What do you call this phase of a relationship?

I met someone on eharmony (don’t laugh, she’s a surprisingly cool atheist ultraliberal nonprofit working single mom) and we have been hitting it off very well. For quite a while I had been looking to be in a relationship with someone who is more or less at the same point in their life as I am (out of college, working on a career, supporting themselves, etc) and I hit the jackpot.

Last month for our first date we went to a restaurant/pub in Fremont- found out she really likes good beer :smiley: . I suggested we get together again and she agreed. Through being a good listener over the phone (and dumb luck) I scored tickets to see a speaking engagement with Khaled Hosseni, the author of “The Kite Runner”. As it turns out, this is her favorite book, and as if it couldn’t get any better, the guy was a COWORKER of my mom’s when he worked as a doctor in Kaiser Mountain View :o Needless to say, she was very impressed, and I decided to really go all-out. At the time, I had just paid off my credit card, so wining and dining a lady I liked wasn’t out of my budget. I didn’t want to go overboard and come off as creepy, of course, but I think I hit the right note with her.

So when I found out she, like myself, was interested in seeing Wicked the musical, I booked us VIP tickets to the Orpheum theater in San Francisco to go see it. Again, highly impressed by this gesture, scrambled to book (sucessfully) a babysitter for her daughter so she could make it. Several days before the show she invited me over to her apartment for dinner and suffice to say it was a very pleasant evening (notably, dessert :cool: )

Anyway long story short we see each other a few times a week since then, I really like her a lot but the thing is we are not quite ‘girlfriend/boyfriend’ yet. When I tell people about this wonderful person I’ve met and all the fun we’ve had so far, they automatically assume ‘girlfriend’ but she herself obviously isn’t comfrotable with that title just yet.

I talked to her a few times about ‘so where’s this going’ discussion, trying not to be pushy but also trying to gauge where she stands/what she considers me. Its probably going to get there eventually but up until this point all the relationships I’ve had have ‘started’ already at this phase in meeting someone. On the other hand, granted, I met her six weeks ago, and don’t necessarily want to rush things- but also don’t want to feel like I’m getting the runaround.

What would you call this phase of the relationship? Both her and I are seeing each other/fooling around exclusively. She seems to like me, calls me over for booty calls when her daughter is asleep, etc but has also mentioned she doesn’t really ‘know someone’ until she’s known them for 1+ years. Obviously I don’t want to deal with a vague hope it will develop into a relationship by having to invest that long (since it could fizzle, who knows :dubious: ) but I don’t want to come on too hard/come off to clingy. Argh! :smack:

It’s called “seeing someone.” Not much more than that. She’s probably being cautious because of the kid.

She’s right about it taking a year before you really know someone. Someone with a kid has to be especially careful.

Instead of worrying about what to call it (or whether you can call her your “girlfriend”), just take things the way they are for as long as you want to take them. You’ve known her for a month. Just chill out. Work on building a friendship first. Without that, no relationship is going to last. That basically IS the next step, not the labeling. It’s not like you’re not getting any,so you shouldn’t have anything to complain about.

Have you clearly established that both parties expect exclusivity for at least as things last? That’s the one thing I’d probably want to do.

One more bit of advice – don’t let yourself get too emotionally wrapped up in someone with a kid unless you know for sure you want to be in it for the long haul. Understand that you’re not just dating one person.

If I understand correctly, you take her out, spend money on her, and come over to service her when called, but she does not want to commit to anything – not even being called your girlfriend. I hope I am wrong, but she just might be taking advantage of your kind, generous nature.

A freaking year? Come on man. That’s just rediculous. You can call some one your BF/GF and it doesn’t necessarrily have to mean “Islands in The Stream”.

If nothing for the ease/fluency of a conversation. It gets aweful damn tiresome to refer to said girl as “This girl I’m seeing” as oppossed to “GF”.
How would the hypothetical situation work if you two were at a bar and some guy asks “Hey, is that your GF?” you say “No” so he says “Oh cool so I’m free to hit on her?”

Also, I know you didn’t ask but try a few cheap dates out and see how that works for ya’. Don’t get me wrong, I hope she enjoys the cheap dates every bit as much as the not so cheap dates, but one never knows.

As she has a youngster, she is not interested in jumping into something too serious. Give her time. It sounds like you’ve got a good thing. Don’t worry about what it’s called, and don’t force her into a commitment. Time is on your side.

Pretty much this, except I’d elevate your status a bit more than Diogenes. But that’s irrelevant: it sounds like you have everything but the title of boyfriend, which is far better than having the title and missing the other elements.

The basic scenario—you meet someone and you really hit it off, and a month or two in, you wonder if this could really go somewhere—seems to be there. It’s always possible she’s just enjoying sex and will move on. It’s also possible something will come along and wreck the deal, like differences in religion or attitudes about money or whatever. So here, you know she has a child and that may make a difference, but it’s always “wait and see.”

I think you need to drop the inquiring about it. That could be interpreted as needy, clingy, controlling, or something else. I’d enjoy it for what it is right now, hope it will be what you’re looking for, but also not get too carried away just yet. IOW I think she’s wise.

I agree with Diogenes that if it gets serious, you have to “marry the family.”

That’s true. I have no problem with the kid thing. She also wanted to hold off having me meet her daughter- something I totally understand the reasoning for. Through circumstance, I did meet her. Typical curious and energetic 3-year old.

Things are fine, I suppose i’m still in that chemical attraction phase or whatever, that and a lot of my peers simply assuming she’s my girlfriend because we hang quite a bit. Last weekend her parents were out of town so she invited me to come spend the weekend with her and her daughter in her parents’ cabin on the coast. We had a wonderful time, sampling local cuisine, seeing the beautful ocean view, and soaking in her parents’ hot tub. Its just a really nice experience, and I totally fell into it. :slight_smile:

Oh for gawd’s sakes Incubus, just stop friggin’ gloating will you? :smiley:

You call this phase of the relationship ‘madly in lurvvvv and just loving it’ OK?

Congratulations on a job well done so far. Keep it up son, you’re onto a keeper here by the sounds of it. :slight_smile:

I’m going with SHAKES (agreeing, I mean), on this one.

Try her on some “cheap” dates or cook for her and see what develops.

Just don’t let yourself “fall in love” at this point.

Shit, that’s something I’d do! (And have done!):rolleyes::wink:


Cheap dates are on the agenda. Hikes and cooked meals are certainly reasonable and mutually anticipated- going to ‘Chez France’ too often loses its significance and makes it look like I’m trying too hard.

That and activities we can do as a trio (like a trip to a park, zoo, or museum) which makes it easier since she doesn’t have to coordinate babysitting. The daughter is remarkably well-behaved in restaurants, too which is great.

I call it “the calm before the storm.”

I’m in awe of you being accepted by EHarmony. Not everyone makes the cut.

She obviously is looking for a relationship since she posted to a dating site, but with a little kid, I can understand her hesitation in formally announcing that you guys are together.

Just enjoy the time together - don’t call this phase anything at all - just enjoy it.

I call this phase “the fun part”. The fabulous shiny and new “aren’t you wonderful and witty and a joy to hang out with and let’s just enjoy this before mundane reality starts to intrude” part.

Have fun with it!

It’s the getting to know you phase. I agree with her on the one year thing. I don’t consider a relationship of less than a year serious.

I don’t think it matters so much what you call each other, but if you want “exclusively” then I’d make sure you two are on the same page with that. With online dating it’s actually rather cut and dry, you’re not looking at profiles and answering emails anymore, you’re off the market. So if that’s where you’re at, then I’d say she’s your girlfriend, and she can call it whatever she wants. If that’s not where she’s at, eh, six weeks is still early but I’d keep that in the back of your mind.

You’re right that this is an awkward stage of a new relationship - too new to be called “boyfriend and girlfriend,” but ideally you’re both interested, exclusive, and interested in moving forward at a reasonable pace. As others have mentioned, she will probably have a more cautious pace than someone without kids - my husband and I were engaged at about a year into our relationship.

I don’t know how it works with single moms - if you assure her that you’re looking for something serious and long-term that includes her child, does that re-assure her that you’re not just shoplifting the pooty, or does that scare her off as too much too soon?