Modern dating has more rules than a strategy board game. It’s no longer about meeting, liking and falling for someone. Now there are so many more stages in between that you wake up being single again by the time you’ve figured out where you’re at. Trust me, I had to find out the hard way.
In my younger years, there would only be one-night stands and relationships. No other choice in between. But the old-school relationship known as boyfriend-girlfriend is actually among the ultimate stages in what can be a long and bumpy ride in the emotional train of dating.
Various conversations with groups of friends and notes taken on the side, I’ve started to notice a few patterns in what the terminology of modern dating has become. If you think you have a boyfriend just because you’ve spent a nice weekend with the guy you like, you might be disappointed.
Note: The below findings may or may not reflect my personal opinion and should be treated objectively, as definitions of this era’s dating scene.
Stages Of Modern Dating Chronology
- Swiping – the action known not only by the movement of the finger on the smartphone’s screen, but also in real life as a starting point of selection (e.g. swiping the crowd for a friendly face)
- First date – while a girl might expect to be taken out to dinner, guys consider any setting with a chair and a beer to be a perfectly fine choice for a first date. In most of the cases nowadays, the first date is more of a blind date, with low emotional investment , with the purpose of seeing the person and hearing their voice for the first time after judging them by their online photo.
- Hanging out – implies no serious attachment. It is another way of saying “we had good sex on the one night stand, let’s keep having sex, like being friends with benefits and hang out as part of the mating process before we end up in bed”. If you want any hope to advance on the level of dating, do not accept “hanging out” as a stage, it’s a dead end.
- Dating – the stage when you’ve had more than one encounter with the same partner. Can take up to a few weeks/months and does not by any means require exclusivity. Dating multiple people is an unspoken socially accepted rule in the modern dating environment.
- Going out – just another term for dating for the people who think dating is way to romantic
- Seeing – similar to dating stage with a higher frequency. Duration: indefinite.
- Being exclusive – yes, this is actually claimed to be a stage itself!
- Bf/gf – it takes a huge amount of commitment to get to the level of boyfriend-girlfriend. It requires by the Universal Law of Modern Dating Chronology to make your relationship official on at least one social media channel.
- Engagement/marriage – the end of dating.
Partner Naming in Modern Dating Chronology
- The girl/guy that – …I met on Tinder / had sex with / I don’t remember their name
- Gal pal / man pal – a female / male friend that you go out on a date with but there is nothing serious between you (because otherwise you would call them by a normal name, not an abbreviation)
- Date / plus one – when you are invited to a social event and bring a person of opposite sex that you must introduce to other guests referring to them by “my date” or “my plus one”
- Lady friend – it can be aligned with the “seeing” stage, when you are regularly going out and have to justify your absence to your circle of friends by saying “I’m meeting my lady friend”. Low level of commitment. Couldn’t find a male equivalent.
- SO – stands for “significant other”; I’ve never heard this one, but it is apparently part of the urban dictionary of the modern dating chronology right next to bf/gf
- Girlfriend/boyfriend – you’re exclusive and official on social media, therefore you have no escape than to call each other boyfriend and girlfriend and accept the cruel reality: you are no longer available
- Fiance / husband/ wife – ultimate level of commitment, dating the same person for the rest of your life