Making it “Official”
If you’ve been dating someone for a while, and it seems like you’re in a good place—you’ve made some cherished memories, jumped over a few hurdles and ironed out some wrinkly parts—you may be wondering where the relationship is going. Is it too soon to call yourselves a couple? When can you call yourselves a couple in a committed relationship? Is it about the length of time you’ve been together or the milestones you’ve reached? When can you define your relationship?
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They’re Pretty Special
If you want to be in a committed relationship, you know what you have to do: You have to dump your hookups and friends-with-benefits. But is your partner on the same page? Are they ready to be exclusive too and dump their casual side relationships for you?
Every Couple is Different
You really can’t go by what other couples do or even go by what you did in previous relationships. That’s because every couple is different. While some may take their time declaring their love or desire for commitment, others may move to that commitment space more quickly. However, in every relationship, there comes a time when the status needs to be defined.
Clues and Milestones
Wondering if it’s time to define your relationship? Here are some important clues and milestones to look out for:
•You’ve met their friends and family and they’ve met yours
•They’ve introduced you as their girlfriend (with no awkward pause)
•Weekend dates are a natural assumption
•You talk about your future and you see each other in it
•You leave things at each other’s homes (extra clothes, toothbrushes, etc.)
•You go on trips together
•You attend family functions together (weddings, holidays, etc.)
•You chat a few times a day, even if it is just to say hello
Having “the Talk”
So let’s assume that most of these milestones have already happened, yet you and your partner haven’t had “the talk” yet. Now what? Having a premature conversation can backfire, so it’s important to make sure that you’re in a monogamous relationship where all these significant milestones have been equally significant to your partner.
When you have “the talk,” it’s best not to be confrontational. Don’t say, “Where is this relationship going?” Instead, make it casual. Bring up your relationship status on a walk. Say something like, “I really like spending time with you and I’m not seeing anyone else. I don’t want to see anyone else. How do you feel?”
Gone are the days when a guy asked a girl to go steady by giving her his pin or letterman’s jacket. And gone are the days when the caveman clunked a female over the head and dragged her back to his cave. Thanks goodness! Nowadays, the lines are more blurred and you shouldn’t have to wait for a man to define your relationship. If you are looking for definitive answers, and you want to know that you’re in a committed relationship, don’t be afraid to ask. And now you know when and how to ask!