If You’re Dying To Define The Relationship, It’s Probably Because He’s Not Giving You The Attention You Need

It can be tempting to have The Talk that’ll define the relationship early on, but if you spring it on your potential partner too soon, it could end up ruining things between you two forever. Here’s why it’s better to bring up the topic of making things official later rather than sooner:

  1. If it’s going to happen, it’ll happen. If you guys are meant to be together, things will evolve in that direction whether you have the talk today or next month. It really won’t make a difference if you’re already on the same page.
  2. People get freaked out about it. Maybe you don’t want to date someone who isn’t mature enough to have serious conversations right from the beginning, but a lot of people won’t be willing to move things along quite so fast. And if you bring up questions about where a relationship is going before it has actually gone anywhere, you might scare the guy off before anything has even happened between you two.
  3. You have to give it time to naturally evolve into a relationship. Relationships aren’t like choosing a box and then shoving stuff into it and trying to make it fit — the stuff should already be comfortably fitting into the box before you label it as a relationship. Forcing it isn’t going to make things any better.
  4. You need to be sure that you’re ready. You might meet someone and think within the first hour of your first date that you could be great together, and it’s true that you might be. But depending on where your head is at, you might you might think it’s a better idea than it actually is. And untangling a relationship only gets more complicated the deeper in you go if it doesn’t work out.
  5. There isn’t a time limit on these things. Every relationship is so incredibly different that it’s impossible to say when it’s right to make something official and when it isn’t, but generally, waiting is better than rushing. The window isn’t going to close if you don’t do it fast enough — in fact, you might just erase your opportunity by rushing things too much instead.
  6. You shouldn’t need a label to feel comfortable with the relationship. It’s easier said than done, but seriously, if you’re happy being with someone, you aren’t going to spend all of your time wondering why he isn’t officially your boyfriend. You shouldn’t need a label to enjoy the time you’re spending with him before things become official.
  7. Rushing to “lock someone down” doesn’t work. Nor is it necessary if they actually want to be with you. If you feel like he might get away if you don’t work your magic quickly and get him to commit, then he’ll probably leave later anyway. Making things “official” isn’t going to fix any commitment issues he might have.
  8. You don’t want to wrongly assume that it’s not happening either. You might be feeling the pull to have the talk because you suddenly became certain that he won’t want to be with you, and you’d rather get out now before things get even more complicated. But sometimes people need a minute to sort through their feelings, and if you both seem happy together, there’s probably nothing to worry about.
  9. Let him think you have options. When you’re rushing into something, it makes it obvious that you aren’t interested in anyone else. But when you’re being cool and calm, he might consider the fact that other men are after you too, and therefore actually move faster into a relationship anyway. It’s not right to play games with a guy’s heart and mind, but there’s nothing wrong with convincing him to be the one chasing you.
  10. The urge to rush is often driven by insecurity. Keep it mind that wanting to jump right into an “official” relationship is often motivated by fear or insecurity. The last thing you want to do is enter a relationship out of fear, so wait until you’re comfortable with things before broaching the subject.
Kate Ferguson is a Los Angeles local and freelance writer for a variety of blog and magazine genres. When she's not writing, the UC Davis graduate is focused on pursuits of the entertainment industry, spin class, and hot sauce. Look for article links, updates, (and the occasional joke) on Twitter @KateFerg or @WriterKateFerg, or check out her personal blog ThatsRandomKate.blogspot.com