When to Have the Relationship Talk
When you liked a girl in high school, you simply asked her to be your “girlfriend”. As you get older, labeling a relationship becomes a bit more complicated.
People handle relationships in very different ways. The moment you become romantic or sexual with someone, there’s always a possibility for either one of you to get hurt. But, you can take precautions to minimize this risk by being respectful and most of all, honest.
Guys are often too scared to be completely truthful with a girl they’ve just started dating. However, shying away from the subject doesn’t make it go away. It takes guts, but coming clean about what you’re looking for in a relationship will get more difficult the longer you put it off.
Whether you want it to be monogamous or no-strings-attached, a girl deserves to know. So how and when do you bring up “the talk” with a woman you’re seeing?
Before you’ve been intimate
There’s no need to label what you are before anything physical has happened, unless she specifically brings it up. You don’t know what she wants and she might not know herself, either. Sex is a major emotional investment for women and it’s a critical part of deciding what they’re looking for with a certain guy. You might even change your mind as well once things progress.
If she doesn’t talk about relationship status before hooking up, go with the flow. She’s an adult and can speak her mind if it’s a serious concern. Many times if you bring it up when she’s not worried, you’ll kill the mood with awkward pressure on her. I’m not advocating being deceitful, just take it a step at a time.
Of course, if she brings up “the talk” and wants to know prior to sex, be 100% open about your intentions. You never want to lead a woman on — it only ends in heartbreak and causes more problems.
After you’ve been intimate
If you’re hooking up, it’s better to be upfront sooner than later. A woman appreciates you clearly expressing your feelings and what you really want. This is especially important when it’s obvious that you two are on different wavelengths.
Let’s say you want something non-exclusive. If she openly tells you she doesn’t want to see any other guys, disabled her OKCupid account, or wants to hang out alone consistently, she doesn’t have an open relationship in mind.
Conversely, let’s say you want something serious. If she only hangs out with you for sex, doesn’t communicate with you during the day, or talks about other guys she’s going out with, she’s probably not looking to settle down with you.
These situations need to be addressed before it’s too late. There’s no need to be intense about it — it should be a light conversation. Don’t be aggressive with, “Well what are we?” And don’t be dismissive with, “I really can’t handle a girlfriend right now.” Let her know how you feel and what your expectations are in a respectful way. Here are some examples:
You want something exclusive
“I’ve done the whole dating around thing before and I’m looking for something more. I want to find a girl that I can share something great with.”
You want something casual but are open to the idea of more
“I have an amazing time with you and I want to keep seeing each other. But, I’m not ready for something serious just yet. I want to take it one day at a time and see where things go.”
You want something casual with no plans of settling
“I have an amazing time with you and I want to keep seeing each other. But, I’m not looking for anything serious at this point in my life and I don’t want to lead you on.”
Listen to what she has to say and see where she stands. She’s either going to be cool with it or not, and you’ll have to deal with her decision in an adult manner.
You’d be surprised at how accepting women are when you don’t pull any punches and act like a gentleman. When I casually dated for three years, I was honest with my intentions with every single girl. On the rare occasion that our expectations didn’t align, no drama ever resulted from it. Actually, I’ve even had girls thank me for being considerate enough to let them know the truth.
And when I first met my girlfriend, I told her I just wanted to “take it a day at a time”. She felt the same way and we let the relationship flourish naturally. Four months in we both knew how we felt, and it was a no-brainer to make it exclusive.
No matter what you’re looking for, honesty is the only policy.
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