Not too long ago, I came across an interesting question.
Talking vs dating. How are they different? Are they the same thing, or not?
If you’re talking to someone and going on dates, does that mean that they’re your boyfriend/girlfriend?
In this post, I’m going to answer this question as concisely as possible.
This is exactly what you need to know.
The ‘Dating Experience’ Can Be Broken Down Into Two Different Parts
There’s what I call the pre-agreement stage…
And then there’s what I call the post-agreement stage.
Everything that happens before the two of you enter into some kind of relationship agreement (in other words, until you ‘have the talk’) takes place in the pre-agreement stage.
In other words, everything that happens in this stage is considered casual dating territory.
You might be dating, you might be going out on dates, you might be going out to the movies, you might be going out to eat.
You may even (and probably will be) be having sex and sleeping over at each other’s houses.
But keep this in mind.
Until you have a ‘talk’ where you sit down and make an actual agreement with each other, and you agree on some kind of set of rules for the relationship; you are still in casual dating territory.
You’re not in a relationship. You’re casually dating.
Why Does It Matter?
Here’s why it matters.
A lot of people get really confused in situations like this.
Because it can feel a lot like a relationship, even if no agreements have been made and you’re not technically in one.
So here’s the first rule of thumb that you always need to follow.
No agreement means no official relationship.
Never assume that the other person is in a committed relationship with you if they haven’t expressly agreed to it, even if they act a lot like it.
They can act like a boyfriend or girlfriend all day long. But that won’t stop them from acting outside of the usual ‘boyfriend/girlfriend’ relationship dynamic if doing so favors them.
In fact, at some point, you can probably count on the fact that they will act outside of those ‘supposedly implied’ parameters, and for good reason.
Nothing has been made official. There’s no official ‘agreement.’ There is no actual ‘commitment’ going on.
What To Do When You’re In The Pre-Agreement Stage Of The Relationship
1. Keep Dating Other People
Sometimes, when a commitment hasn’t been discussed, it can be tempting to imagine that both of you are on the same page.
But it’s important to understand that you should never put all of your eggs into one basket unless some kind of relationship agreement has been struck that makes monogamy a condition of the relationship.
Because regardless of whether you’re a man or a woman, putting all of your relationship eggs into a basket that isn’t built upon the foundation of some kind of relationship agreement sets you up for a less efficient dating experience where you’ll probably be giving a lot more energy to the other person then you’re getting.
Here’s the truth.
Even if the other person is acting a lot like a boyfriend or girlfriend, at some point, if no agreement has been made, they’re eventually going to end up seeing other people.
They should be seeing other people.
And so should you.
Why Should You Be Seeing Other People Too If You’re Not In A ‘Relationship’?
Because each one of us has a responsibility to prioritize ourselves above everything else as we navigate the dating landscape, meet people, engage with potential partners, and form connections.
For one, you’re simply going to meet more people and expand your social circles more if you date more than one person at once.
That gives you a big advantage in helping you to create the dating life of your dreams.
Secondly, dating multiple people at once in the pre-agreement stage actually increases your attraction.
It gives you dating experience, puts you into a position of sexual abundance, engages competition anxiety in other pre-agreement dating partners, and helps you to avoid over-investing in a pre-agreement partner who may or may not be as invested as you are.
Why don’t you want to over-invest?
Because it’ll make you seem like a ‘less valuable’ prize, and they won’t value you as highly.
2. Keep In Mind That It Should Always Be The Woman’s Job To Initiate A Commitment Discussion
Men, it’s really important to remember that the woman should always initiate the commitment discussion.
Because men’s and women’s mating strategies are different.
The female mating strategy is essentially this:
To find the best, healthiest genetic specimen of a man so as to procure the best possible sperm with which to create offspring; and to secure a capable, effective man’s willingness (either the same man or a different man) to walk beside her in life, commitment to share his resources, and offer his protection to ensure that she remains safe from harm during the lengthy and vulnerable child-bearing process, and to ensure that the child grows up with adequate resources and protection… so as to ensure that the child makes it to adulthood successfully, to the point where he/she can then go on to create offspring of their own. This replaces the mother, who will eventually age beyond child-bearing years and expire, and continues the grand scheme of the human plight for survival, ensuring that the human race proliferates and does not go extinct.– Joshua K. Sigafus
Now, take a look at how the female mating strategy differs from the male mating strategy. The male mating strategy is as follows:
To mate with as many beautiful, youthful, fertile women as possible while investing the fewest resources possible, in the hopes that he will successfully create as many offspring as possible, and proliferate his own genetic legacy… in the hopes that more of his genetic progeny will populate the next human generation than his competitors will successfully produce. Also, if he does end up committing his resources to one particular ‘extraordinary’ woman and her children, he will seek fidelity to avoid wasting his resources on children who are not his, or on a woman who isn’t reserving her reproductive resources specifically for him. This gives him the greatest chance of securing his genetic legacy, and that it will be his bloodline that will propagate the next generation of the species… as he will eventually age beyond child-bearing years and expire.– Joshua K. Sigafus
This is obviously a pretty gross oversimplification.
But here’s what you need to know.
Being a sexually abundant, high-value, single man who has the ability to create whatever kind of dating life he wants for himself comes with many benefits; one being the novelty of sleeping with many different beautiful women, pretty much whenever he wants.
For the man, choosing to enter into a long-term relationship requires him to sacrifice many of those benefits; including the novelty of new partners.
Therefore, the benefits of entering into a long-term relationship must outweigh the benefits of remaining a sexually abundant, high-value single man in order for a commitment to make sense for the man.
In a very real sense, when a woman asks a man to enter into a relationship with her, she’s basically asking him to forsake his core evolutionary mating strategy so that she can deploy her core evolutionary mating strategy.
This is why women hold the keys to sexual access, but men hold the keys to relationship access.
Long Term Relationships Carry Benefits For Men And Women – But Both Parties Need To Gain More Than They Lose From The Commitment
Of course, long-term relationships offer different benefits to men as well. But the benefits only outweigh the sacrifice if the woman is high-value enough to be a true compliment to his life, standing head and shoulders above all of his other options, to the point where sacrificing novelty is more than worthwhile.
Due to the fact that entering a committed relationship requires such a high level of sacrifice from a high-value man, it should always be the woman’s job to propose such an agreement.
She does, after all, have the most to gain from entering a committed relationship with a high-value man.
By partnering with a high value man, she gains financial support, protection, security, safety, and the entire potential of the wealth and status that he will incur in the future.
3. Do Not Give This Person ‘Boyfriend/Girlfriend Privileges’ Unless They’ve Actually Made Some Kind Of A Relationship Agreement With You
Until that person has agreed to some kind of committed relationship with you, they’re still a casual dating partner.
And it’s in your own best interest to keep them in that space until ‘the talk’ has been initiated.
A lot of men worm their way into women’s inner lives by acting like a boyfriend when they don’t intend to be one. They want the boyfriend privileges without the commitment.
And on the flipside, a lot of women try to get the man to believe that he owes her some kind of commitment, just because she feels a certain kind of way about how they’ve been hanging out… even when such concepts (commitment, monogamy, etc.) have never been spoken about or agreed upon.
These are obviously common points of contention. But the solutions are pretty simple.
Men’s And Women’s Solutions To The Talking Vs Dating Problem
It’s in the man’s best interest to make sure to continue to date other women until he and the ‘exceptional’ woman he’s entertaining enter into a committed relationship.
Men should also never agree to ‘rules’ that they don’t want to agree to, and must always make sure to continue to live as a single man until the woman has taken the initiative to ‘lock him down’ with a talk about the relationship.
At this point, if the man wants to, he can agree to some ground rules… and the woman can enter his frame as a girlfriend.
But a man should only consider doing this if she is truly a high value, beautiful woman who stands head and shoulders above the rest of her competition, and is a true complement to his already awesome life.
It’s in a woman’s best interest to make sure that she initiates the relationship talk if she feels that the time has come for her to stop being a ‘casual date.’
Some women are afraid to initiate this talk for fear of scaring men away.
But here’s the thing.
If you’re a high-value woman with options, it’s in your best interest to put this ball in the man’s court, to see if he’ll commit.
Whether he will or won’t, you’ll get your answer.
Continuing to allow him to casually date you forever won’t help your plight to gain a boyfriend. It will, instead, allow him to continue to date you and other women casually, and there’s not really anything that you can say about it… because even if you don’t like it, there’s no ‘agreement’ keeping him from attempting to continue to pursue his evolutionary sexual goal.
To sleep with as many beautiful women as possible.
Therefore, if you’re interested in securing him as a committed partner, it’s in your best interest to:
- Add as much value to his life as possible
- Initiate ‘the talk’ as soon as you decide that he’s the man you want to be with
- Take his answer seriously
If he gives you a ‘no,’ and you feel that he’s not high-value enough to justify making you ‘wait’ for him, move on and find another man.
If he says yes, awesome. You’ve moved beyond the ‘talking’ stage to the ‘dating’ stage!
Hopefully, this post has helped you to understand the importance of understanding the talking vs dating question.
I also hope that it’s given you some useful solutions that you can use to take your relationship to the place you really want it to be.
Go with grace, my friends, and never give up your power.
Until next time…
Joshua K. Sigafus