1. When people ask you what your relationship status is, you don’t really have a very good answer without explaining the entire situation. “Yeah, I’m single but I’m dating X. I mean we’re not in a relationship yet but…..” or “I guess I am seeing someone right now but we’re not exclusive so….”
2. Whenever you’re on a date and the waiter or waitress decides it’s a good idea to use “girlfriend” or “boyfriend” directed at one of you, to the other. And the awkward silence that will inevitably follow for a few seconds after that.
3. Running into friends, family, co-workers, or pretty much anyone that you know and having to do awkward introductions. “This is [insert name here].” Without explicitly explaining the relationship between the two of you.
4. When you’re hanging with your friends and you unexpectedly see each other, and you’re not sure what level of acknowledgement would suffice in this scenario. A hello without any physical contact? A hug? A quick peck on the cheek or lips?
5. Getting caught PDA’ing or something of the sort and then getting asked by people who caught you, “So what’s going on between you two?”
6. Running into an ex or someone who you dated and not knowing exactly what to say during the interaction and after it. (Tip: Laughter and fewer words are your best friends.)
7. When either of you say something that has to do with the future, and involving the other person in them. Example, “Yeah, let’s definitely go to that show in the Spring!” And you both realized what you did.
8. Getting into little minor disagreements or petty fights that only couples should really get into. So then you feel a weird combination of embarrassed and uncomfortable.
9. Feeling hesitant about bringing them to an event or situation that involves a plus one. I mean you want to bring them but you don’t want to face the barrage of questions you get before you decide you are official.
10. Getting kind of (secretly) jealous when other people are hitting on the person you’re with. You’re not at that point where you are in a secure relationship yet so it worries you a little bit even though you don’t want to show it.
11. When someone knows that you’re both in the in-between stage and they decide it’d be a good idea to very loudly tell one or both of you something along the lines of, “Isn’t that the worst?!” about the situation.
12. Meeting their friends and them saying things like, “Oh yeah, I know who you are.” Or something that indicates you have definitely been mentioned in the group’s discussion before.
13. Receiving compliments such as “You guys make a great couple” or “You guys look so good together!” And feelings happy about it but also feeling weird about it because you’re technically not a couple yet.
14. If either of you happen to have a birthday during this in-between stage, you’re not quite sure what the appropriate gesture should be. Should I make a big deal of their birthday? What kind of gift should I get that depicts this in-between stage?
15. Getting all sorts of unwarranted advice from people about “how to seal the deal.” When really, there’s not a whole lot you can do until you both have that uncomfortable talk, or at least a mutual understanding that you’re together.
16. When you’re hanging out with a bunch of friends who are in relationships and all of a sudden you realize that you’re both the only ones who are technically not in a full-blown out relationship. And feeling suffocated by all the couple-y talk.
17. Speaking of declaring statuses, constantly getting asked “So are you two officially in a relationship now or what?” And wanting to be like, “No. Everyone this is the in-between, dating limbo stage. Let us be, okay?”