The question every woman asks early in a romance

It’s a question that all women have asked during stints of singledom: Are you actually dating someone, or are you just friends who have sex and see each other three times a week?

Best described by Broadly, a “several-night stand” is “a casual recurring hook-up situation that mimics a relationship but is definitely NOT a relationship because one party recently got out of something long-term or is not looking for anything serious right now or wants to keep doing this without a label?”

And thanks to swipe apps, the goal posts have moved when it comes to dating. One-night stands as we knew them are all but obliterated. The very technology that was designed to make matchmaking easier has, in fact, made things a bazillion (no exaggeration) times harder. There is a general reluctance to commit beyond anything other than a handful of encounters. We have options — and we’re more than happy to keep them open, as this recent post on the Humans Of New York Instagram account confirms.

The image is of an unnamed Melbourne, Australia, woman, accompanied by a caption with a scenario so familiar, it practically comes standard: Girl meets boy. Boy can’t emotionally commit. Girl questions boy’s lack of commitment after several hook-ups that involve dating activities. Boy sticks around without actually committing, but dangling vague commitment carrots, leaving girl bewildered.

“We met two years ago at the office. At the time he’d just gotten out of a really bad breakup. It started with just lunch and coffee. Then we started meeting after work,” she explains in the post. “We hooked up a little — somewhere between second and third base. I told him that I liked him so if it wasn’t going anywhere then we couldn’t be friends.”

But that’s exactly what ended up happening.

“It’s excruciating. It seems like we’re always on the edge of a relationship. We hang out. We go to the beach. I’ll go to his place, cook dinner, watch a movie, and then leave. We get handsy. We might kiss a little. But that’s it.”

Ugh. Yes, there it is. The edge of a relationship. All the fun stuff, none of the commitment. And of course, he credits his lack of accountability to being in a meeting. Come on, guy.

“When I push him on it, he acts confused and says that he has a lot of friendships like this. We kissed a little on my birthday last week. The next day I texted him: ‘I’m not going to pretend this isn’t happening.’ He wrote back: ‘Let me think about it. I’m in meetings.’ And he still hasn’t replied.”

Sure, regular intimacy is nice, but if the faux-relationship is no longer serving you, speak up. There’s no point being a part-time employee if you’re out here wanting to start your own business.

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