Straight talk: there are two phrases that a woman can say that will instill ball-shrinking terror in the heart of every man. The first is “We need to talk.” The second is “Where do you think this relationship is going?”
It’s the dreaded “Defining The Relationship” talk… and nobody ever looks forward to it. The DTR talk has achieved an almost mythical level of terror amongst people – especially men, because it almost always comes at the worst possible moment, and suddenly you have to make decisions that will affect you for the rest of your relationship. For many men, it represents a massive, possibly undesirable, change in the nature of your relationship with this person. Even if you’re actively hoping to be able to move the label from “dating” to “girlfriend”, it’s a conversation that’s rife with anxiety and potential pitfalls. When do you bring it up? Is a month too soon? Is three months too late? What do you do if you say you want to be serious… and she doesn’t? What if you’ve misunderstood the nature of your relationship? Guys always talk about the Overly Attached Girlfriend… but what if you’re the Overly Attached Boyfriend? And just what does it mean when she wants to “keep things casual”? What about if she’s looking “for something serious”? What do you do?
Calm down. The reason that the DTR moment is so terrifying is because we almost always do it wrong. The key to acing the “Defining The Relationship” talk – whether you’re looking to have it or it’s being sprung on you – is to make sure you do it the right way.