For some people, labels are important– they want to know where they stand in a relationship and somehow having a title seems to provide some comfort for them. I am not big no labels, except for perhaps 1) fiance, 2) spouse or 3) partner, which signify a real long-term commitment. Short of those three terms, what difference does it make if you get introduced as a friend or boyfriend? Isn’t it understood by those that see you together expressing some sort of affection? Once you have had the exclusivity talk, what about using the term FWEB (friends with exclusive benefits)?

Perhaps my hang up is that a true boyfriend/girlfriend relationship is one where you both get each other- you understand how the other person thinks, how they will react to certain things, their likes/dislikes, how they handle conflict and communicate when things are difficult. All of this takes time, and this timeframe will obviously vary depending on the frequency with which you see someone. Demonstrating a genuine interest in getting to know someone is not something you can fake, and once you achieve that comfort level, it is not that easy to just walk away. To me, that is when one can really merit the title of boyfriend/girlfriend. But that is just my opinion, and everyone has a different definition. Bottom line is it is okay to have the talk about titles, and it is okay to have a difference of opinions. Just have the conversation and make sure you are both on the same page.