Indeed, labels are often black and white, imposing undesirable norms upon huge swaths of people to whom rigid conventions cannot and should not be applied. I mean, honestly, why is it such a big deal to call someone your boyfriend or girlfriend?
In that time, I racked up six more dates with First Date Guy, making him Sixth Date Guy. When Wedding Guy was healthy and called me to make a date, I panicked. Did that mean I was more into him than he was into me?
It felt way too soon to have the exclusivity talk with Sixth Date Guy, but too far in for me to go out on a date with someone else. Was I going to ruin everything by making the wrong decision? Here’s what I came up with: I was approaching this dating dilemma in the wrong way. I was dating multiple people preemptively, to avoid getting hurt or I was assuming exclusivity until the guy confirmed otherwise. Sixth Date Guy is following what feels right for him.
in essence, she is his girlfriend in everything but name.
And that's okay because, contrary to those bemoaning the supposed death of monogamy, it's clearly not the monogamy that freaks him out, but rather, monogamy's prescribed terminology.
I learned that girls who wear striped knee socks are trouble, yes, but I continued to make assumptions about exclusivity up until my 30s, and usually ended up the ass who got my feelings hurt.