First off, remember that being someone’s boyfriend or girlfriend does not mean you have to marry them or stay together forever. That will come up. For now, calling someone a boyfriend or girlfriend can be wonderful as well as scary; it’s normal to feel that way when you take that step!
While there is no exact science behind it, a generally accepted rule is that someone becomes a boyfriend or girlfriend after they have spent a lengthy amount of time with the other person and finds that the person not only is fun to be with and values their partner for who they are, but genuinely cares about the other person.
What are some positive experiences you have had with the other person? What made these times positive? Do you see yourself having more with them?
Have you been tested by a tough time and made it together? Have you worked through problems without blaming each other? Have you learned more about the other person and been able to grow beyond negative experiences? Have you felt supported and cared for? Have you given support?
Do you feel valued and respected for who you are? Do you let them express themselves as they want to? Are you able to discuss your relationship boundaries and change them together? Do you both feel like you contribute special parts of your personality to the relationship?
Do the qualities about the other person that first attracted you still matter? Are you still enjoying learning new things about them? Do you still get excited when you think about seeing them? Do you plan your next date way too early before the one you are on is even finished? Do they still laugh at your silly jokes? Do you still look past that one annoying thing they do and see everything else that makes you so happy?
That’s a lot of questions! Fortunately, if you have answered yes to most of them, it’s a great sign you’re on your way to being able to take that next step to being boyfriend and girlfriend.
Remember! Deciding to call someone a boyfriend or girlfriend should feel GOOD and you should feel confident and SAFE with your decision. Feeling forced or pressured is NOT a sign of a healthy relationship! No relationship is decided by one person. You BOTH need to agree. If the other person says “no”, they may need more time to decide because they are overwhelmed in the moment. You can feel upset, but do not take it out on them! How would you react if you were the one who was asked? Don’t give up, keep calm, and try again after spending more time together.
Congratulations! You did it!
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Bragman, P., Mercer, G., & Barnes, C. (2010). Talking About Sex and Relationships: The views of young people with learning disabilities. Retrieved September 24, 2015.
Atwood, T. (2009, February 20). Romantic Relationships for Young Adults with Asperger's Syndrome and High Functioning Autism. Retrieved September 18, 2015.
Thomas, A. (2014, April 2). Relationship and romance tips for people with disabilities. Retrieved September 19, 2015.
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