#34 When you officially become boyfriend girlfriend

Kids make things easy.

Back in third or fourth grade I remember our tiny eight-year-old dating circle well. Basically, if a guy asked you out, and you said yes, then you went on the slides together, you were boyfriend and girlfriend, and life was simple. No flowers, no dating, no stress — just eight-year-old love on the seesaws.

Times have changed.

These days dating is twisted into invisible spider webs of questions: Is this a date? What should I wear? Are we friends or does she like me? Do I tell her I like her? Wait, do I like her? Do we kiss at the end? Should I touch her arm? Wait, that’s weird, why did I just think that? What about a hug? Do people hug? Does he want to kiss? If he wants to kiss, he should kiss me, I’m not kissing him. Should I text her tonight? Should I text her tomorrow? Do I call tomorrow, do I call in two days, does anybody call anymore? How long so I don’t seem desperate … but not uninterested? What should I say? Wait, is this a date, because now I definitely think this is a date.

And on and on and on.

When you think about how tricky dating is it’s a wonder any of us end up together. I suppose once in a while some combo of spinning electrons, random nights, and crackly connections ends up turning flickering questions into interesting reflections. Dates grow into dating, dating grows into more, and just after you think that nothing’s happening… it’s happening now for sure.

Holding hands on wintery walks, big plans on Saturday nights, showing up together at parties, and feeling like everything’s all right. Yes, it’s a beautiful time when your questions turn into confidence, sparks grow into flames, and all those glowing embers in your heart start telling you… it’s time to fall in love again.


The Book of Awesome has been on bestseller lists for 92 weeks and is now available in Japanese and Portuguese!

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35 thoughts on “#34 When you officially become boyfriend girlfriend

  1. Just start by playing a good old game of kiss tag…if they run like he-dbl- hockey-sticks, you get the hint, but when they stop drop and roll you know they’re on fire for you baby!
    And I now pronounce you luvvas:)

        1. Lovely to see you again, awesome friend! There will be many people WEARING HAPPY FACES, including me. Thx for taking the time :)

      1. Yes – curious minds want to know..

        Did you and thebadguy finally make it official?!?!? :)

  2. Haha I also loved the inner monologue :) Still waiting for this to happen to me… hopefully this year x

  3. I have a lot of invisible spider webs of questions. Maybe that’s why I make dating more complicated. I like this. Wish I experienced this simple-minded kind of dating.

  4. My husband never really asked me out. We just started hanging out to see if we got along since we didn’t really know each other, and things just went from there.
    High school was easy. “You wanna go out with me?” “Yeah, I’d love to!” And that’s that.

  5. unfortunately these days it’s not so much these words that count but more whether you post it on facebook. how worrying when you have to declare publicly to the world before someone else accepts that they’re with you and you alone

  6. The way I see it:
    “When you officially become boyfriend girlfriend”… I salute you Neil, for creatively writing a non-assuming sexuality; subtelly honouring either or…in the name of love.

    *Congratulations on all the well deserved rewards you are receiving in life:)

  7. Oh the agony of phone calls!! I met my husband at a workshop/conference in Boston. We really hit it off, and exchanged numbers with a “call me some time”.

    I called him a couple of days later. It was a bit late and a sleepy woman answered the phone. At this point I was convinced that he was married/living with someone. I had never asked! stupid me… BUT, he had given me his number, so I took a deep breath and left a message for him. He called back the next day and 24 married-years later, we are happy as can be!

    Turned out he was renting a room in a condo with 2 women. Can you say Three’s Company?

    1. Wow, we see a whole other side of you now Mary;)
      Twenty-four years ago, “Come and knock on his door, he was waiting for you…” Awesome!

  8. My friends an I use to pass a note around in class asking the girl to circle the name of the person she wanted to date!
    Way to much fun!

  9. While this is definitely an awesome thing, am I ever glad that it isn’t something that I expect to ever have to go through again. And I definitely think it’s gotten more complicated than I remember.

    Listening to my single friends talk about how they’ve gone on a few dates with someone, and need to figure out what the right amount of time is before texting that person again. Or when they should text vs. call, etc. It always strikes me as very odd – they seem to like each other, but need to make sure they “play it cool”, and only send a low key text after 3 or 4 days, or some such nonsense.

    As a completely unapologetic romantic, I love the fact that I can just tell me wife how much I love her at least a few dozen times a day (at a minimum!), without worrying that I should’ve waited a few days to text her about it instead. :)

  10. “…Just after you think that nothing’s happening, it’s happening now for sure.”

    What a beautiful line. I’ve been keeping up with this blog for months now and never felt so compelled to comment! This, like so many others, really hit home. One of my
    Mom’s quotes regarding relationships is that ‘When things are right, they stay right.’ So very true. God bless this site and all those who maintain it— we need all the positivity we can out here! :)

  11. It’s now official: 1000 Awesome Things is the most Awesome blog because it contains the iconic pic of Cusack from Say Anything! (I’ve always loved the blog, but that was a subjective assessment; with this pic, it’s now a completely objective assessment to call it the bestest ever!)

  12. Reading this post makes me even more grateful that I’m married! Anyone thinking about cheating and/or divorce should have to read it. I bet it would change a few minds at least.

  13. Happened to me yesterday!!!! Thank god I’m still in middle school so “will you go out with me” is the only question that rises! :)

  14. This was never really a problem for us, what with our… unique circumstance, but it was still pretty funny to tell people we were official and see the reactions. 8) Great piece! (Read the book in my school library, by the way. Absolutely love it- congrats on having it translated!)

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