In this age of label-aversion, hookup apps, and social-media flirtation (nothing says romance like a DM, right?), few would disagree that dating has become a particularly complicated, exhausting animal. And whether or not you're in a rush to settle down with one person, the oh-so-common gray area between "just friends" and "significant other" can breed about a million awkward moments.
If just thinking about the possible messiness is making you seriously consider a tranquil life of romance-free solitude, hold a beat. While there's no official rulebook for handling this not-quite-defined period — full of questions about how to introduce one another to friends or how to explain why your purse is filled with AZO and your sex life has to halt for a few days — there are some ways to make your situation a bit less stressful. Read on for two dating coaches' advice on handling the conversations that come before the are-we-or-aren't-we talk, and stave off self-imposed hermithood for at least another day.