Friday, December 17, 2010

Having "The Talk"

Sometimes, starting a new relationship can be more frustrating than perpetual singledom.

Obsession climbs to new heights, and so much feels open to interpretation. Is he seeing other people? Should you be? When is he going to start calling you his girlfriend? Should you ask?

We’ll address dtr (defining the relationship) first.

Simply put, it’s never something you should bring up. Nothing’s less sexy than starting a conversation with, “We need to talk…”

The problem with dtr is that it makes you look insecure and needy, like you can’t be happy or satisfied until you have a label. Who would you rather spend time with—a guy who’s cool and funny and laid back, or a guy who asks you to be his girlfriend on the first date?

And at the end of the day, a label means nothing. He could call you his girlfriend and spend his business trips macking on everything with a vagina, or he could insist that you go out to dinner with five of his friends before he’s started using titles.

The way he acts is much more important, and if he’s taking you out, calling to check in, and doing things that make you happy, it’s heading in the right direction.

And whenever one person tries to dtr, it automatically gives the other person the upper hand. The person looking for a title is going to seem more invested, more eager, and more interested in the other person. Why not give yourself the upper hand by waiting for him to initiate the proceedings?

OK, you say, but what if he’s seeing other people?

This is a very distinct possibility, especially at the beginning of a relationship. If he’s dating, it probably means he’s trying to meet as many women as possible, because most relationships don’t work out.

At a certain point, monogamy becomes the expectation, but that point is different for every person. You probably have crossovers you wouldn’t like to admit to in your past, but having a conversation isn’t the solution.

If he’s still seeing other people 6 months in, it’s probably not because you didn’t have “the talk”—it’s because he’s probably not that interested in monogamy in the first place. And a guy who’s still dating after half a year probably isn’t acting like your boyfriend or inviting you home to meet his parents.

That’s why it all goes back to actions. If he’s behaving in a manner that’s deserving of your affections, return his calls and accept his invitations. If he’s not, stop making plans with him.

And if you really want him to start calling you his girlfriend, the best thing you can do is act like he’s not your boyfriend. Introduce him to people as your “friend.” Don’t let your friends say, “I’ve heard so much about you.” Let him jump in and say, “Actually, I’m her boyfriend” or confront you about it later.

It might be that the dtr conversation hasn’t even crossed his mind. But when you do things like call him “my friend Derrick,” you’re forcing him to think about the issue.

1 comment:

  1. omg. the DTR is the worst, or maybe the best... depending if you want one or not.
    I like your whole justification that you just call the guy your friend until he says something.