exclusively dating but not in a relationship

Penny Taylor, 27 years old

About me:
Relationships happen exclusively dating but not in a relationship stages. You don't just meet someone and automatically become their significant other. I've tried that. First, you meet and message. But, you're not quite boyfriend and girlfriend yet. Sometimes, this confusion can make me want to come to every date with a checklist: "So, we've gone out, like, five times.

It's Metafilter's 20th anniversary! To celebrate, scan some cats or help fund Mefi! Dating exclusively; not a relationship, but acting like one. Not sure how to handle the situation. Okay: Exclusively dating but not in a relationship pretty sure I haven't used Ask MeFi for useful purposes but rather to glean advice from a Greek chorus way more insightful than my group of something friends. You guys are great.

When my partner and I first got together, I was not ready to lock it down right away. This came about because I was equally tired of both the anxiety of looking for something serious and the dissatisfaction with hookup culture. What I really wanted was something in-between; I wanted the Goldilocks set-up of being exclusive, but not in an official relationship. Ultimately, our super casual relationship did evolve, and we made things official, but I truly believe part of the reason our relationship has gone the distance was that it started off with the intent to keep it casually exclusive. It allowed us to get increasingly emotionally intimate, without the pressure and expectation that naturally comes with the girlfriend title. In my case, I was the one with the control over how official things were, but for my partner, who always wanted more, I am sure there were times my resistance to going all in on the relationship was confusing and maybe even a little scary.
More about exclusively dating but not in a relationship:
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Is that even possible? Back in the day, dating used to be far less confusing. End of story. These days we have a world of choice, a million ways to meet people, different ideas and thought processes. Finding someone with the same way of thinking as you can be borderline impossible! The exclusively dating but not in a relationship goes on!

We have seen each other several times and have had a great time. We have slept together and discussed the fact that both of us like each other a lot. He mentioned that a girl asked him to dinner, and he turned her down. Is this bullshit? What do you guys think? Unsurprisingly, this sort of situation is actually pretty common.
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