When is a good time to ask if he wants a relationship?
I’ve been dating someone for about a month now, and I’m wondering when is the right time to have the relationship talk? I want to know where this is going… I don’t want to keep seeing him if he’s not looking to turn this into a commitment. On the other hand I don’t want to scare him away by coming across as needy or too serious too early. Or maybe he does already see this as a relationship, but he hasn’t said so yet. I don’t know. It’s confusing!
I know you’re going to want some details, so here they are: We get together a couple times a week and text almost every day. He’s sweet and fun to be with, and we take turns paying when we go out. We started being intimate after our third date, but aren’t super affectionate in public. I’m still unsure if that’s because it’s just how he is, or what.
Should I bring up that I want a relationship? Or just wait for him to bring it up first?
When it comes to starting any relationship (romantic, a work relationship, or even friendships) my advice is to always start off by modeling the tone you’re looking for in the long run – open and honest about who you are and what you want from life.
People shouldn’t be put off by your willingness to be upfront about your desires and intentions from the get go, and by being transparent about your goals you’re likely to get exactly what you want faster. People who aren’t on the same page as you move on, while those who share your values and appreciate your traits stay and become part of your growth. (Click Here to learn more about what soulmates feel like)
This is important to remember when you’re out there looking for the love of your life. I often say fear is the most expensive emotion you’ll ever have, and when it comes to dating one of the big costs of fear is the time you’ll lose. If you’re too afraid to speak your mind you end up staying in the wrong relationships for too long. And when you’re tied up with who you’ll realize is Mr. Wrong you miss opportunities to find someone who’s actually on the same page as you. Ladies, lay your intent out right from the start, I promise you won’t lose out.
A first date is the ideal time to have the conversation about what you’re out there dating for. Are you looking for long term? Or a roll in the hay? This conversation especially counts if the chemistry is there, you see long term potential, and want to see if this can develop into a committed relationship. You don’t want to fall for someone who’s only going to end up saying “Oh… well I’m actually not ready for a relationship right now. See, it’s taking me a while to get over my ex… But you’re really awesome and I’d love to be friends with you.”
Think the first date is too early? Consider this: You know if you’re dating just to fool around, or if you’re dating to find that long term partner. So does he. So he deserves to know what you’re thinking.
We all go through phases in life when it comes to relationships. Sometimes we just want some no-strings-attached fun fun, and sometimes we’re past that phase and looking for someone to settle down, buy a home, and start a family with. Those are two distinct and very different mindsets, but when it comes to finding someone to share either of those phases our behaviours look very much the same. Meet someone we’d like to get together with, and see if it works out.
The burning question is, are they on the same page? My question back to you is, why guess?
Here’s my advice; have the conversation the next time you see him. If you “scare him away” ask yourself, what exactly did you scare off? Someone who wasn’t looking for the type of relationship you are? Someone who didn’t feel he saw enough compatible traits and values to pursue anything more than a casual fling? If that’s the case aren’t you better off not being tied down to this guy? So you can find a man who’s looking towards the future the same way you are, and sees you in his plans?
Don’t think that more time together will equal a deeper commitment either, if you just tiptoe around the subject. What you might not know? He’s already made up his mind about how much he’s willing to commit.
And don’t think you know what’s going on in his head unless you ask directly. Assuming is how we end up spinning in relationships that go nowhere, because guys just looking for something casual avoid bringing up the topic of commitment. They’re hoping they can keep sex coming for as long as possible. They know the moment you’re certain he’s not leaning in for the long term you’re going to start thinking exit strategy, and he’ll have to get to work finding his next fling. I call this “The Hoping Game”, where you hope the time, energy, and expenses you invest will pay off, turning this guy into the committed man you’re looking for. Meanwhile, he’s hoping you won’t ask before he loses interest in having sex with you.
Look, if he’s already made up his mind about what you mean to him it’s best to find out sooner rather than later. Remember, knowledge is power. Know what’s on his mind so you have the power to make the decisions that are right for you.
Have that conversation within the first couple of dates, and definitely have it before kissing. Why before kissing? Because for (most of us) women kissing is very bonding, and if we’re not clear about who this guy is and what he wants with us, kissing creates a lot of confusion.
The rush of chemicals released when we kiss imitate drugs like Meth and Ecstasy in our brains, and we feel so warm and fuzzy and excited it’s hard to separate these induced feelings from reality. Are you falling for this guy because you know enough about him to really be falling for shared values and awesomeness? Or are you being swept along by your body’s flush of warm tingling happy biological responses to touch?
If you haven’t taken the time to get to know each other before that first kiss takes place, and haven’t straight up asked where he is in his search for love no wonder you’re confused. And confusion sucks, doesn’t it? It can paralyze, because you’re afraid one step in the wrong direction will blow up the delicate house of cards you’re describing to me.
So start your dates off on the right foot. Lay out your desires without demanding he meet them. You’re just letting him know what you’re looking for, then giving him the freedom to choose. If he’s looking for something serious he’ll appreciate meeting a woman who’s honest about herself, and if he’s not he’ll move on and leave you free to find a man who’s already on the same page.
So how do you have that conversation? Simple. Here’s your script:
“I really like you! (Insert genuine compliments here and touch touch touch. Doesn’t matter what you say, it’s your touch that tells him you like him)… You’re fun to be with, so funny and attractive, and I love how easy it is to talk to you. I’d love to see where this goes, but I don’t kiss before 3 months because I don’t want to commit to someone I don’t know (science science science! (Read this article on kissing to learn how to lay it down) I need to tell you, I’m not looking for just flings anymore. I’m at that point where I’m looking for a long term relationship. So I’m not going to kiss someone I don’t know because I really want to be sure I’m making the right choice next time. How about you? Where are you at?”
What all this does is tie your behaviours with your intent. Listen, if all you want is fun fun with no intent for a long term relationship right now then go have fun! I seriously have absolutely nothing against that. But if what you want is a committed relationship and you’re wondering if this might be the one, then not kissing for three months means guys who say they want commitment but really don’t mean it move on, while men who are looking for a relationship and think you’ve got potential appreciate the time to gain clarity about their compatibility checklist, too. See, it goes both ways…
Yes, they’ll protest. “I can’t wait three months for a kiss!” So let them know, “That’s okay! You don’t have to! But I’m waiting to know someone before kissing them, because I don’t want to make mistakes and waste time. I’m not telling you what to do… I’m just letting you know what I’m doing.” Then, let the sunshine glint off your beautiful smile like diamond sparkles off a lake.
Actions are what show true intention, not words. So if your actions say “I’m not playing around” and he stays, his actions are clearly showing HIS intent too. And this is how you avoid confusion when it comes to dating!
Chantal Heide is an Author and Motivational Speaker, focusing on dating and relationships. Her books Dating 101, Comeback Queen, Fake Love Need Not Apply, No More Assholes, After The First Kiss, Fix That Shit, and Say Yes To Goodness are available on Amazon. View her BOOKS page for more information. Be sure to sign up for her mailing list to be eligible for free giveaways.