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Dating Advice – Are We Dating or Just Hanging Out

radioshowlogo4 150x150In this week’s “Ask the Cyber-Dating Expert” post, we’re going to tackle the issue of the relationship status.

It’s getting very blurry these days to determine whether you’re actually dating someone, or just hanging out as friends.

A 25-year old college student told me that she’s never been more confused about dating in her life.

After chatting and texting with a guy she met online for several weeks, he sent her a text to say, “Hey, let’s hang out tonight.”

So, what does hanging out mean?

Hanging out could be several things.

1. He might have a party to go with and they’d be hanging out with a group of friends.

2. It’s his way of saying I’d like to have a date with you tonight.

3. He’d like to hook up for a casual fling.

4. He’s testing the waters, so keeping it cool to see if he likes you or not.

Whatever the intention means when someone says, let’s hang out, one thing is for sure, singles are confused about their relationship status with members of the opposite sex. Whether they’ve met while cyberdating or out-and-about, dating in groups has added to the confusion for many singles.

When I digged a bit more into her “relationship” with her texting beau, I found out he her took her out to dinner. He paid for dinner. He gave her a short kiss after dinner. He went back to texting with her for several weeks and then asked her to hang out again.

The Digital Dating Process

The digital dating process does include flirting via text to stay in touch, emails back-and-forth, and putting actual dates on the calendar.

The rise in popularity of group dating, where singles who like each other hang out in a group and go to an event together, makes most women unsure of where they stand in the relationship, or if they’re even in a relationship at all.

My response to her was, “Yes, you did go on a date.” She wasn’t sure if he was just being chivalrous and kind by paying for her dinner, but they didn’t go “Dutch” treat and he did ask her out again.

Is he her boyfriend? No. Just because he sends texts daily, doesn’t mean you’re status has been elevated to boyfriend or girlfriend. Chances are he’s playing the field, having fun, and doesn’t really want a steady girlfriend. More than likely, it’s a flirtationship, which is a common place in between friends and being in a relationship. He has an active online dating profile and she has an active online dating profile.

Read: How Do You Know if You’re in Flirtationship Mode?

If a man really wants to make you his girlfriend, he’ll let you know. He won’t want anyone to claim you as his and will make his intentions known.

Are you confused about your relationship status?

Julie Spira is an online dating expert and founder of CyberDatingExpert.com. She creates irresistible profiles for singles on the dating scene. For more dating advice, follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and sign up for the Weekly Flirt newsletter.

Need help with your dating life? Find out how our Irresistible Coaching programs can help you date better and find love online.

 

Does it Matter if We’re Facebook Official

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Ask the Cyber-Dating Expert

Dear Cyber-Dating Expert,

I’ve been dating my boyfriend for about two months. We met online and decided to become exclusive. I took your advice and we both took down our online dating profiles at the same time.

Everything seems to be going well so far, except for one thing. I’ve changed my status on Facebook to “In a Relationship” and he refuses to do so. He tells me he loves me and I know he’s not looking for someone else, but it makes me uncomfortable.

Why won’t he change his facebook status if he’s proud and excited about our relationship? Should I worry about us, or does it really matter?
Please help.

Rhonda

Dear Rhonda,

In today’s busy connected world, becoming “Facebook official” means a lot to some people, but not to everyone. If your boyfriend is connected on Facebook with his boss, clients, or other work associates, it’s likely he doesn’t want to mix business with pleasure. There may not be reason to be alarmed.

More often than not, women change their relationship status on Facebook before men do, or if they even the do it at all. Considering he’s your boyfriend and not your fiance or spouse, changing his status shouldn’t really matter. If he has no status at all and isn’t listed as “Single” I wouldn’t be focusing on this one aspect of your relationship.

Everyone’s feelings about social media and digital dating vary. Women tend to post more lovey-lovey couple photos on Facebook than men do. It’s how women tick.

Enjoy the beginning of your new committed relationship and if it continues to bother you, change your status late at night from “In a Relationship” to no relationship. When the timing is right, perhaps you’ll have a digital celebration together.

Wishing you much love and joy in cyberspace, or wherever you may roam.

Julie Spira

xo

Do you have a question for the Cyber-Dating Expert? Send your questions to CyberDatingExpert.com/contact and follow @JulieSpira on Twitter

Separated, Divorce Pending

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Have you ever gone out on a date with someone you believed was single and available only to find out their divorce wasn’t final?

Every week, I hear stories of members of online dating sites claiming to be single, when in fact they either haven’t filed for divorce yet or their divorce isn’t final. Technically and legally, these people are still married. Sure, they may know for sure there’s no chance of reconciliation.  They also know they’ll have a better chance of meeting someone if their status does not say “Separated” on their online dating profile. Perhaps they will utilize the Facebook relationship status category of “It’s Complicated.” I believe they should state from the onset, “Separated, Divorce Pending.”

Recently I wrote an article about this epidemic on Huffington Post called, “Is Your New Beau Separated, Divorce Pending?”  This status of “Separated, Divorce Pending” does not exist on any of the online dating sites and I invite and challenge the Internet dating industry that permit separated individuals as members to add this status. Let’s see who jumps in first to add it on their menu. If you have experienced this phenomenon, I’d like to hear from you. Now, onto the original article from Huffington Post.

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It’s becoming an epidemic is appears. Profiles of singles on online dating sites with the status of “Divorced,” when in reality they are “Separated, Divorce Pending.”

It’s not just happening online. A recent friend of mine was set up on a date with an attorney. During dinner he mentioned his ex-wife in the conversation. When she innocently questioned him about how long he had been divorced, there was a moment or two of silence, followed by, “Well, I’m, um, well, not really divorced.” He added, “It’s complicated. A financial matter, but we’re not getting back together.”  A week later another date with a man she met online also admitted over dinner that his divorce was not final. When she asked him, “Why don’t you state your status as “Separated?” he replied, “Because no one will go out with me if I say I’m “Separated.”

In coaching men and women who are in that in between stage that I call, “Separated, Divorce Pending,” I tell them to be honest. State you are “Separated.” If your divorce is almost final, add that into the body of your online dating profile so a potential date or mate will know that there’s truth-in-advertising before responding to your email introduction.

More often than not, someone who is separated might need to have a transition person, that one very important relationship in between his or her marriage or long term relationship which typically runs its course and ends. Not all transition relationships end, but if you start out with honesty, you’ll have a greater chance of success regardless of the length of your relationship.

As one who also experienced the “Separated, Divorce Pending” phenomenon with a man I met online, I personally know what it feels like to find out that an apparently available and compatible single ended up being “Separated” instead of “Divorced.” On our fourth date when it looked like the relationship could go somewhere, I said, “I have a feeling that the ink is barely dry on your divorce papers.” My date back peddled and said he hadn’t filed yet, even though they were separated for over a year. My heart sank and I wished he had told me the truth from the beginning.

So I encourage those in transition to be authentic in representing your relationship status. And I challenge the online dating sites to create a new category for the relationship status of “Separated, Divorce Pending.” It sounds better than “It’s Complicated” and with the large amount of singles in dating in transition; I believe it deserves a category of its own.

Can you relate? We’d like to hear your stories.