Mirror Woman: RELATIONSHIPS - Let's Be Serious; after a Handful of Dates with Your New Man, You're Wondering If It's Just a Bit of Fun or Something More Serious. Here's How to Tell When You Are Officially His Girlfriend

Article excerpt

Byline: SARAH IVENS

WHEN DO YOU STOP "SEEING" AND START "BEING"?

THE language of love isn't just pillow talk and pet names. One tiny mistake with your vocab and you're either transported back to being a snogging teen, or your mum's rushing out to buy a new hat.

If he actually asks you to be his girlfriend, try to think of him as sweet rather than childish - and forgive him. But you should never ask him if you can be his girlfriend. He might think you're desperate.

The following are the clearest signs that you're on the cusp of becoming his special friend:

You've been on more than five dates

You've met his friends, but not his family

He lets you buy a few drinks when you are on a date

He starts to tell you a few bad stories about himself

He doesn't know how to introduce you when you're out - suddenly just your name won't do and he certainly won't refer to you as his "friend"

He accidentally uses a baby voice in your presence

He suggests a daytime date

You leave a message for him at work and his colleagues know who you are

SHARING YOUR SEXUAL HISTORY

AS things progress, it's only natural to want to know about each other's exes.

You may be desperate to know how many women he has slept with and how good they were in bed. You may want to know if he's ever been with a prostitute, if he's into anal sex or if he's had a gay experience.

Don't forget, if you pry and he answers he'll expect the same level of honesty from you.

It might be wise to ask general things about how long he dated his ex, if they lived together, why it finished. But not why he fell in love with her, whether he still misses her, and what their favourite sexual positions were.

Tread carefully when he asks about your past sexploits. Be as honest as possible. But we've all had a few dodgy moments, so feel free to omit those from the conversation.

Three-in-a-beds and ugly one-night stands are fun to remember on girls' nights out, but New Bloke might think differently.

Likewise, your post-coital routine with your ex and "your song" are not things he needs to know about.

If you've slept with more than 10 people, feel free to use a little poetic licence. …