6 Rules for Having the Relationship Talk

You’ve been seeing each other for a few months now, maybe even several months at this point, and things seem to be going well for you. He’s cute, he’s smart, he’s sweet and he’s charming. He makes you laugh, he keeps you on your toes, he turns you on, and you’re both pretty into each other.

But there’s one slight problem—you haven’t had “The Talk” yet. So really, nothing is quite official until you’ve both talked about the status of the relationship. Does he feel the same way about you as you do him? Are you allowed to date other people? Can you start referring to him as your boyfriend? These are questions you may think you know the answers, but can never really know for sure until you’ve had one little conversation.

It’s a conversation that many of us put off for as long as we can in light of an old adage–If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it–under the false notion that having “The Talk” will ruin things. After all, once you’ve had the “Relationship Talk”, there is no turning back. If you say too much too soon, you do so at the risk of scaring him away. But if you put it off for too long, you may end up wasting valuable time on someone who never saw eye to eye with you to begin with.

So what’s the best way to approach the subject? Make him bring it up first. Here’s are the dating rules to help you do it:

Rule 1: Visualize your desired outcome.
The most important thing to consider before having “The Talk” is where you want the relationship to go. Your conversation will most likely lead to nowhere unless you can decide for yourself what your expectations are for the conversation and what action you will take based on that conversation. Should you stay or should you go if things don’t pan out that way you’d like? Decide this beforehand to prepare you for a likely outcome.

Rule 2: Set yourself up favorably.
When you’re trying to get something you want from someone, you always to approach the subject from a position of strength. So if you want him to be your boyfriend and to stop dating other women, than sort out all of your bargaining chips and determine what benefits he may want from you that he isn’t already getting now.

For example, he wants to start having sex with you, but you always leave just when things start to get heated. Before you know it, he’ll be the one initiating “The Talk” to find out what he needs to do to have sex with you. At this point, you can use your bargaining chips to let him know that you require an exclusive commitment before having sex with someone.

Rule 3: Choose the right environment.
Two major factors that have an impact on how your guy responds are timing and atmosphere. You want to bring up the topic of your relationship status at a time when he isn’t distracted and in a place where he can actually listen to and focus on what you are saying.

In general, men are pretty approachable when they are doing mundane activities like cleaning up after dinner or when you’re coming home from the movies. Choose a time when you are feeling super connected with each other because he’ll be more receptive to discussing your relationship status when he feels particularly close to you.

Rule 4: Select your words wisely.
Avoid starting the conversation with “We need to talk.” When a man hears this, his first instinct is to run for the hills. Besides, the word “need” alone gives a man the implication that you depend on him more than you should. Instead, open the conversation with a positive statement that reinforces his ego and lets him know you value his opinions. Speak to his goal-oriented mindset and approach the subject with straightforwardness.

For example, you might say something like: “I really enjoy spending time with you. What do you think about seeing each other exclusively?” If he avoids the subject or rejects the idea completely, than you’ll have a pretty good idea where you stand. If you don’t like where you stand with him, then you need to…

Rule 5: Be willing to walk away.
If after having the talk you have determined that the relationship isn’t going where you want to go it, you have to be willing to walk away without going back on your word. Give him some time to really contemplate the prospect of being in a relationship with you. Besides, once you are no longer around, he’s either going to miss you or forget all about you. All you really can do at this point is be patient to see where he stands.

If you don’t hear from him or he doesn’t want to talk about his feelings, it’s probably because he doesn’t feel the same way about you. If, on the other hand, he continues to call you and take you out, then you are back in a position of strength for a better outcome. Play your cards wisely this time.

Rule 6: Seal the deal with a kiss.
Once you can both agree on the status of the relationship, ease into things slowly by gradually starting to refer to him as your boyfriend so you can give him time to adjust emotionally. But the moment he starts falling back into old patterns, you may need to consider ending the relationship so you can be free to find a truly relationship ready man.

Learn more about the way men talk and why they communicate the way they do in my book, Understand Men Now. Visit www.understandmennow.com for more info.