Published on February 12th, 2011 | by thevyne1
The “Relationship Talk”: When & How to Have it
If there’s one thing you can set your watch by its that after a couple few months of dating, someone will want to have the dreaded relationship talk, also known as the “where is this going- are you dating other people-I’m getting tired of waiting” talk. Generally, it’s us women who initiate the relationship talk because we tend to know fairly quickly (sometimes too quickly) if this is someone we want to try being exclusive with. It’s really no wonder how we get to the proverbial “fork in the relationship road” given all the daydreaming and talking we do with one another about what our children will look like with this person, what type of husband/father they will be, what quality of life we will have and swapping out last names. Men on the other hand…not so much. Rarely are they daydreaming about their relationship future. Not to say that they don’t think about it or want it for themselves, but it’s a pretty safe estimation to say that they think about it way less often than women do.
My theory is that women are more resilient when it comes to bouncing back from getting our heart broken. As such, having the “relationship talk” and plunging into a relationship is not as scary (emphasis on “as”) to us as it tends to be to men. Particularly if it’s a man who’s had his heart broken before. Men tend to be a bit more cautious and need more time than women to decide to commit themselves.
So when is the right time to have the “where is this relationship going” talk? My advice, don’t have it any earlier than 3 months, depending on how much time you and your new found partner spend together. Use this first 3 months to really get to know each other. Would you drive a car off the lot without test-driving it first? Of course not. So give yourself and your partner, ample time to test-drive before making a decision to buy. Whether you end up “leasing & trading in later” or “leasing with an option to buy”, you need not rush the decision up front.
If you’re at the 3-month mark (or longer) and it feels right to have this “talk”, here are a few tips to keep in mind as you prepare:
No smoke signal! – Forewarning your partner about having the “talk” only creates more stress. Likewise, starting your first sentence with “we need to talk…” is a double no-no. Try something more subtle like, “I was thinking about us the other day and…”
Timing is everything! – Its safe to say that starting a deep conversation with someone who just got off work, is stressed about something else, or is getting ready to go somewhere is not a good move. You want their undivided attention, so be thoughtful about when you choose to bring up the talk.
No Piling On! – This means if you’re in the midst of arguing about something else don’t use it as an opportunity to say “and another thing…where the hell is this relationship going anyway?!” It’s sure to go nowhere fast after that.
Drama Free! – Do your best to have a positive attitude and approach to the talk. If you lace the talk with a lot of complaints, crying, comparisons or ultimatums, you’ll put him on the defense.