Are we officially dating?

A few months ago my Dad looked at me in exasperation running his hands over his bald head, (which incidentally is probably largely a consequence of my teenage years) and said “Laura for a very intelligent girl, you’re very stupid”. What he was referring to was my impulsive nature, which clearly came from the milkman because everyone else in my family likes to carefully plan their days, starting with their first trip to the toilet and ending with what time their first REM cycle will begin.

He was right though. I make very quick decisions which are often ill informed – a trait which i put on my tinder profile as “mysterious and exciting”. Now as you all know my mysterious exciting side was in full force in 2014 when I decided to get engaged at 21, married at 22 and drop 15k on a wedding, only to separate three years later. As hippie as this sounds; rather than get tied down in regret, I like to look at it as a learning curve – and I can guarantee you I’m a better woman for it.

So fast forward to 2018. Im 26 and more or less divorced, with a toddler and a 25k HECS debt. In other words, a bloody catch. Even so though, I gave myself a very serious talk about rushing into dating, and decided to put it on the back burner until such time as Henry wasn’t so needy and I had the time to shave both legs in one shower. But then 10 weeks ago, a cute boy slid into my DMs. He was witty, and just arrogant enough to get me interested but not annoyed – and so for the first time in my life, I went on a date with a stranger.

Let me set the scene for you. Its 36 degrees, Im hungover, and I’ve had 4 hours sleep. Good start Laura. Im sitting in front of the mirror with a fan blowing my hair around like I was starring in a Schwarzkopf add and I’m trying to slap makeup on my face, cursing my alter ego Sweaty Betty who had taken over my body. Its as good as its going to get, I jump in the car and start the 40 minute drive to cute boys house. Makeup – Check. Hair – Sweaty, but Check. Deodorant x 4 – Check. Tell someone where I’m going in case cute boy is an axe murderer – Check.

On arrival, I note that cute boy is definitely cute. His house was clean, and well decorated, and even though his bedroom looked like it belonged to a 16 year old skater. I decided I could work with it. He says he’s going to take me to lunch. Awesome, I’m starving and I’m hoping he’s not expecting me to eat a salad. We jump in his two seater ute – the trademark of a bachelor, and drive to a burger place. “Don’t worry, I’m sure they’ll have salads there” he says. I looked at him half in amusement and half in alarm hoping he hadn’t read my mind because at that exact moment i was thinking about how sweaty my butt was on the leather car seat.

Lunch was nice. I ate a burger, and held in a wee because I thought I should be ladylike. We left, and cute boy kissed me on the road – “lets get the first one out of the way” he said. Would have been romantic if i wasn’t busting for the toilet. So we get back to his place, its still 393 degrees, I’m beginning to feel the tequila shots I had the night before, and he hits me with “lets go to the beach”. Oh man. I should have had the salad. Im imaging what my melting face looks like and thinking it can’t get much worse, so sure lets get the mum bod out. I throw on my bikini, and decide it will be fine I can still look glamorous I just won’t get my hair wet. You can can imagine my horror when I realised the “beach” was actually manmade baths which require jumping off a cement platform and entirely immersing oneself in the water. Awesome. I must have done it gracefully, because as I came to the surface of the freezing cold water trying to get my breath back cute boy looked at me in concern and said “umm i forgot to check – can you swim?”.

Now to my point. Ten weeks, 8938 text messages, and a million dates later cute boy is still coming back for more. He now knows better than to try and feed me salad, he’s faced the ultimate test – meeting my friends, and he lets me leave my shampoo in his shower. My best girlfriend recently asked me the question of the hour.”So, are you officially dating?”, and I realised I actually don’t know. So ladies and gents, I put it to you. What constitutes official? Is it simply not dating anyone else? Or is it the day that “this is cute boy” becomes “this is my boyfriend, cute boy?”. And more importantly, does it really matter?

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