When Is The Right Time To Ask If He Wants A Relationship?
I’ve been dating someone for about a month now, and I’m wondering when is the right time to have The Relationship Talk? I want to know where this is going, and I don’t want to keep seeing him if he’s not looking to turn this into a commitment.
On the other hand, I don’t want to scare him away by coming across as needy or serious too early. Or maybe he already sees this as a relationship, but he just hasn’t said so yet? I don’t know. It’s confusing!
Should I bring up that I want a relationship? Or just wait for him to bring it up first?
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Oh yes, I remember that feeling! Being into someone enough to want to start something serious, but emotionally stuck in limbo, wondering if their head is in the same space. It’s an unsettling place because on the one hand your heart is already invested and you don’t want to lose something that seems so good.
But on the other, you want to save what’s left of your feelings if he’s not ready to commit.
And then, what if he does say that he’s not ready to commit yet? Do you stay and hope he gets there? Or move on before you invest more emotion and time? Sometimes this talk can feel like you’re stuck between a rock and a hard place.
So how do you clarify all this, hopefully in a way that brings him in instead of pushing him away? Well, here’s the thing; your future partner shouldn’t be put off by your willingness to be upfront about your desires and intentions, and by being transparent about your goals you’re likely to get exactly what you want faster.
So first, I’m going to give you the script for this super important conversation.
Then, I’m going to tell you the ideal time to have this conversation, in case he’s not on board with you, and you have to start all over again.
Ready? Here’s what you say: “Hey Joe, I just want to say, I’m not telling you what to do, and you’re free to do what you want. I just need to let you know that while I’ve been having a lot of fun with you, I’m actually looking for a long term partner to start a life with. What about you?”
This opening is super important for a lot of reasons. Starting with letting him know that you’re not trying to control him helps you make sure he doesn’t go on the defensive. Because a man who feels defensive usually doesn’t hear what you’re saying. So make it clear that you’re not telling him what to do, you’re simply letting him know what you want.
Following that up with a question that lets him speak his mind gives you an opportunity to understand where he’s at, and you want that. As scary as clarity is sometimes, we need it to make the decisions that are right for us.
Be sure to be what I call a word nerd when he answers. If he hems and haws, stalls, stumbles, and seems unsure in any way, that right there is your answer.
A man who’s into you and wants something long term isn’t afraid to let you know.
I know it’s scary to put all this on the table, but I often say fear is the most expensive emotion you’ll ever have. And when it comes to dating one of the big costs of fear is the time you’ll lose on the wrong person.
And you know as well as I do if you’re too afraid to speak your mind you end up staying in the wrong relationships for too long.
Which means that while you’re tied up with someone that you’ll later realize is Mr. Non-Committing you’ll have missed opportunities to find someone who’s actually looking to settle down with Wonderful You.
Typically, the first few dates are the ideal time to have the conversation about what you’re out there dating for.
Are you both looking for a long term relationship? Or just a roll in the hay? This conversation especially counts if the chemistry is there, you see long term potential, and want to see if this can develop into a committed relationship. Because if you’re seeing all that early on and let yourself fall for someone who isn’t looking for a relationship yet, the longer this lasts the more your heart is in trouble.
Why? Because chances are if he entered this with the intent of never committing, he’ll be leaving with the same mindset, no matter what you say or do.
The thing is, I don’t want you to fall for someone who’s only going to end up saying “Oh… Well I’m actually not ready for a relationship right now. See, it’s taking me a while to get over my ex and I’m really busy with work… But you’re really awesome and I’d love to be friends with you.”
That’s when you get hurt and start fuming that guys are assholes. They’re not. You just picked someone who wasn’t ready for a relationship yet.
Think the first date is too early to ask where this is going? Consider this: You know if you’re dating just to fool around, or if you’re dating to find that long term partner.
So does he.
So he deserves to know what you’re thinking, doesn’t he? And you certainly deserve to know what’s on his mind, too.
We all go through phases when it comes to relationships.
Sometimes we just want some no-strings-attached fun fun, and sometimes we’re past that phase and looking for someone to settle down, buy a home, and start a family with. Those are two distinct and very different mindsets, but when it comes to finding someone to share either of those phases our behaviors look very much the same. Meet someone we’d like to get together with and see if it works out.
The burning question always is, are they on the same page? My question back to you is, why guess?
When it comes to finding your long term romantic partner you want to vet twice. Once for mindset, and then for compatibility.
Is he a selfish, short term thinker, AKA a guy? Or is a generous, long term thinker, AKA a man?
Knowing where their head is at before you get involved means you can focus on males who match your mindset, then vet again for that perfect fit.
And yes, it does go both ways. If you’re just having fun, and are in girl mode, then you want to play with guys because you’re both on the same page. But if you’re in woman mode, then you want to be sure you’re going to kiss a man, not a guy.
So have the conversation the next time you see him.
If you “scare him away” ask yourself, what exactly did you scare off? Someone who wasn’t looking for the type of relationship you are? Someone who didn’t feel he saw enough compatible traits and values to pursue anything more than a casual fling?
If that’s the case aren’t you better off not being tied down to this guy? So you can find a man who’s looking towards the future the same way you are, and sees you in his plans?
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Whatever you do, don’t think you know what’s going on in his head unless you ask directly.
Assuming is how we end up spinning in relationships that go nowhere, because guys just looking for something casual avoid bringing up the topic of commitment. They know the moment you’re certain they’re not leaning in for the long term you’re going to start thinking exit strategy, and they’ll have to get to work finding their next fling.
And don’t play what I call “The Hoping Game”, where you hope the time, energy, and expenses you invest will pay off, turning him into the committed man you’re looking for. Because meanwhile, he may be hoping you won’t ask before he loses interest in having more sex with you.
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Ideally, you’d have this conversation within the first couple of dates, and definitely before kissing.
Why before kissing? Because (for most of us women) kissing creates the chemical that bonds us to someone, and if we’re not clear about he is or what he wants, kissing creates a lot of confusion.
The rush of chemicals released when we kiss imitate drugs like Meth and Ecstasy in our brains, and we feel so warm and fuzzy and excited it’s hard to separate these induced feelings from reality.
Are you falling for him because you know enough to be falling for shared values and awesomeness? Or are you being swept along by your body’s flush of warm, tingling, happy biological responses to affection?
If you haven’t taken the time to get to know each other before that first kiss takes place, and haven’t straight up asked where he is in his search for love or affection, no wonder you’re confused.
And confusion sucks, doesn’t it? It can paralyze because you’re afraid one step in the wrong direction will blow everything up and maybe ruin a great thing. But if he’s truly into you, clarity won’t ruin anything.
So lay out your desires without demanding he meets them.
You’re just letting him know what you’re looking for, then giving him the freedom to choose. If he’s looking for something serious he’ll appreciate meeting a woman who’s honest about herself, and if he’s not he’ll move on and leave you free to find a man who’s already on the same page.
But you have to shed any fear of letting the wrong person go.
So how do you have that conversation on a first, second, or third date? Simple. Here’s your script:
“I really like you! (Insert genuine compliments here and touch touch touch. Doesn’t matter what you say, it’s your touch that tells him you like him)… You’re fun to be with, so funny and attractive, and I love how easy it is to talk to you.
“I need to tell you, I’m not looking for just flings anymore. I’m at that point where I’m looking for a long term relationship. So I’m not going to kiss someone I don’t know because I really want to be sure I’m making the right choice next time.
“How about you? Where are you at?”
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What all this does is tie your behaviors with your intent.
Listen, if all you want is fun fun with no intent for a long term relationship right now, then go have fun! I seriously have absolutely nothing against that.
But if what you want is a committed relationship and you’re wondering if this might be the one, not kissing for three months means guys who say they want a commitment but really don’t, move on.
This leaves you free for men who are looking for a relationship and feel you’ve got potential together.
And you know what? Those men appreciate the time to gain clarity about their compatibility checklist too. See, goes both ways…
Know that they’ll likely protest, because men are designed to be more eager about sex than we are. Think about their fertility cycles, versus ours. Mother Nature made them to be ready when we are!
“I can’t wait three months for a kiss!”
So let them know, “That’s okay! You don’t have to! But I’m waiting to know someone before kissing because I don’t want to make mistakes and waste time. I’m not telling you what to do… I’m just letting you know what I’m doing.”
Then, let the sunshine glint off your beautiful smile like diamond sparkles off a lake.
Actions are what show true intention, not words.
So if your actions say “I’m not playing around” and he stays, his actions are clearly showing HIS intent too. And this is how you avoid confusion when it comes to dating!
Here’s what you can do going forward:
If he’s NOT ready to commit and you’re tired of this scenario, or just want to make sure your next kiss is with someone who’s ready, get a copy of No More Assholes and find someone seriously amazing and ready to commit. He’s out there, I promise.
This is the book that helps you avoid turning little things into big fights, and you’ll love how the advice inside helps you create the Magical relationship you’re looking for. Peaceful, cohesive, passionate, and intimate.
Need help figuring the whole thing out? Let’s work together one on one so you can gain the clarity and peace of mind you need right now. My specialty is your peace of mind, and I’m adept at giving the perspective you need along with the tools you’ll use to start feeling happier, clearer, and on your way to the Love you want ASAP.
Look, nothing sucks more than giving your heart to someone who isn’t giving theirs back.
If this is something you’ve done too often it’s time to break that pattern, and lucky for you, you’ve met the pattern breaker. You’ll use different behaviors so you get a different outcome, and I know how to trigger a man’s brain in all the right spots.
Your happiness depends on your decisions first and foremost, not his, and I’m the Sherpa who carries the burden of knowledge and shows you the way.
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Chantal Heide is an Author and Motivational Speaker, focusing on dating and relationship building. Her books Dating 101, Comeback Queen, Fake Love Need Not Apply, No More Assholes, After The First Kiss, Fix That Shit, Say Yes To Goodness, and Custom Made (available on this website, Amazon, and your favorite online book retailer) help her readers attract the love they’re looking for, regardless of their starting point . View her BOOKS page for more information. Be sure to check out more free advice on Facebook, YouTube, and Itunes, as well as fun tidbits about her life on Instagram and Twitter.