How To Tell If You’re Talking Or Actually Dating

It’s 2017, and the idea of dating is become a little more, well, rare. It’s not the end of the world or anything. After all, the very concept of dating has changed a lot over the past century; in the ’50s, you’d be hard pressed to go on a date with anyone without your parents meeting your bae first. Now? People can date for months without ever meeting someone’s parents, and nobody is clutching their pearls. Still, the move from dating to talking is interesting because it’s a somewhat newer phenomenon. It’s not as if being in a limbo period before becoming official is a new concept. But I’ve gotta say: It’s pretty normal to see people in the “talking” period of a relationship for months, or longer.


Maybe our generation just has a fear of commitment in a way that previous generations just didn’t have, maybe we find labels too confining when we’re just trying to have fun and figure everything out. But time and time again I’ve witnessed friends driving themselves up the wall trying to figure out if they’re still in the talking phase of a relationship, or if they’re actually dating in every way but name. Well, if you’re in the same boat, here are nine ways to tell if you’re dating or talking.

Dating: Wouldn’t Feel Weird Putting A Picture Of The Two Of You On Social Media

Are you chill putting a selfie of you and the guy/girl/whoever you’re talking to on social media? You might be in the dating phase but you don’t even know it. Seriously, when you’re only talking, putting a pic of the person you’re talking to on Instagram would seem a little extra.


Talking: You’re Still Feeling Things Out

Talking is the ultimate sign of not really committing to a relationship yet, and that’s a totally fine place to be! Maybe you don’t really know if you want anything serious with this guy. Maybe you’re talking to some girl and two other girls too, because you like them all and you’re just having fun with it for now. This uncertainty is a big sign that you’re nowhere near dating.

Some Girls

Dating: Your Friend Groups Are Intermixing More

When you’re dating someone, it’s only a matter of time before you meet your partner’s friend group and vice versa. Sooner or later, both your crew and your boo’s crew are hanging out and intermingling. Sound familiar? You two are dating, dude. If the idea of actually interacting with the friends of the person you’re talking to sounds like a foreign concept, you’re definitely still in the talking phase.


Talking: Hooking Up Without Expectations

After you two have a hookup session, you’re not really thinking about doing anything beyond, well, hooking up. You’re just thinking about when the next hook up session will be. Yeah, this isn't near the dating arena yet, that's for sure.

My Mad Fat Diary

Dating: You’re Not Worried About Asking Them To Go To An Event With You

Whether you’re looking to go to a gig with them, survive a boring wedding with them, or hoping to go to a school dance with them, it’s all going to feel a lot less scary if you’re beyond the talking period. If you’re still talking, things like this are seen as a major step or a massive hint. Hey, maybe that’s what you or your talking buddy is going for...

YouTube/Sonic Youth

Dating: You Guys Have Bought Each Other Gifts

Whether it’s a birthday or a holiday, you’re not uncomfortable by the idea of giving the person you’re “talking to” a gift. It just feels right, and you expect one from them as well. This is a major sign that you’re in the dating universe, not the talking one, which is noted by the lack of commitment. This is also a good test as to whether you and whoever you’re talking to is on the same page. Let’s say it’s Valentine’s Day: Are you expecting a gift or nah? What if you’re not expecting anything but the person you’re talking to gives you a box of chocolates. Uh oh...

YouTube/Britney Spears

Talking: No Talk Of Meeting Each Others’ Families

A lot of people are actually dating without even realizing that they’re dating. This is especially the case if they’ve met each others parents to some capacity because it seemed, well, not weird to do. If the idea of meeting the family of the person you’re talking to seems, well, not like something that’s going to happen anytime soon, if ever, then y’all are just talking.

Freaks And Geeks

Dating: You’ve Established That You’re Both Only Talking To Each Other

Are you two are pretty much talking exclusively and have no interest in seeking out anyone else? Congratulations, you’re not effing talking, you’re dating. I know, it might seem like a scary word that feels so much more intense than the alternative, but chill. It’s not like you’re getting married. You’re seeing each other exclusively, having fun while doing so, and plan to do it for a while. You’re d-a-t-i-n-g.

That '70s Show

Talking: You’re Not Really Doing Much Beyond Texting And Hooking Up

When all is said and done, this is what talking is in a nutshell: Texting and hooking up. And let’s be super real about the fact that most of your communication might actually just be via sexts, sending memes, and replying to each others Snaps in between hook up sessions, and that’s it. Again, there’s nothing wrong with this, but it’s definitely not dating. When it comes to this activity, even time isn’t really much of a factor. You can be in this period with someone for months, that doesn’t make it dating just because you’ve been doing it for a long time. Sometimes, talking is just talking, no matter how long it drags on.

Broad City

What other ways can you tell the difference between talking and dating? Tell us in the comments!

You can follow the author, Ashley Reese, on Twitter or Instagram. Don’t worry, she doesn’t bite!

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