7 Tips on How to Bring Up the Future of Your Relationship.
You’ve been dating and things have been going well but you want to know what direction the relationship is headed. Moving a casual relationship into a committed one can sometimes be tricky.
Maybe you’re eager to start planning your wedding day or maybe you just want to clarify how your romantic partner feels about you.
You might be dating an emotionally unavailable person that needs you to go slowly or they panic that things are moving too quickly.
But if you aren’t sure three months in whether your partner has removed their profile from a dating website, it’s probably past time for “THE TALK.”
Talking about your relationship with your partner will help you to figure out where you stand with each other. Here are some tips to help you naturally ease into a healthy relationship talk.
Talking Points for More Casual Relationships
- Proceed slowly. Rushing into revealing personal information or wanting to see each other exclusively could sabotage your budding relationship if you are still in the early stages of dating. Pace yourself so you can let the relationship unfold naturally and without being forced.
- Give advance notice. You may take your partner by surprise if they’ve been content to let nature take its course. Ask them if it’s a good time to talk about where your relationship is headed. If your partner is freaked out by even the prospect of having a discussion that’s a great indication of where the relationship is headed before you even have the conversation.
- Calculate your risks. You’ll be better prepared if you evaluate the full range of likely outcomes prior to speaking with your partner. If you think that your partner feels less committed than you, urging them to have the discussion won’t make them more committed to you; in fact, it can have the opposite effect. Reminding yourself that you are going to be okay whether they want to be committed to you or not empowers you to handle any response.
If you are dating a commitment phobe, emotionally unavailable person or someone who has relationship OCD, you need to calculate the risk of stressing them out. Many people with relationship OCD make amazing, wonderful partners but pushing too soon pushes them away.
- Think before deciding. It’s easy to want to wrap things up and understand your partner’s commitment level but in emotionally healthy relationships you look past the immediate and ask yourself what you really want. If you really want to be married, is this the person you can see yourself growing old with? If you’re not sure, maybe it’s not such a bad idea to wait a little longer and gather more information prior to asking for any commitment.
- Consider external pressures. Attending weddings and upcoming holidays can put artificial pressure on you that otherwise might not be there for a commitment. Family members can add to the pressure with their well meaning comments, questions and jibes.
It’s usually a good idea to postpone any relationship talk until after the holidays. Decide what you are going to say in advance of events when you know you will be asked about the relationship. A simple “We’re in the getting to know you phase” or “we’re dating” should be all you need to say. Being confident and not allowing external pressure to rush the relationship might actually cause your partner to bring the topic up with you.
- Make contingency plans. You’ll feel stronger and more resilient if you prove to yourself that you can thrive regardless of your relationship status. Lead a fulfilling life while you’re looking to meet your future partner.
- Be Honest. Once you both have agreed to have the conversation, be honest about what you want. It’s okay to express your needs, wants and desires. If it isn’t, then you actually need is to exit this relationship.
If you want to date your partner exclusively than say so. If you want to be married at some point say, “I am looking for a relationship that at some point will eventually lead to marriage. While neither of us are ready to say “I do” I am ready to date you exclusively, I have removed my dating profile online, are you ready to do that as well?”
Listen to not only what your partner says but how they say it and then be honest with yourself about how they really feel, not how you hope they feel. You deserve someone who is as crazy about you as you are about them.
Are you sure that you are genuinely emotionally available and presenting your authentic self? Everyone can benefit from my online course “Becoming Your Emotionally Available, Authentic Self. It’s a crash course in emotional intelligence, self confidence and understanding what you want out of life.