't get tired of one another: Yeah, there are certain temporary situations where it's easy to get on each other's nerves (ahem -- like power outages), but generally you enjoy his company. Seeing him always puts a smile on your face and your kisses, although frequent, are never boring.
6. You want good things for them: That's the best feeling, isn't it? Caring about someone new and wanting them to be OK? You find yourself wondering what they're up to, if they're having a good day, and if they're bumming out -- wanting to know how you can help make it better.
7. He has stuff at your place: It's the little things. A toothbrush, a baseball hat, the soda he likes to drink in your fridge. He's not taking over, but his presence? Yeah, it's definitely known, he wants it to be, and you don't mind it.
8. Nothing would change: This is the kicker. Think about what would change if you labeled it. If your answer is nothing, then is it a big deal? The biggest factor: If you find yourself referring to him as your boyfriend to others out of pure ease, he probably should be.
What's usually your big sign that you should move your relationship to the next level?
Image via Susan NYC/Flickr