Moving from just friends to lovers
You have been talking online for a while, and you feel it is time to take the next step. Everything seems perfect. You get along great, your dates are always epic, and you can truly see this girl or guy in your future. However, no matter how well you match your approach to the relationship defining conversation may either make or break your bond.
A DTR (define the relationship) talk is something that many people avoid. However, its value when it comes to creating stronger and more stable relationships cannot be ignored. The important thing is to handle the matter delicately and maturely. If you have no idea where to start in this case, here are a few tips that will come in handy.
How to handle the DTR conversation
Timing is everything
Defining the relationship is something you need to find the perfect time for. If you do it too early, it might seem like you are rushing things. On the other hand, if you wait too long, then you might end up getting too comfortable and simply never doing it at all. There is no set time as every relationship is different but a few weeks to a month would be a great option to consider.
Do not force or get forced into the conversation
While timing is very important you both need to be on the same page for it to work. Maybe you or your partner is not ready to settle down and needs a little more time before making such a big decision. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this. If either of you is hesitant, then you should have time to get your head in the game.
There is no right or wrong status
There is a common misconception that DTR talks should always lead to committed and exclusive relationships. The truth is that you can brand your relationship whatever your heart desires. Whether you want to be friends with benefits or in a polyamorous arrangement, all that matters is that you both agree.
Consider not only your needs but also your partner’s
This conversation gives you a chance to voice your needs. However, do not be so focused on what you want that you forget your partner’s needs. If for some reasons they do not align, you may want to consider a healthy compromise.
Be open and vulnerable
The conversation is likely to seem very formal and awkward at first. However, do not let this hinder you from opening up. Let your partner know exactly how you feel about them and the relationship. This vulnerability is very important for a successful DTR talk.
Make it an open conversation and not a Q&A
One of the biggest mistakes you can make when handling this conversation is treating it like a question and answer session. Questions are of course inevitable, but they shouldn’t take up the bulk of the communication. So stick to the “I feel…” and “what do you think…” formats, and you should be good.
Include your hard limits and non-negotiables
Most people focus only on their needs and expectations while having the ‘define the relationship’ conversation and completely ignore hard limits. Later on, these issues that you failed to mention start to crop up and could spell doom for your relationship. Instead of exposing yourself to the risk of being caught off guard, make sure to express what you are not willing to put up within the relationship.
You need to conclude on the same page
Every DTR conversation needs to end with a definitive description of where the relationship stands. If someone random stopped and asked you what you are after you would have a one statement answer and “It’s complicated” is not it. If you are not on the same page about things like expectations, you may have to take a break and figure things out separately.
The DTR talk is one that you should have during your interactions with your significant other. It is the perfect way to increase the chances of getting what you want from the relationship. So do not shy away from it. It might seem a little awkward at first, but you will feel a lot more settled and at peace when you have it.