How to define the relationship, since you know they won’t do it first

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How to define the relationship, since you know they won’t do it first

Make them think it was their idea

Does dating feel like it's getting longer? Like how are we all dating people for 10 years? What happened to defining the relationship? If we're going on three months and still have absolutely no idea what's going on, it's probably time to split, right?

Well, maybe. Or maybe we just need to get more comfortable making moves to DTR sooner rather than later.

Do not even think about doing it over text

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If you're going to have the defining the relationship talk over text, you can't be mad when your partner suddenly decides to have the we should break up talk over text. The temptation is real and understandable — why risk being turned down face to face, when you could avoid the embarrassment and hide behind a screen? But there are two other factors at play: A) Should you really be defining the relationship if you're that confident they're going to turn you down? B) Shouldn't a part of them already know this conversation is coming?

It the same reason — on a way smaller scale — you wouldn't propose to someone you haven't spoken to about marriage previously. Usually, if you're deciding to commit to something or someone, there's already a concrete foundation of trust and acknowledgment there.

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Try easing them into it

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This might sound like a cop out, but if you haven't previously hinted at a future together, like I mentioned above, now would be a good time to test out the waters. A really fool-proof way to do this is by posting about the person you're seeing on social media without asking them first. You don't want to be weirdly romantic and include love lyrics in the caption, or hashtags like #bae, but a cute photo of the two of you together will get the idea across without seeming desperate.

If they are upset with you about it, or don't seem responsive, then you know they aren't even close to ready to define the relationship. If they like it, text you something cute/funny about it or comment, then they're probably on board as well.

Try 'accidentally' slipping a title in

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So this might not be the most mature way to go about defining the relationship, but it's definitely the easiest! We've all done it before — accidentally said I love you while we were sleeping with someone or something similar. And sometimes our friends do it for us — referring to someone as our BF/GF when we haven't actually referred to one another as that yet. So, you have two options here, you can either slip 'boyfriend' or 'girlfriend' into casual conversation with them, or you can get one of your very loyal friends to do it for you.

I suggest the friend path, because then if it goes horribly wrong, at least you weren't the one who said it, you know?

Make them think it was their idea

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This isn't a direct tactic as much as a tip, but when it comes down to it, nobody wants to be the first one to suggest a relationship. There's something about it that makes you feel like you're more invested than they are, even though that's usually not the case. However, if you plant the idea in their head as a means of getting them to suggest it, everyone wins! This can be done in a number of ways, including, upping your mentions of your future together, buying tickets for something a few months down the line, or suggesting they come to dinner with your parents when they're in town next week.

Basically, suggest anything couples would do, and see how they react. If they are suddenly busy or aren't sure when they'll be around, they probably aren't as into it as you think.

If you don’t want to be committed, don’t define the relationship

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This is something you probably hadn't though of, because you were so concerned with whether or not they would want to commit to you. It's the same way we become obsessed with people after going on a single date with them, just because we want to prove to ourselves someone likes us and wants to see us a second time. But a lot of times, we didn't even enjoy the first date that much to begin with. A lot of times, we're just obsessed with knowing how the other person rated it.

Chances are you've been seeing this person for a while and know how you feel about them, but DTR is a huge step, and it's not something anyone should dive into without serious thought. Are you sure you can commit to this person? Are you sure you even want to? Or are you trying to prove to yourself that they want to commit to you? If you're down with the idea of (potentially) never seeing another dick again — if this maybe even excites you — jump right in. The water is warm.

Remember that you have absolutely nothing to lose

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It probably feels like you have a lot to lose in bringing up a relationship with someone you've only been dating up until now, but if you're a few months into spending time with someone, and bringing something like this up is going to end this time together, they were never going to be in a relationship with you to begin with. There is absolutely no point in wasting any more days in relationship purgatory, when you can have a definitive answer right this moment.

The only thing you might lose is them, but is it really a loss if they didn't think you were worth a little title?

Give them time, but don't wait around forever

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If you're really going to do this thing, you have to be prepared for them to potentially tell you they aren't ready, or that they need more time to think about it. Even if it's the latter — not a straight out denial — it'll probably hurt. However, just because a relationship is something you've been thinking about, doesn't mean it's something they've put a ton of thought into. And, like I said, people should always put thought into committing to a relationship before doing so. Saying they need time to think about it is not necessarily a bad sign, it means they care enough about you to put though into whether or not they can really commit to you at this time.

That said, DO. NOT. WAIT. AROUND. FOREVER. You do not want to be waiting around for months for them to come to a conclusion. If they take more than a week or so to get back to you about it, take it as a sign to leave. You should not have to be with someone who is not absolutely sure they want to be with you. It is a waste of your time, and their energy.

@carolinephinney

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