I think the most awkward conversations all people in new relationships have is determining where they stand with each other. Are you monogamous with them? Are you still seeing other people? Talking to someone about your relationship is not only nerve-racking, it’s also terrifying.
You never know what they’ll say. You’ll never know how they feel about where things are going. But you can’t ignore the issue, either. You have to talk about them because if you don’t, you may find out they’re seeing other people while you’re exclusive to them. Save yourself some heartache and just have the talk with them.
Determining the relationship is crucial
You can’t just ignore your relationship status forever. It’s great if you’re a relaxed, go with the flow type of person, but your partner may not be. They may silently be going insane because they’re unsure of where your feelings are in comparison to their own.
Yes, to be fair, if they’re feeling unsure they should definitely talk to you about it. However, not everyone is great at communication. That’s why you should always make sure you can communicate. Because they may not be able to. That way, you’ll be sure of where both of you are at in the relationship. [Read: Is your guy ready for a Facebook official relationship?]
Talking to someone about your relationship can be made easy
Just like any other skill, it takes time to become comfortable talking about your relationship and opening up with someone. It’s difficult to put your feelings on the line, but it’s necessary if you want to maintain a healthy relationship with that person.
Therefore, in order to determine the relationship, you have to follow a few simple steps. These tips will make it much easier to talk to someone about the status of your relationship. They’ll also help make sure you’re on the same page.
#1 Wait until it feels like you’re in an actual relationship. When you’ve only been on one date with someone and don’t know them very well, pulling out a bunch of questions about whether or not you’re in a relationship is a terrible idea. You’re basically jumping to conclusions.
You need to give yourself – and them – the opportunity to see if a relationship can be a reality between the two of you. If you feel as though you’re in a relationship with them and you have fallen into a routine with one another, then it’s time for the talk. [Read: 10 signs it’s definitely time for the relationship talk]
#2 Drop hints here and there. Sometimes people don’t know if you even want to be in a committed relationship, so you have to drop them hints to get their gears turning. Ask them to do something in the future. Talk about them being your “plus one” to a big event.
Doing these things plants a seed in their mind and they’ll think more and more about the prospect of an actual relationship with you. This way, when you actually bring up the conversation, it doesn’t seem so unrealistic to them. They won’t be caught so off guard.
#3 Determine how involved you are in their life. The best way you can see if you’re important enough to them to have the conversation about the nature of your relationship is to see how much they integrate you into their life. Meaning, how much of themselves do they share with you?
Have you met their friends? What about their family? Are you accompanying them to events as their plus one? All of these are signs that they want you in their life as something concrete and not temporary. [Read: Tips for meeting the parents for the first time]
#4 Set your expectations early on in the relationship. Don’t wait months before telling someone what you’re looking for. When you’re on the very first date, make your intentions clear. Are you looking for a real relationship or are you just testing the waters with a number of different people?
By doing this, talking to someone about your relationship is a lot easier because they should already have an idea as to where you stand. Make sure to do this early enough that it doesn’t seem like you’re ending things, but late enough that it feels necessary.
#5 Don’t drink beforehand. I know alcohol can make your nerves steadier, but it can also inhibit your ability to communicate effectively. You may also say things when you’re intoxicated that can come across in a negative way to them.
So skip the alcohol. Just remember to take deep breaths if you’re particularly nervous and remember that they’re with you for a reason. They must like you.
#6 Be as casual as possible. Talking to someone about your relationship can be made much simpler if you don’t make it a huge deal. If you’re dramatic about it and make it seem like the most important thing you’ve ever talked about, it can send them into a fit of hysterics.
They’ll get nervous, they won’t know how to react, and it can be really uncomfortable. If you keep it casual and just mention it in passing, they’ll be more likely to tell you how the really feel. [Read: Tips for dealing with a non-confrontational partner]
#7 Call them your boyfriend/girlfriend and see how they react. This is another way you can casually bring up the conversation. Tell them you were talking to your friends about your boyfriend/girlfriend and see how they react to that word.
If they flinch and look away, it could be a sign they’re not okay with you calling them that. They may even say something like, “Whoa! Boyfriend? I don’t know about that.” But if they don’t say anything, it may be because they’re comfortable with the term – and with you using it. [Read: Dating vs. Relationship – 14 signs to know your status]
#8 Think about what you really want from them. You have to do a lot of self-reflecting when talking to someone about your relationship. You can’t just go into it when you’re not sure how you feel, either. Take the time to be certain of your feelings before jumping in to determine the relationship.
#9 Carefully listen to how they respond. Don’t ignore anything they have to say. Even if they start saying something that’s not exactly what you want to hear, listen anyways. You have to take the time to understand how they truly feel before you can formulate a response or reaction. Don’t freak out for no reason. [Read: How to be a better listener in your relationship]
#10 Don’t give them an ultimatum. This is most definitely the worst thing you can to when talking to someone about your relationship. You can’t sit someone down and tell them they have to be with you in a committed relationship or you’re leaving.
You especially can’t do this when you haven’t fully listened to what they have to say. Doing this will only make them freak out and think you’re crazy. If you’ve both said your piece and you don’t want the same things, it’s fair for you to tell them you want more and to then leave. But don’t force them to make a choice.
[Read: The best advice for a fresh relationship]
Talking to someone about your relationship can be tricky because it leaves the both of you vulnerable and unsure. These tips to DTR can definitely help alleviate the pressure so you can get to the bottom of things.
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