He said, she said: Taking it to the next level

He said

You went and got yourself a girlfriend.

Great. Now what?

Mark Morris, sophomore sport administration major, said the beginning of a relationship is “testing ground – just to see if it’s the right person or not.”

“You take it to the next level,” Morris said. “You start to feel more than friendship toward that person. You get butterflies in the stomach.”

So then there’s expectations, and everyone has a different perception of what being in a relationship actually means. It may or may not get physical right away. You may or may not go out on “dates,” and being “together” may simply be just spending time alone with each other.

Then there’s the affair of meeting everyone else in each other’s lives.

Morris said his friends’ reactions are important to him.

“It depends on if it’s a best friend,” he said. “It would mean a lot because a friend is going to come before a woman. Friends always come before women.”

While Jared Stadden, a graduate student in applied mathematics, said he doesn’t put too much weight on his friends’ opinion about his girlfriends, freshman exploratory major Justin Almon said it’s an important part of any relationship.

“She’s got to know who you really are and who you hang out with,” Almon said.

Meeting parents, however, is a whole different story.

“It’s like another chapter,” Morris said. “You have to see if she’s that person you can take home to mom and dad.”

Adam Ausperk, junior business management major, said he usually waits about a month before he introduces a girl to his family.

“You have to see if it’s going to be something serious first,” he said.

Stadden said there isn’t a “set time” to meet the parents but that it just comes up “after you’ve been together a while.”

But what’s a while?

“I think right away, ‘Does this have a potential for long term?'” said Arthur Neuman, graduate student in applied mathematics.

He said there are no set expectations for each and every relationship, and “it all depends on the situation.”

“When you get to know a person better, what you expect out of the relationship changes,” Neuman said. “You get a better idea of what’s going to happen.”

He said people should just be open and understanding.

“I don’t think people should set very strict expectations for a relationship or people are liable to get hurt,” Neuman said.

Contact student life reporter Adam Griffiths at [email protected]

She said

So your first few dates weren’t complete disasters, and you’re headed to the next level. How do you know he’s ready?

“When he doesn’t talk to other girls, when he’s calling you all the time, when you’re spending time together and it’s more than just friends,” freshman psychology major Chelsea Johnson said.

If it doesn’t work right away, then there’s no point in continuing the relationship, freshman nursing major Jennie Letourneau said. When considering moving forward, some signs point to a successful relationship.

“You can tell the person anything, you’re never embarrassed around them, and if you have a situation, you can go to them with it,” Letourneau said.

Johnson said she knows a relationship is ready to move forward when she feels connected and major problems don’t arise. But she couldn’t imagine a relationship without problems.

Zantofvea Moton, sophomore sport administration major, said the fine line between casual dating and a relationship lies where intimacy begins.

Still, the transition can be tough, especially when getting to know the person and dealing with first-impression expectations.

Freshman nursing major Kacie Jones said the getting-to-know-each-other stage could last up to a year and a half. Only then will she look toward the relationship’s future.

“You just get very close, trying to feel out the territory, seeing if we can stand each other for that long,” she said. “You expect too much when you start dating someone, then after a while you realize you can’t change one another. By then, you know them so well it doesn’t matter.”

When dating in high school, it’s not important to look far into the future, said Erin Ferut, junior Spanish education major. In college, however, the future is closer, so it’s natural to think about marriage. It’s also important to know each other’s parents, she said.

“If he was my boyfriend, he would be comfortable meeting my parents at any point,” Ferut said. “I wouldn’t date someone who wouldn’t be comfortable with my parents.”

Contact student life reporter Theresa Bruskin at [email protected]