So you’ve been spending a lot of time with someone, and it’s gotten to the point where you aren’t sure whether or not you’re dating. Defining the relationship (DTR) can be tricky, since you don’t want to jump into commitment too quickly. However, you also don’t want to let it continue in the gray area for too long.
While it’s nice to get to know someone, go out on a few dates, and learn about them before committing to a relationship, it’s essential to eventually determine what you are, and talk about where you both envision this relationship going. Here are a few things to take into consideration when you decide whether or not it’s time to DTR.
How long has it been since you’ve started dating? Have you been seeing him consistently for two weeks? Two months? While time is relative and decisions based on this can vary for each couple, it’s definitely worth noting that a couple who’s been seeing each other for a few weeks has significantly less pressure to DTR than two people who have been seeing each other for four or five months. Make a mental note of where you want to be in a determined amount of time – if you don’t see this relationship going anywhere by the two month mark, be honest with yourself about that fact and stick to it. Set a time period at the beginning where you know you’ll want to DTR, and don’t deviate from that.
Nature of Relationship
Some relationships move along more quickly than others, and when deciding whether it’s time to DTR, it’s worth stepping back and examining your relationship. Do you spend a lot of time together? Do you see him once a week or four times a week? How comfortable are you with her? Do you act like a couple, or like people who have just started seeing each other? If you’re spending three nights a week at his house and have a toothbrush at his place, but haven’t defined the relationship, it’s probably past due for that and you need to have “the talk” ASAP. It’s evident that you both want to be a couple if you’re spending that much time together and it shouldn’t be a difficult conversation if that’s the case. However, if you’re still going on sporadic dates a few months into the relationship, it might not be time yet.
Have they met your family?
Introducing potential significant others to your family is a situation of great magnitude. Once you introduce someone to your family, they’ll never stop asking about them, so most people definitely take a lot of care when bringing new boyfriends or girlfriends around to family functions. It’s usually difficult to introduce someone to your family without attaching a label to the relationship and if your person has attended a sister’s birthday party, aunt’s wedding, or other family function, it might be time to DTR. Your family won’t stop asking about how he’s doing anyway.
How do you feel about it?
Ultimately, the decision about when to DTR comes down to you and your feelings about where you want to be with your relationship. If it feels right to you, go ahead and have “the talk.” If you still aren’t sure about it, put it off or maybe, reevaluate the relationship completely. If it’s been a while since you’ve started seeing this person but still have no desire to commit to something more, maybe it’s time to break things off. Spending time seeing someone that you don’t see a future with is a waste of your time, and theirs. If you don’t see it going anywhere, know yourself well enough to end things.
Evaluate your relationships, what you want, and timing, and DTR! Approach the subject carefully, with a clear expression of what you want, and be prepared to listen to your partner if they want something different.
With the right attitude and approach, defining the relationship can be an easy and enjoyable experience – who knows, you might walk away from that conversation with a new boyfriend or girlfriend.
Have you had that “defining the relationship” moment before? What was it for you?