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How To Have The “Relationship Talk”

Dating & Relationships / January 5, 2015

You’ve been dating someone special for a while now, and it’s definitely going somewhere. In fact, it’s going so well you’ve lost interest in the other guys you were maybe dating. You’re telling your girlfriends about him and you stop just short of calling him your boyfriend because … is he your boyfriend yet? And if you’ve stopped dating other guys, has he stopped dating other women, too? Lady, it’s time to Define The Relationship — also known as the “what are we” talk. And it’s not as hard as it seems.

1. Feel out to see if you’re both ready. Do you find yourself wondering what the status of your relationship is? Does it feel natural to think of him as your boyfriend? What about him — is he spending more and more time with you, making plans in advance? Has he bought you a toothbrush to keep at his apartment? (That’s when I knew.) Has he introduced you to friends or family? Are people starting to ask you if you’re a couple? Do you like the idea of both of you as a couple?

How To Have The "Relationship Talk"

2. Find the right time. Right after sex is not one of those times, okay? Pick a moment (other than that, or during sex) when you’re both feeling relaxed and can focus on each other for a few minutes without being interrupted. I think one of your homes is better than in a public place, too. Also, don’t be drunk. Like, maybe don’t drink at all for this conversation, even if you’re nervous.

3. Keep the conversation light. Don’t make it a heavy thing — keep the tone upbeat and fun as much as possible. You’re not discussing your will with your lawyer.

4. Start with a positive opener. Notice something. “This is the best weekend we’ve spent together, and this is the third one in a row, too!” Bring up something you do together that seems to indicate that you’re, you know, headed into relationship territory. Whatever you do, don’t start with WE NEED TO TALK.

  1. Then say what this means to you. You’ve noticed you’re spending more time together, you’re enjoying that — you really like him! And you want to continue getting to know him. How does he feel about that?
  2. Listen to what he says. Does he agree? What does he add to the conversation? Listen to what he’s actually saying, not what you want to hear him say.
  3. Only at this point do you bring up exclusiveness. If it really, truly sounds like he’s in there with you on this relationship thing, then take it to the next level. You might say, “I shut down my OK Cupid account because I’m just not interested in meeting anyone else now.” Or, “I’ve started turning down dates with other guys because I’m having so much fun with you.” Again, see how he responds to that news.
  4. And take it from there. If he doesn’t say he’s going exclusive, too, don’t panic. It may mean he’s just not there yet. You may way to give it a couple more weeks — but not too much more time. If he admits he’s stopped seeing other people, too (this happens, ladies, I swear!) great. You’ve got a thing — have fun!

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