“Well we kind of are, aren’t we?” I replied sheepishly. I hadn’t considered that a passing comment to a mutual friend was about to undo our six week relationship, but there we were.
“No, we’re not. I mean, we’ve gone on dates and we hangout, but we’re not dating,” Allison continued.
At this point, I can hear the condescension in her voice, accentuated by the scrunching of her nose in a way that forces her freckles into tightly-bound clusters. And it triggers an involuntary reaction inside of me that induces a style of sarcasm that has absolutely awful intentions.
“Yeah, good point,” I replied. “Because it makes total sense to regularly bat your eyes at a guy while making him dinner, but calling it ‘dating’ would be crossing the line, wouldn’t it?”
I don’t remember exactly how things unfolded after that, but suffice it to say that they didn’t end well. Alas, another relationship – or committed-but-not-committed journey into companionship – had failed.
I’ll admit it, I liked this one; at least enough to know that I looked forward to spending time with her more than once a week. Over the course of six weeks, wasn’t I in a position to qualify that as ‘dating’? Turns out, I wasn’t.
But if that wasn’t dating, then what the hell was it?
Were we “talking?” Was there even a difference between talking and dating? What is talking anyway? We talked all the time. And I honestly thought we were getting to the point where we were talking but not quite official; but we were closer to official than we were to talking. Ugh.
As if dating – or talking, or whatever the hell it was – wasn’t hard enough, now we have to somehow get a grasp on whether we’re actually dating at all. Who has time for that?
Fast-forward five years. I’m now 28-years-old.
Am I any closer to figuring out how relationships work? Absolutely not; though I remain hopeful (a story for another day). But I believe that I am closer to understanding the life cycle of a relationship; the phases – 10 in all – that we encounter on our journey through dating.
In retrospect, I’m confident that Allison and I were in phase five, or as I call it, the “Limbo” phase. (By the way, Allison isn’t her real name.) Did either of us know that we were in the Limbo phase? Were we aware that we’d actually gone through four other phases before getting to a point that we still weren’t actually an ‘item’?
David Berry is a Miami-based copywriter who has delivered writing solutions for a wide set of clients with a diverse range of needs. From books (fiction and non-fiction) to blogs, feature stories and everything else in between, he’s written for restaurants and retail clients, hotel chains, cosmetics companies, universities and more, as well as magazines, Fortune 500 companies and numerous entrepreneurs.
Berry has an MBA from Florida International University and draws passion for his craft from a wide base of interests, as he’s also a NASM certified personal trainer, former stand-up comedian, and volunteer, having won Miami Children’s Hospital’s 2011 Volunteer of the Year award while raising more than $100,000 for the hospital’s Radio Lollipop program.