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When it comes to new relationships, most of us are intimidated by the idea of having “The Talk.” Are we dating exclusively? Are we boyfriend and girlfriend? Verbalizing these questions can be frightening, particularly if you’re unsure as to whether or not your love interest feels the same as you do!Based on dating studies and the consensus of relationship experts, most individuals tend to discuss making their relationships official after one to two months of dating. Others, however, may wait six months or more before labeling their relationships.
Is it time for you to talk about making your relationship official? These are just a few signs you and your partner might be ready to have “The Talk.”
It’s Moved Beyond “Just The Physical”
Even in 2018, getting physical with another person is usually a big deal. Though some of us have been involved in situations that could be described as "friends with benefits," kissing, cuddling, and sexual contact most often involve feelings of love and romance. If you've gotten physical with someone and have found yourself "catching feelings" for them, it's probably a good idea to discuss the future of your relationship. Though it can be difficult to know whether or not your lover is feeling the same way, consider examining the nature of your relationship with one another. Do you feel as though you're "making love" rather than just having sex? Do you find yourselves spending the night at one another's homes, cuddling on the couch or falling asleep together in bed? If you and your love interest are becoming emotionally intimate with one another, you're probably ready to begin dating exclusively.
You Have the Answers to Important Questions
Dating someone and being in a committed relationship with them are two very different things. Differences in personal beliefs and values, for instance, might not cause issues while dating but could become sources of serious conflict when moving towards a lasting partnership. It's important to know, for instance, how your partner handled past relationships. Are your partner's finances in order? Are they drowning in debt, or do they have a healthy nest egg set aside for retirement? What are your partner's dreams and remaining life goals? What sort of relationships do they have with their parents, siblings, children, and friends? If you have the answers to these questions and feel comfortable with them, you've likely established a good foundation for a successful future relationship.
You’re One Another’s “Go-To” Date
Though you might not have discussed exclusivity with your love interest, the behavior of both you and your partner might already signal a growing sense of commitment to one another. If you've found yourself passing up other dating options because you'd prefer spending time with your current flame, it's likely the right time to discuss your relationship status. Spending more time with your lover than your best friends is also an indication that you're no longer "just dating." If your lover is your go-to "plus-one" for special events and occasions, you're probably moving towards boyfriend and girlfriend territory. Are you spending large amounts of quality time with the person you're dating? If so, make it official!
You’ve Met His/Her “People”
When casually dating, many people try to keep things private and low-pressure. If you're in a no-strings-attached relationship, you've likely avoided broadcasting the relationship to others. If, on the other hand, your love interest has introduced you to their colleagues, friends, and family members, there's a good chance they see a future in your relationship. Meeting people in your lover's inner circle indicates that your partner trusts you, respects you, and views you as more than “just a fling." If you and the person you're dating get along well with one another's parents, children, and closest pals, your relationship has a particularly good chance of flourishing in the future.
You’re Opening Up To One Another
When we first start dating someone new, most of us are self-conscious about our looks and behavior. If you've finally started letting your guard down with your partner, there's a good chance that your relationship is becoming more serious and authentic. Have you finally allowed your lover to see you without makeup on? Are you able to laugh when one of you accidentally burps or passes gas? Has your lover told you about painful memories from his past, or have you shared your secret dreams and longings with him? Even if you haven't yet opened up about such things, consider whether or not you feel you could discuss these personal matters in the future. If you can truly be yourself around the person you're dating, your partner is likely a keeper.
There’s no definitive timeline for discussing exclusivity with one’s love interest. If you feel as though you’re on the same page as your lover, there’s a good chance that having “The Talk” will simply clarify what you’ve both been feeling.
For some couples, this conversation never even happens at all. For many, dating simply becomes exclusive over time, though most ultimately acknowledge the fact that they’ve “officially” become boyfriend and girlfriend.
Are you ready to become exclusive with your love interest? Chances are, you probably already know the answer to this question in your heart!
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