Adult version of "going steady": this means sexual exclusivity, a standing date on weekends, sometimes living together, and, often, the bestowal of a small token of jewelry (ask your local Diamond Emporium for a "ring of intent"). Distinguished from an actual engagement by an absence of public ritual, and the assurance that one's respective parents won't weigh in if things break down: men like it because it gets them off the hook, and women like it because they can get to feel like they're "almost married" without having to explain the situation to their mothers.

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