To be or not to be; that is the question. Or is it are we or aren’t we? For you, this can be a stressful thing to think about, especially when you’re getting mixed signals from that man in your life. Maybe he’s a friend with benefits, or maybe he’s been a friend for a long time and you’re almost certain there’s more to the story than meets the eye. But you can’t actually just ask him, because that could get, like, totally weird. In some ways, maybe you aren’t even sure you want a boyfriend, but he’s that guy that sorta makes you second guess it… so if nothing else, you deserve to know what he’s feeling about the entire situation. He holds your hand and is an excellent big spoon, but what does that really mean? Maybe you’re on the right track to a real live relationship, or maybe you’re reading his signals, or lack there of, totally wrong. It’s probably best to yourself the potential embarrassment and work out whether you guys are actually official or not.
15 He still calls you his 'friend' around other people
Friend zone alert! If this guy is bringing you out for friends' night, or you’re going to a family cottage with a few of the guys, and he’s telling people you’re his friend, you’re probably just a friend. Guys are careful with who they bring around their friends and family, and they will be sure to make the distinction. The last thing they want is their grandmother telling the entire family that they’re engaged all of a sudden, just because he brought a girl to a family thing. And most guys are careful to be clear around their friends, because it’s easier to tell a buddy not to bring his friend out, than his girlfriend, on the off chance that you don’t hit it off with them. Plus, if he really does consider you a friend, he will use the word as much as possible so as not to let anyone’s feelings get hurt. He’s probably not a player; he just might not be that into you… yet.
14 He won't sleep over two nights in a row
Lots of couples that do not cohabitate spend most weekends together. Life and jobs can get busy during the week but couples make the weekend investment to show their partner that they’re in it and they’re willing to give them their effort and time. If your sleepovers or other extracurricular activities are restricted to one night a week (or weekend), he’s probably not ready to make the full weekend commitment with you. It doesn’t mean that he will never be; it just means that he’s not there yet. Or it could mean that he’s got another date, or a night out with the guys planned for the other night. Maybe you’ve even suggested it, and he always comes up with an excuse not to make it two nights: family plans, a work thing, so-and-so’s birthday… Maybe guys are wary of girls who want too much of their time because it creates the illusion of being “clingy” and no guy wants to get chirped by his friends for having the clinger gf or fb.
13 You don't plan dates more than a week in advance
This one’s a toughie because sometimes, in some cases, one half of the “relationship” is just crazy busy, depending on what they do for a living. Or maybe they play hockey four nights a week or are interning as part of their education. If being too busy is the legit issue in these cases, your man will be sure to let you know just how much they wish they could spend more time with you, but just can’t in some circumstances, and they are the first ones to make it up to you whenever they are free. They will surprise you on their days off, or show up with breakfast, even if it’s just for half an hour. In other cases, you guys might just be keeping it casual for now. Whether he’s still playing the field, happy with your current friends with benefits arrangement, or just wants to take it nice and slow, you are probably not yet official in this case.
12 Vacations are off the cards
One sure fire way to know if it’s official or not is to think about if you’ve taken a vacation together before. This doesn’t have to be a week, where you go on an airplane to an expensive destination; it could be a weekend away at a cottage or trailer, or even an overnight stay out of town to go to a festival of some sort. Even if the relationship is new and you have yet to plan a vacation, it should be a comfortable topic to discuss if you are official. If it till feels awkward to try to plan a trip together, you are both probably aware that you are not yet official. Your gut is telling you something; and so is your not-boyfriend. He’s telling you that you aren’t there, you might be there soon, but you might not be, so it’s definitely worth having the discussion at some point in the near future.
11 You aren't Facebook official
Everything you read on the Internet is true, right, so it only makes sense that if you’re not official online, you aren’t official in real life. While, social media relationship status seems to be a slightly bigger deal for the ladies than the guys in most cases, it can be a strong indicator of what exactly the two of you are. It’s 2016, and you are living in the age of connectivity. You post what you had for breakfast online and how many steps you took today, so why is it so hard for him to be your Facebook boyfriend? The truth is, he might not be ready for that, or he simply might not want to be your boyfriend. The other scenario is that he might have a real, valid reason for not putting it online, and if he feels you are “official” in a way, he will be sure to explain this to you to make sure you guys are on the same page.
10 You feel weird asking to leave a toothbrush at his place
Whether or not you've had the discussion about leaving personal belongings at each other’s places, this is a huge indicator of your relationship status. There are a few levels of this. Most guys, who you are having regular “sleepovers” with, will not care if you leave a toothbrush at their place, because, you know, hygiene. Some guys will be okay with you leaving a small amount, or even a large amount of belongings, so you can literally stop over whenever you want and it’s easy for you to get up and go to work the next day without too much hassle. And then there are some, that won't let you leave anything there and are adamant that you take things home; they might even get mad when you accidentally forget a pair of socks. If it’s either of the first two options, combined with the fact that you two have been intimate together, you are either official, or likely close to it. If it’s the latter, you probably are not only not official, but most certainly not exclusively dating.
9 One of you still has dating apps
We live in an information and social age where you literally have unlimited options. Your take-out food options are through the roof, there are so many programs you can take in school, and there are plenty of fish in the sea, or on Tinder (or OKC) etc. etc. Though extremely helpful in finding Mr. Right, or Mr. Right Now, these dating apps also have an inherent problem: they literally convince you that what you have in front of you isn’t good enough because there is always something better out there. It leaves you feeling empty and hollow, searching for more, wondering what if… If you guys are still fishing, or at least one of you is keeping their options open, you probably aren’t official (or exclusive). Communicating your wants to your partner is a good way to gauge how they’re feeling and force them to at least tell you where their head is at.
8 He doesn’t want to be your wedding date
Many girls have taken randoms to weddings as dates. It’s going to be the worst thing ever if one more of your distant relatives makes a joke about a ticking clock or about how they simply adored your boyfriend from six years ago… Lots of guys are cool with this, especially if it’s an open bar. They probably have an online service if you really want a hot wedding date. Your bff, who happens to be a dude, will probably always go with you, because he has your back; your casual boyfriend will probably go, but he will make his level of comfort in the situation clear to you. But what about the one’s that flat out say no? It’s possible that he has other plans, or that he’s nervous about meeting the family; or it’s possible that he’s a genuinely nice guy and doesn’t want you to think the wrong thing because of his going to the wedding with you. To some dudes, it’s just a huge commitment to have to meet the fam and be in a situation where he has to be on his best behavior so as to not embarrass you.
7 When people assume you are together, he is quick to deny it
You guys spend so much time together; that it’s natural that sometimes people make the assumption that you are together. Hell, even you think you might be, and you’re quite content about it. Until he denies it. No we’re just good friends OR we’re casually seeing each other can sometimes be one of the hardest things to hear, especially when you are under a completely different impression. On one hand, it’s really good to know, so you’re not confused anymore, but how many times can he deny it in the number of months you’ve been sleeping together and eating take-out on Tuesdays? And how long are you going to let him deny his feelings for you? Everyone looks for something different in a relationship and in this case, it looks like you are not exactly official, and that you are both on different pages with what you think it is, and what you want it to be.
6 Your plans are more sporadic and random than scheduled
You’ve established that you aren’t full-weekend-relationship-ready quite yet. Maybe you don’t even have a routine together, like you would with a good friend, or a boyfriend. You guys are more in a call-each-other-on-Friday-nights-because-no-one-else-is-around-or-your-friends-ditched-you kind of relationship and you go get Chinese and watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer reruns because you’re both DYING to watch it again beginning to end. Or on the flip side, you have one day a week (and one day only) that is reserved for eating pizza and watching Netflix. And maybe sometimes you guys get it on and sometimes you don’t. Or you sometimes complain about your job and your other friends, and sometimes you guys binge silently and laugh at the television. No going out on dates, no involving other people; just you two, television, beer and the occasional burp. In that case, it looks like you not only aren’t official, but you are definitely fairly deep in the friend zone.
5 You find out he is still seeing other people
What if you’ve both deleted Tinder, and cancelled your E-Harmony accounts, and you feel like you’re well on the way to him tattooing your name across his chest when you get a nasty surprise. Maybe when he goes out with the boys on Friday nights, he sometimes brings girls home to his place. It’s not that he doesn’t sleep with you, and pay for pizza, and maybe even sometimes pick you up from the office on movie night, but he’s also putting some kind of effort, no matter how drunk, into scoring with other chicks. In this situation, it seems like you aren’t yet boyfriend-girlfriend, or you are at least in what he considers an open relationship, because even though they have a rep for being players, most guys prefer monogamy in relationships. If their alpha-male gene isn’t glowing hot for you, and only you, it’s either time for a discussion, for clarification, or to move on.
4 He acts like a single dude
Some couples fluctuate from seeming like they are in an intense lovey-dovey relationship to seeming like they are besties. And that’s not a bad thing. They say if you can marry your best friend you’ll be happy forever. But a big indicator of what you are or what you aren’t is how he acts in general. Does he talk to you about the hot girl at the office? Does he get all amped up about going out with the guys on Friday night to that hot club (where it’s common for pick-ups to happen) or does he check in with you every so often to make sure works going well and tell you he wants to hang with you? If he acts like a single dude, he thinks he is; and that means you two are not official. Or if he acts like you are the only girl he looks at, you just might be in an official relationship.
3 He never says "we" or "us"
Not that anyone is condoning the idea that you should snoop and go through his Facebook Messenger or texts, but you can learn a lot by how he talks about you, when you are and aren’t around. Aside from talking about actual hook-ups he may or may not be having, what he calls you to his friends is a big tell. Does he commonly refer to you by your first name and say, “Tessa and I were going to get wings”; or does he use “us” and “we”? Sometimes people get lost within relationships and lose a lot of their independence when they start being referred to as a unit instead of as individuals, but to others, it’s a comforting way to know how exactly the other person feels about you. It feels nice to be included, but the specific way you are included says an awful lot about your level of official-ness with the person who’s making your ears burn.
2 His coworkers don't know about you
You guys may work in a similar neighbourhood and maybe after-work drinks with your office friends sometimes overlaps. The good news is that you can learn a lot from your interactions with his coworkers. In a simple introduction by him, to his coworkers, you can learn what he calls you around them, and through some short chats with them, you can learn how much he has or hasn’t said about you. Chances are, if they are familiar with your name, you hold a special place in his heart, and if they indicate that you are a complete stranger, you probably aren’t as close as you may be hoping for. These are the people he spends every day with, and even if they aren’t his bff’s, they are still people who will engage in office gossip, and you get to learn if you are worth gossiping about or not. And juicy office gossip gets especially juicy, when he confirms whether or not you two are official.
1 You don’t do “adult” things together
No, we're not talking about X-rated adult things, because if you are wondering if you are official, you probably are engaging in those things. This type of adult thing can be anything from cooking dinner together, to grocery shopping, laundry or doing outdoor chores. All of these personal care things are very personal to guys and they don’t want the random they brought home from the bar standing around and helping him de-weed his lawn. IF you are around for these types of things, he has let you into his world, and if he makes plans with you to do these things, you are in a full-blown relationship. Getting busy and watching movies is a totally different kind of relationship than making dinner, doing laundry and then jumping him in the car on the drive home. The more personal, the more official.