When to Define the Relationship

When to Define the Relationship

Dating today is tough. There are unspoken rules, questions, and a general mystery that makes it extremely tough and confusing. We each have a responsibility to balance showing an interest and playing hard to get, ensuring that the other person knows we like them, but not too much. When we do start dating, a few dates in or a million later, we think about defining what we are to one another. So, how long should you wait to define the relationship?

This is a question that many have asked, usually starting in the teenage years, and continuing to the just as confusing adult years. Some may hang out for a year or more before making it “Facebook official” while others may start deleting dating apps after a couple of dates. Still, if you never discuss it, no one is ever certain. It can be hard to know when to DTR with someone new. The truth is, it really depends on the other person, a gut feeling, and what you are comfortable with in a relationship. Read on to learn what the experts and a few real people discovered about DTR.

There is no set rule or perfect timing when it comes to DTR. Some people need to reach certain milestones or go on a set number of dates, but it is a personal decision. Some women are certain after one or two dates, like the stories below.

  • One woman met her date the first time and immediately connected. They spent every night together for two weeks straight and just turned to one another and said, “We are together, right?” They are two years in and going strong.
  • Another feels it is important to define the relationship early on so no one is hurt. If you are diving in head first and really enjoy each other, it is better to define than be hurt by them continuing to date others because it was not official.

Some women feel that a bit more time is necessary before making anything official or labeling it. Sometimes this is to make sure you feel safe with the new person or just want to make sure they continually show up.

  • One person was hanging out with a guy in her final year of college. He wanted to define within a month, but it took her a couple more months to overcome the idea they would be graduating and moving away soon.
  • Another who had jumped in to DTR a few times and been burned wanted to take her time so the pain would not happen again. She took a month to become monogamous, yet did not adopt the title of boyfriend/girlfriend for several months. This allowed time to truly get to know one another on a deep level.

Whether jumping in head first or keeping things slower, remember to look for a solid relationship with the person you are with, even if it takes awhile to realize it. Be able to recognize that your potential partner can offer what you need. This requires listening well, not just hearing what we want. This is how people end up hurt. If you have been together awhile and your partner is not bringing up the “talk,” then take the steps to DTR. If not, it may never happen and you will wait too long like the women below.

  • Sometimes your partner is not in the same place you are and the DTR talk defines things in a way you are not happy. While this may be painful, it is important to make sure you know what both of you want after an appropriate amount of time.
  • One girl had been seeing a guy for about six months, meeting friends, and having fun. She felt like they were a couple, but one night she was introduced as a “friend” and starting feeling insecure. It turned out he had been dating others the whole time. Though it had been fun, not having the DTR talk had left her hurt.

At the end of the day, it is about preference, not number of dates. Focus on finding something that feels exciting, safe, and exciting and when it feels right, have the talk.

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