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Singles decide whether relationships should flourish naturally or whether a ‘discussion’ is required

At what point does dating transition into a relationship?

At what point does dating transition into a relationship?

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An Australian relationship coach has addressed the common issue of identifying when a ‘date’ becomes a boyfriend or girlfriend – and whether it needs to be discussed.

Expert Louanne Ward, from Perth in Western Australia, posed the controversial question in her Facebook group She Said, He Said, calling on members to decide whether asking a partner to be ‘official’ is viewed as ‘childish’ or old fashioned.  

Some people were of the opinion that the movement from dating to a full-blown relationship should be  ‘smooth’ and unrehearsed, while others said it is worth having a conversation about being exclusive so each person is on the same page.

‘I think the “becoming exclusive” step is when the “relationship” starts. I’ll only bother with one person at a time so if we see each other more than once that’s it for me,’ one woman wrote.

‘When you decide not to date other people or you would be hurt if they was dating other people… that’s when the relationship starts,’ a man added.

A third wrote: ‘I believe in talking about relationships before dating so I know where it’s going… why not be forward with your intentions if you feel it can become more? It can be better if you learn to be open from the start even if it is only a friendship they want at least you’ll know where you stand’.

Others were more casual about the question at hand and said they simply ‘knew’ when the transition had taken place, and continued on dating.

‘I think natural progression would be the ideal scenario! And for some weird or strange reason I think people who “push” for progress tend to self sabotage,’ one man said.

Another woman agreed: ‘Natural progress will show to both people the state where the relationship is at. Pushing for anything typically means it’s not happening’.

No one believed that a person needs to be ‘asked’ to be your partner in this day and age and it should be ‘expected’ after five or so dates that someone is interested.

‘Sometimes friendships transition into relationships and it’s hard to define a point where it actually happened, same with some dating into relationships. It should be smooth,’ one person said.

Louanne said it can help to be a ‘confident communicator’ in these situations so you can articulate ‘where you are at when it comes to dating’, leaving little room for blurred lines or misconceptions. 

‘The dating process is spending time with someone to uncover how much you resonate with them, where the commonalities are, and whether you have similar goals in alignment for the future. The tricky bit is the pace and perceptions of both parties,’ she said.  

‘Relationships and love are simply a decision we make. Do I decide to spend time getting to know this person? Do I decide to make a commitment? Do I decide this is the person I want to give my love to?

‘Many people believe it is fate or destiny but in order for that to happen the decision to ask someone out, become exclusive or get off the merry go round must be made.’

While she thought people rarely ‘regret’ giving a relationship a go that doesn’t mean it will necessarily work out. 

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