How to Survive That Awkward Period From “Just Dating” to a Legit Relationship

Getting through those first few dates is always the toughest part, or is it? Though the first series of dates are full of uncomfortable, silent moments, the time just before a commitment can sometimes be the most frustrating.

Of course, every couple is unique, and all relationships move at different speeds. Typically after a few months of steady dates, either the woman or man is ready to move toward a commitment. A legitimate relationship is logically the next step in the process, unless one of the individuals is skeptical about commitment. Check out these tips for navigating through that time between friends and lovers.

  1. Communicate Clearly: In any male/female relationship, communication is crucial. What most women misinterpret are the tiny signals men accidentally send. Women are detail oriented. We closely examine body language, facial expressions, and gestures made to us. We make most romantic assumptions unconsciously. If an attractive man gives us a wink, scratches our back, and sends us sweet texts throughout the work day just to say, “hey beautiful!” we find ourselves browsing over Vera Wang’s latest bridal gowns, and drooling over wedding favors. The key is not to assume. Don’t read into body language or gestures, as most men are clueless! After giving your date a significant amount of time to make his move, feel free to casually bring up the topic. Ask him what he thinks about your friendship. From his answers, you should be able to predict whether or not he is ready to become part of a stable relationship.
  2. Stay Preoccupied: By preoccupied, I mean don’t become obsessed. Reviewing his texts or emails hourly and replaying those voicemails each chance you get will only place pressure on yourself to hurry up the dating process. Find fun things to do with your friends or family, or simply indulge yourself with a pedicure and movie night. Keep true to yourself, and don’t become dependent on his decision. It’s healthy to have an excited, anticipating attitude about the relationship, but don’t become so focused on his feelings that you can’t live a normal, happy life.
  3. Practice Patience: Don’t stress yourself out. If your friends or family are pressuring you into making a decision, ask them to ease up. Explain to them that you are your date are figuring things out, and taking it slowly. Never jump into a relationship solely from the input of other people! Decide what you want, what is going to make you happy.
  4. Enjoy the Process: Embrace this time before a committed relationship. Since you aren’t being held responsible by anyone, your life should be less stressful! Go out with your friends, mingle with old ones, and just enjoy life. This carefree stage will not last forever! By taking full advantage of this stage, later you will be ready to fully envelop in a serious, committed relationship. 

Sarah Mitchell is a relationship expert with a passion for party planning. Themes are her specialty: And she handles everything from tea party favors to stunning centerpieces. 

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