Are you or aren’t you? Dating exclusively, that is. You’ve been spending a crazy amount of time together and he makes your heart go boom-boom, but you have yet to have “The Talk” with each other and your relationship status on Facebook still says “Single”. All your friends want to know where things are going with this dude – and to be honest, so do you.
The last thing you want to do is rock the boat or come across as desperate and needy, though, so you’ve resisted raising the subject with him. Besides, isn’t it up to the guy to decide if you’re in a relationship or not?
The answer to that is No. Deciding whether to date each other exclusively is something both you and the guy should have a hand in. If he were even remotely serious about you, the conversation wouldn’t scare him. In fact, he would welcome talking about it with you and might even be relieved that you were the one who brought it
How to ask where it’s going – without chasing him away
It doesn’t have to be a scary conversation, says Vanessa Marin, a sex and relationship therapist from San Francisco. As long as you don’t get worked up about it beforehand, you should be fine. And don’t worry about sounding desperate or needy, either. Nobody’s saying you have to set a wedding date or discuss how many children you’re going to have together. You just want to know if he sees a future with you, and if so, is he ready to talk about how you’re both going to navigate that road together?
The more straightforward you are with bringing up the issue, the better. Vanessa suggests saying something like, “Hey, I know we’ve been seeing each other a lot lately. I just want to make sure that we’re on the same page with where this is going.” If he asks what you’re trying to imply, be honest. Tell him that you like him a lot and can see yourself being with him exclusively, and ask if he feels the same way about you. If he is after something serious or long-term with you, he will say yes, and that should keep the conversation going. If he doesn’t feel the same way, he may or may not be upfront about it, but his response – or non-response – will give you an inkling as to how he’s feeling. And then you can decide if you want to keep seeing him, or move on.
What if he tells you that he isn’t sure about the future but still wants to keep seeing you for the time being? Vanessa says that if being in a committed relationship is important to you then you should definitely stand up for what you want. If he tells you he just needs a bit more time – and seems sincere about it – then you might want to consider sticking around.
Signs he wants a relationship with you
To find out if he’s worth having the “where is this going?” talk to begin with, Vanessa says to look for these top 9 signs, which indicate that he’s serious about you:
1. He wants to know your plans for the future. He’s asked you how many kids you’ve always dreamt of having, where you see yourself living in 10 or 20 years’ time, and whether or not you plan to start your own business. He is interested in your thoughts and dreams for the future because he wants to know if and how he’s going to fit into all of them.
2. He puts as much effort into seeing you as you do him. Does he make plans with you in advance, organise dates or outings, and asks what you’re doing two weekends from now? A guy who is serious about you will make the time for you and ensure that he gets every chance he can to see you. You are not his “back-up” girl for when his main plans fall through, you are always his first choice.
3. He communicates what he feels about you, either verbally or through his actions. For instance, he has come right out and said that he loves being with you, that he likes you, or that you are “awesome” and “cool”. If he is not verbally expressive with his feelings, he has shown you that he’s into you – for example, he’s offered to help you with your chores, encourages you if you’re going through something difficult, or calls you after you’ve enjoyed a night on the town with your friends, to make sure that you got home safe.
4. He’s genuinely interested in your life. He doesn’t just comment on the way you look. He wants to know what you’re like on the inside. He wants to know what your passions are, what you were like as a child, what you like to do with your family and friends, and what that work meeting you had yesterday was about. If you’ve accomplished something, he also wants to celebrate that achievement with you.
5. He wants to know what you feel about him. He might have asked you this outright, or gone about it in a roundabout way, for instance: “So, uh, do you like hanging out with me?” or “What do you think about me so far?”.
6. You’re the first person he calls when he has good or bad news. No explanation is really needed here. This shows that you’re foremost in his thoughts. If he’s happy he wants you to be happy with him, and if he’s sad, he wants to be able to share how he feels with you, and possibly lean on you for support.
7. He’s met your friends – and you’ve met his. If you are important to him and definitely someone that he can imagine having a future with, he will want his buddies to know who you are. And likewise, he wants to be “in” with your circle of friends, because he wants them to know that he’s an important presence in your life.
8. He checks in on you regularly – but not obsessively. He does not take you for granted. So, he might call you during the day just to find out how work is going, or he might want to know if you’ve already eaten. But at the same time, he does not demand that you report your every move to him and respects your space.
9. He wants to know if you're going out with anyone else: This is an important sign because it shows that he wants to be the only guy in your life and is curious about whether or not you agree. In addition, he has indicated that he's not interested in seeing other girls because you're definitely the one for him.
If most or all of these signs are there, then it’s an indication that you’re special to him and that he’s already treating you like his steady girlfriend. In this case, he might be ready for “The Talk”. Good luck, girl!
Once you’ve got your guy, you might discover a few niggling little things about him that you want to change so check out our 8 tips on how to change your man (without him knowing!).