Is he my boyfriend... or not?

Though this question might sound rather duh! I think it's a valid one.

When I was in Cambodia, I conversed with the locals there. A Cambodian guy told me that he only had 1 girlfriend before. I asked him about her and what they used to do together, e.g. how often did they go out together, did they hold hands. (Actually I was curious whether it was common for the people there to engage in pre-marital sex.) He said that he only admired her and he never spoke with her before! I told him that that does not make her his girlfriend! Perhaps he didn't have a wide English vocabulary so he used the word "girlfriend" incorrectly. One of his friends also had the same concept of "girlfriend" - i.e. it's just someone whom they admire.

Recently, a friend commented that people tend to have a different view of what a boyfriend/girlfriend is when they are younger compared to when they are older. He said that when people are younger a boyfriend/girlfriend is just someone whom they hang around with, but the older people would think of a boyfriend/girlfriend as someone they are planning to share a future with.

Then there are people online who would think of someone whom they've never met before as their girlfriend/boyfriend, claim to be in love and citing "appearance doesn't matter; only inner beauty matters". How do you have a real love relationship with someone whom you've never met? That's as weird as saying that my vibrator is my boyfriend!

People's ideas of a girlfriend/boyfriend can differ greatly. I think it is best to have a verbal understanding instead of assuming that someone is your girlfriend/boyfriend.

For me, there has to be:
- a verbal and emotional understanding that we in an exclusive relationship (i.e. neither of us would be dating or seeking to date others),
- a possibility of sharing a future together (we could be in the exploration stage), AND
- regular meetings and physical intimacy like holding hands and kissing.
One without the others won't make the cut.

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Rock Hard said...

I rather call the woman whom I am holding hand, kissing and share intimacy knowledge my "lover" rather then Girlfriend.