The answer to your question depends very much on how you choose to define that word -- two people may have very different ideas regarding what prerequisites need to be met before that word can be applied! Personally -- even though I'm not certain that it makes any sense for a woman in her 40's to use that word anymore! -- a "boyfriend" would be a man whom I've been dating with increasing frequency over the past few months and with whom I've agreed to have a mutually exclusive relationship. At this point in my life, based on my experiences, I don't think a woman in her right mind really has any business viewing a man as her "boyfriend" until she has something more than just his word as evidence that he's interested in a relationship. In my opinion, I think a lot of women tend to develop an emotional attachment to a man too soon -- and since they want to believe that he feels the same way, they read more into a man's words than is really there. Frankly, unless or until a man asks her for an exclusive commitment, I think it's in a woman's best interest to err on the side of caution and assume that a man is still dating (and quite possibly sleeping with) other women -- and actually, I'm not really in favor of a woman *asking* a man to make a commitment since I've heard many men say that one of the things they hate is being asked to make a decision before they feel ready to make it. In the end, the length of time I'd want to wait before calling a man my "boyfriend" would probably vary depending on how long it took me and the man in question to feel sufficiently comfortable with each other to realize that we wanted to be together exclusively...which in my case would probably be at least three months at the minimum.
- Response by giginyc
, An Alternative Girl, Female, 36-45, Who Cares?