Going from dating to being in a relationship, by Dr Mark Silvert
I think he was just trying to distract me so he would more easily beat me at FIFA. I was determined not to get involved in this conversation as we sat in my flat playing Xbox.
However I was puzzled. “What do you mean?” It was a good question.
“Well you must know?” He stared quixotically at me.
“No I’m not sure that I know at this point.”
“The Jewish dating columnist doesn’t know if he is in a relationship, that’s absolutely priceless, that is!” He was beside himself with laughter.
“Ok well let me ask you this.” His torturing continued. “How many dates have you been on?”
“Oh I don’t know probably about 5 or 6.” I guessed.
“Ok and do you like her? And are you both only seeing each other?”
“Yes of course I like her, we have been hanging out loads and no we are not seeing other people.”
“Ok so has she met your friends?”
“Yes and my sister and my parents.”
“She’s met the family! Wow this sounds like a relationship to me Mark.” He shook his head. “I don’t get it, why don’t you consider yourself in a relationship?”
“Erm er I don’t know, I guess because we haven’t changed our facebook relationship statuses from single to in a relationship.” I said very embarrassedly.
And at that exact moment he scored a goal and ran around the room pointing at me and calling me names that I wont repeat, gleeful that I had lost at FIFA and bathed in smug hysteria that I rated my facebook status above all other signs that my girlfriend was now indeed a girlfriend.
The reason for my hesitation is the evolution of modern Jewish dating. If our social media pages do not say we are together, then are we, I pondered?
I remember a simpler time when we were 13 and you hung out with a girl and then just asked her, “Will you be my girlfriend?” The answer was binary. Yes or No.
And that was that. No escalation of dates from drinks to dinner to cinema to sleepovers. No flowers and mini breaks to Paris on weekends, no picking her up or meeting her at the restaurant.
The innocence of childhood has gone. Give me a park with a set of swings and some pick and mix from the corner shop any day.
But things have changed. We grew up and technology matured right along side. So many questions enter our minds now when we start using Jewish dating sites.
How long before I should ask her out? Do I text her? Do I call her? Wait, does anyone call anyone anymore? Do I facebook her? Poke her? BBM her? Pinterest her? How long do I wait before asking her on a second date? Are we exclusive? Is it too soon to invite her to a family Friday night meal?
Is it any wonder that we end up saying to hell with it – order a large pizza and watch a DVD in bed and hope that things will sort themselves out, the ostrich style of dating as I call it.
Well here is my advice. Let go of all that. Set yourself free! The more relaxed you are about all those things the easier it will all be. If your new muse gets upset because you were too keen to see her, then it probably was not a good match in the first place.
As I have said before, be yourself, when two people enjoy each other’s company they usually can’t get enough of each other. So it won’t matter how often you call or tweet her!
I am not advocating going completely over the top, it needs to be mutual, and I am sure you are all capable of picking up the subtle signs.
Things will naturally fall into place – you will know when you don’t want to see other people because you will only want to see your new partner. That’s the moment! That’s when things are developing into something more serious.
Equally people can make the big mistake of panicking and feeling the need to own what they have developing in a bid to gain control as we as human beings need to feel in control, this can lead to what a friend of mine did which was to change his relationship status on facebook after 2 dates, totally scaring the girl and she ran a mile.
Don’t rush, no matter how tempting – it’s not a race.
And in case you are wondering when it’s a good time to change your facebook relationship status, you might want to wait a while until you both have a chat about it.
For some people it’s not a big deal, for others it can be a huge thing, remember it will likely alert all your friends and family. Some people like to take their time telling their friends and relatives about a new significant partner, so don’t get disheartened if they are not ready even though you can’t wait to confirm it to the world.
Once you are in a relationship, don’t get complacent, carry on going on dates, and finding fun and cute things to do together.
Good luck – now you must excuse me, I am off to change my facebook relationship status…wish me luck!
Dr. Mark Silvert is a 32 year old Jewish psychiatrist in London. He studied at Harvard Medical School and has an interest in social psychology. Dr. Mark has written for many magazines and won writing awards in Great Britain. He loves to clear his head by flying small planes and taking care of his dog Mr. Bailey. You can follow Mark on Twitter at @marksilvert or on Facebook at facebook.com/markssilvert