Ask Jagger: What’s the Difference Between Dating and Becoming Someone’s Boyfriend?

Dear Jagger,

I was discussing with a friend what the difference between dating is and when you become someone’s boyfriend and we had very different responses. 

For me, dating is when you are first getting to know someone and deciding if you like them or not.  You become someone’s boyfriend once you’ve gone on a couple of dates and realize that you want to be exclusive with them and agree that you both are interested in maybe becoming more later down the road. 

My friend says that two people dating is them still getting to know each other. Two people as boyfriends is two people saying that this is it, this is the one, I’m going to marry this person.

What is your opinion?



Dear Sam,

Dating is the path that leads to long term relationship, commitment, marriage.  You are correct in that dating is the process of elimination.  You’re both deciding if this is someone you want to continue seeing indefinitely.  Some people date each other for years exclusively before they decide to tie the knot.  Tying the knot does not necessarily mean ‘marriage, its any kind of commitment acknowledgment.  Others wait a month or two before they begin using these titles.  There are no set parameters.

You’re inaccurate as far as you going on a couple of dates then becoming their boyfriend.  How’s that workin’ for ya?  Because that’s way too fast to start slapping on the labels.  You don’t know anything or enough about this person to be committing so fast.  You’re still at the ‘idealizing’ them stage.  Let some of those blinders fade a bit before you cling too tightly.  This seems to be common among two people of the same sex.  They want to get it on and get a move on with it, but this is also why those unions end in under a month or two.

There is no rushing it when it comes to the seriousness of a relationship with someone.  If you’re not looking for longevity then jump on in before testing out the waters.

When you’re dating someone then the natural trajectory is you become ‘boyfriends’.  By this time you’ve already learned enough about them as far as what they’re looking for in a relationship.  At this point you also already know if they’re the committed type or the non-committal type.  Even though you’ve become ‘boyfriends’ and you’re using the title, you’re still technically dating.  You’re dating until there’s a point in the relationship where you both know this is it and want to take it to the next plateau.  This can be a simple acknowledgment that you’re both in a committed long term relationship and for others ‘marriage’.  This generally isn’t for at least six months to a year of dating.

Wait at least 18 months before moving in together because by that time the honeymoon blush will have worn off and you’ll know if it’s working or not.   Other couples choose to keep separate residences for quite a long time, but this also varies from couple to couple.  I also naturally assume that when two people are boyfriends that it’s telepathically known that you’re exclusive to one another.  But that’s just me, for some it may need to be brought up if you’re unsure.


If you have a question you’d like answered specifically around dating, relationships, love or any other pressing issue then shoot an email to “Ask Jagger” at  Be sure to leave certain information that you feel applies to your case whether you’re straight, gay, male or female.  Your name will not be used unless you approve.

Jagger is featured in the books “Jagger’s Revolution” about his journey to finding his current relationship and his dating hand guide, “Dude 101“. Jagger is the dark alter ego of writer Kevin Hunter. All advice and information is intended as a general guide and for entertainment purposes only. 

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Copyright © 2012 Kevin Hunter

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Posted on September 5, 2012, in Advice Column, Ask Jagger, Ask Kevin Hunter, Dating (Social Customs), Dude Lit, Gay, Kevin Hunter Author Writer, Romance and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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