It should be pointed out that I don't actually recommend either of these methods. They don't seem to work, for reasons that are (hopefully) obvious.
The other side of this story is the people (read: men) who seem to think that there are only two definitions to apply to any relationship:
- Casual sex
- Full-blown, committed relationship
I have run into this several times, and I know others who have as well. When it comes to having the relationship talk with some guys, they get all weird, thinking that anything more than casually sleeping together means that any minute, you're going to ask them to pick out a China pattern.
This just in: That's not really how women think.
For me, at least, there are far more stages (or definitions) of dating. Until we've been out a few times, I don't even consider us "dating." Under most circumstances, it'll take a while before I ever consider us "exclusive" - and only after we've discussed as much. (Case in point: I was dating Trooper for a couple months before exclusivity was established.)
That doesn't mean I'm dating around. I might only be dating one person, but that's more out of personal choice or scheduling conflicts than any obligation I feel towards the relationship. Seems to me that your feelings towards a particular person, and your confidence in the relationship, have far more to do with where your relationship stands than the amount of time you've known a person.
Which is why I've known some people for years - and we aren't dating now, nor will we ever.
I don't feel like two people need to jump right from just meeting to a full-blown, four-alarm relationship. There are a lot of stages in between. Some people prefer to just date one person - but the same rules of casual dating apply.
So don't freak out if a woman says she's dating only you; it doesn't mean she's going to have you fitted for a tux, or ask which invitations you like best. It just means she prefers to focus on one relationship at a time. Pay more attention to how you feel, and where this particular relationship is, and less attention to where you think you should be in terms of the calendar, or compared to other relationships.
That's the definition of a healthy relationship - and isn't that what we're all trying to ultimately figure out?