Now is the ideal time to have that ‘what are we’ conversation, according to experts
All in or all out
There's nothing more stomach-churning than heading over to someone's house with the intention of offering them an ultimatum.
You need to have the Uber queued up incase they decide to pull out, sunglasses to obscure any emotions on the way home, and a friend at the ready to talk you out of turning back. But if things go well, it could be one of the best conversations you have this year.
Ok people, when you're seeing someone do you have to talk about exclusivity or is it given? When do you bring it up? And how? I'm lost…
— Liz Sklar (@esklar) August 10, 2017
Clinical psychologist Kayla Knopp, at the University of Denver, found in her studies on relationships and commitment that right now — immediately before the holidays — is the ideal time to have that “what are we?” conversation you've probably been holding out on.
At this point, you may have played the chat over 100 times in your head or the cold weather could have you considering it for the first time. But either way, you're not alone. The holiday season can cause a major shift in feelings surrounding romantic status.
If at first your partner seem unsure, Knopp says it's important to not be discouraged even if it takes a few days or weeks for them to come around.
“It’s really unlikely that partners are going to automatically agree about all their expectations,” she says, adding that just because you've been thinking about something doesn't mean they've had the same amount of time to consider it. They may need time to think it through rationally.
IN ORDER TO BE IN A HEALTHY RELATIONSHIP YOU HAVE TO TALK ABOUT THE THINGS THAT BOTHER YOU… EVEN IF YOU AGREE TO DISAGREE.
— ️ (@septicals) November 17, 2017
There’s also an opportunity to be more vulnerable by opening up to your partner, Knopp says, explaining that phrasing that chat as "here's what I want" or "Here's what I don't want" can may make it easier.
Aside from asking someone out for the first time, breaking up with someone or asking them to marry you, there aren't that many nausea inducing conversations that happen over the course of a relationship, but this is one of them.
If they're not on the same page as you, know that doesn't mean they won't ever be. Just don't stick around too long waiting for them to decide.