Getting all up on each other regardless of a captive audience can and does happen early on when dating exclusively, but the waning of this practice signifies a more firm relationship.
Perhaps there's some hand-holding and the occasional peck, but you don't have to be touching to feel comfortable with this person while out. We don't mean you feel like you have to ask for permission for anything, because that is creepy and not OK.
In "just dating" things, it's too scary to laugh off the fart sounds belly skin sometimes make while you're boning.
But at this point, y'all are masters of chuckling it off, then getting back to business.
It's complicated, sure, but let's try: When you're just dating, a menagerie of identifying nicknames is totally valid so you can keep Hot Dad straight from Wine Guy, who is very different from Neighbor Dude and Princess Di.
But when things build up to a for real relationship, you might even tell them their original code name, and you two will laugh it off. As the code name dies out, you start referring to this person by their real name when with friends and family. You know, I don't just add every one of my friends' random hookups on Facebook.
"Just dating" isn't necessarily an exclusive arrangement, and includes far fewer expectations yet heaps more coolness.
However, if light PDA (please refrain from dry-humping anywhere but the privacy of your home or car or whatever, guys) feels natural and unforced, you might be in a real-deal relationship.
Nothing spells out insecure more than getting super zealous with handsy practices.
As we know, communication is 100 percent crucial if you want even the whisper of hope of making a relationship stick.
But how do you know you're in a relationship relationship, and not a just dating relationship?