For example, when the term "girlfriend" is used by a girl or woman about another female in a non-sexual, non-romantic context, the two-word form "girl friend" is sometimes used to avoid confusion with the sexual or romantic meaning; however, this is not a rule.

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This is a tricky situation to be in, because you want to figure out how she feels without jeopardizing your friendship in the process.

But if you play your cards right, you may be able to turn your girl friend into a girlfriend in no time.

Starting around the time of the Civil War, courtship became a private matter for couples.

A similar, but not equivalent, concept is the more ambiguous "lady friend" – a companion of the female gender who is possibly less than a girlfriend but potentially more than a friend.

It notes that the lack of proper terms often leads to awkward situations, such as someone becoming upset over not being introduced in social situations to avoid the question.

Both forms of "girlfriend" and "girl friend" are used by different people to mean different things.

With differing expectations of sexual mores, the term "dating" can imply romantic activity whereas simply using "friend" would likely avoid implying such intimacy.

It is essentially equivalent to the term "sweetheart", which has also been used as a term of endearment.

This is normally a short-term committed relationship, where other titles (e.g.