Gay relationships seem to take a different path than straight relationships. They either go from just meeting to married within the first week, to never getting started aside from the occasional call for no strings fun. The former reminds me of high school. You know when you had interest in someone and sent them a letter asking them to be your boyfriend. It seems the art of dating and getting to know someone has just skipped our community and we need to bring it back.
To me, the great thing about dating is the beginning getting to know each other part. If you want to put a label on the status of the relationship at that stage it would be called seeing each other. During the “seeing” stage, it’s very casual. You would go out from time to time, very light entertainment while finding out if this is a person you really want to date seriously. This is not an exclusive stage in the dating process. One can still go on dates with other because the purpose of this stage is to find out if you actually want to try for that exclusivity. There aren’t any hard and fast time limits before moving forward but this missed stage tends to lead to short-lived relationship and you being dubbed as a serial monogamist.
Once you’ve decided that this man is someone you can make a serious go with, then you move to the actual dating stage. During this stage you make it official that your goal is for something serious but it’s still only semi serious. You can decide if it’s exclusive or not but for the most part it should be because after the first stage you should have confidence in this person being the one to make a life with. The dating stage does seem like the first stage but the difference really is the intensity. Here you cut out the other distraction, increase time spent together and make it know this is the person I’m wanting to make something work with. This stage is more likely to be successful if you take the time to actually perform the first stage. The problem with the gay community is many jump to this stage first trying so hard to get to stage three and often times blurring the lines to both. It’s a recipe for disaster.
The third stage is officially becoming partners. In the dating stage you can say boyfriends but this stage really says, we have gotten to know each others good and bad sides, we have had a few disagreements and worked it out, yes this is my partner in life. This is when you change your Facebook status. It’s the lets move in together and make a life stage. It’s not saying let’s get married. I understand gay marriage is still not legal nationally but in a sense the partner stage is like the engagement stage. You increase again the intensity by living together, more vacations together, buy a dog, things like that. Most people stay in the stage for the duration and that is find. No one stage you have to move to the final official label. You can still merge finances and take legal actions to commit each other.
The point I’m trying to make is this lost art of dating really causes more sadness than joy. The back and forth, the breaking up and bed hopping, and the constant Facebook status changes can really be avoided with more patience and care. Besides, that first stage is a lot of fun if you use it properly.
What do you think? Leave a comment and let’s discuss.