There comes a certain point in casual dating where you realize that you don’t want to be just casually dating anymore. In fact, you found someone that makes you smile, knows just the thing to say to make you laugh, has similar interests, makes you see things from a new perspective (no, not brainwashing), has three horses you can borrow anytime you want, is a master chef, and is downright fun to hang out with. Or, you know, some combination thereof.
Now there’s only one problem: you don’t know how to tell them that you want to be exclusive. Okay, possibly more than one problem because what if Miss/Mister Magnificent doesn’t feel the same way?
Yikes! Panic! Head for the hills! Just kidding.
This is actually not a problem. Follow these tips and tricks on how to have the talk (and deal with the aftermath once the pieces fall where they may):
Timing is everything!
Think about it: do you like having serious conversations as soon as you get home from a long day of work? How about when you’re tired? crank? hungry? just plain in a funky mood? No? Didn’t think so. Neither does your significant other so before you try and sit them down for a talk about your future together (or not together as the case may be), think about the timing. Try to catch them in a good mood or at least wait until they have a chance to relax with you for a bit.
Location! Location! Location!
It’s everything. Or a least a big part of everything. You want a quiet atmosphere for this conversation –you do want to be able to hear each other, right? Ideally, this is a conversation to be had when the two of you are by yourselves (even if that just means by yourselves at your table in a restaurant). This is not a conversation to be had at a dance club or on a group outing.
Get to the point!
Don’t dance around the topic once the timing is right. Just tell them what you want to talk about and where you stand on the matter.
“I really like the way things are going with us. I’m not quite sure where you stand on the matter, but I would like to talk about being exclusive.”
Or something like, “I’ve enjoyed getting to know you better, but I think we’d be better off as friends,” if you feel the opposite way.
There. You said it. Go you.
Give them time to think!
You’ve had all day (or even longer) to think about this conversation. You knew exactly when this conversation was going to happen. You’ve thought out how you were going to bring it up, what you would say, what they would say in response, ten other things they could possibly say in response, how you’d feel about any possible answer they could give, how you’d react, what you’d name your future puppy…
You get the idea: You put a lot of thought/ prep-work in. Your significant other did not have the same opportunity, so don’t be surprised or offended if they don’t reply right away. This is a big decision and, if anything, you should be grateful that they are treating it as such. That’s not to say it isn’t a good sign if they reply right away saying they would love to be exclusive with you (because obviously that’s good), but it is reasonable for someone to need some time to think. Grant them that.
Let them talk!
Now that they have had time to think about what they want to say, you need to let them talk (duh). What might not be as obvious –because it’s usually subconscious—is that you actually need to let them say everything they need to say. Don’t interrupt them. Don’t question them. Don’t make faces to show your disdain. Just let them talk.
So the two of you are on the same page
Congrats! The two of you can take it from here!
(Worried you can’t? Check out some of our other advice at https://heyyapp.wordpress.com/category/articles-and-advice/)
So the two of you are NOT on the same page
Bummer. However, you need to stay calm and collected. Find out why they are not interested in being exclusive with you. Does it have to do with timing? Were they just hoping for something casual? Do they think you have cooties? Do they think the two of you would be better as friends then as romantic partners? Knowing the why is just as important as knowing yes or no. It tells you whether things are ever going to work out the way you want them to (maybe they think three dates is too soon to commit and would feel more comfortable after date seven or date ten) or if you should part ways now because you two are on very different pages (they want casual and you want serious).
Whatever the case may be, knowing why is important in moving forward –whether it is as a member of a romantic partnership or if you are back to taking the world by storm on your own.
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