Beginning a Relationship

Exactly when a relationship began will probably be determined differently by us.

Posted Jan 16, 2019

The thing about beginning a relationship is that you really can’t know for sure that’s what you are doing until you are looking back at it.  From the comfort of an established twosome you can reminisce “Remember how nervous I was on our first date?” or “When we went in for that first kiss we missed and rubbed noses; I was so embarrassed.”

I think it’s important for you to define what for you is a relationship: A certain amount of dates?  When sex happens? If “I love you”s are exchanged? Having a buddy so close s/he can almost read your mind?

I can remember meeting individuals for the first time and feeling that this was the beginning of something special, a meeting of kindred souls. Male or female, hoping for a romantic /sexual relationship or an intimate special friendship, it was an exciting first meeting…and then the promise of things to come fizzled out. He was committed elsewhere or she was too busy for another friendship in her life and it was crushing. What I was sure was the beginning of a relationship wasn’t. It began and ended there.

So let’s say what you hoped was the beginning of a special relationship went further than what I outlined above. S/he has suggested meeting again and this first date only deepened your sense that here was someone special whom you hoped to have in your life. So is the first “date” after meeting the beginning of a relationship?

I received an email from some PR person (I get a lot of those about a ridiculous array of topics) on the cost of a first date for a woman. A survey (where?) of more than 7000 women (of what age?) states that “the average woman” (maybe young big city woman) goes on three dates each week and spends on average $200+ preparing for a first date (hair $50, Uber $20, outfit $70 and $830 for a designer bag).  How many women do you know who spend that much on a purse if they live near a TJMax or a Target? And surely, she doesn’t buy an expensive bag for every one of her three dates a week!  See why I don’t put too much stock in PR releases!

I often hear from men of all ages that women seem to want to rush them into a relationship. That means that after a first or second dinner date on Friday night, for example, she might suggest another place for next Friday or invite him to dinner at her place or even invite him to accompany her to a family wedding. Her assumption here being that there will be more dates in the future and that they are beginning or even are IN a relationship when he only intended one or two getting-to-know-you courtship dinners and maybe taking her to bed.  If they sleep together on this first date, which may have been his intention, she is outraged that there is no following relationship and he is bewildered that she is so naive as to have that expectation.

So when does an acquaintanceship become a relationship for you? Can you be having more than one or do you require exclusivity? What do you hope for between the two of you? I think these are important questions to ask yourself and, having gotten some clarity for yourself on your beliefs and expectations, have this same discussion with your new friend. This self talk and exploratory conversation with someone in whom you have a more than casual interest can eliminate a great deal of disappointment, but not all.  People are never entirely predictable. That’s part of the fun of socializing and encountering the excitement of the potential beginning of a new relationship.