How To Ask A Guy Where Your Relationship Is Going

One of the hardest parts of dating is figuring out where you stand with the person you’re seeing. Defining the relationship can be scary, especially if you get the news that your partner just isn’t feeling the same way as you. Here are some painless ways to ask a guy where the relationship is going.

  1. Remember that timing is everything. Figuring out where you stand is a good idea around date number three. But, waiting too long may make the topic even more awkward. It can be very painful if the two of you agree to “keep things casual” yet see no progress with where you stand by the year mark. That in itself is telling. If a guy wants to be your boyfriend, he’ll make sure to state his intentions early. Seeing you with another guy will be hurtful for him if he likes you, and he knows that he’s leaving that option open by not committing.
  2. Practice hearing both answers in advance. This might sound a little cheesy, but prepping for both responses is important. You need to get used to the possibility that he’ll shut you down and say he’s not ready for a committed relationship. Hopefully that isn’t the case, but by accepting it beforehand, it’ll help make sure you’re not a mess when you hold the conversation in person. You need to be strong and confident. Talking about where a relationship stands gets easier the more relationships you have.
  3. Try to do it close to home. Having the conversation right at the start of a dinner date may be awkward. You’ll want to give yourself permission to leave if things get uncomfortable. So, try to ask at the end of a successful date. Or, if the relationship is new, even a text is okay. Yes, it’s best to talk face-to-face. But sometimes, texting is a much easier way to get the answers you deserve.
  4. Don’t start with accusations. This shouldn’t be a fight. If your feelings are hurt, that probably means that you’ve been hoping he’d bring the topic up naturally by now, but hasn’t. Take a deep breath and remember that his lack of making things official may not have been an intentional diss. If you start a conversation already mad, you’re going to end up delaying the answer you’re looking for. You also have better chances of an immediate breakup happening. Try to be calm and understanding.
  5. Remember that this should be an easy conversation. And that’s because good couples know how to communicate with each other. Communication can take a lot of time to master, but if you want to marry this guy, you should be able to talk to him without fear. You should never be afraid or scared to tell your partner what you want. If you are, maybe you should just dump this guy.
  6. Let him know your intentions. Start with something like, “I’ve really enjoyed spending time with you. And, I’d love to be your girlfriend if you are ready for that. What do you think?” If the two of you have been together and you’re curious about a proposal timeline, there are good ways to get to the topic — especially if you’re imagining biological kids. You can even bundle the conversation. “I wanted to know if you ever thought about marriage. I have a desire for kids, so that’s something we’d need to figure out a timeline for if possible.”
  7. Think about what you really want. If you feel nervous that he’ll have a different life path than you and would rather have him just as a fling than as nothing at all, be prepared for heartbreak down the road. You can’t be wishy-washy when it comes to what you want out of life. If you’ve always dreamed of getting married and having kids, don’t continue to waste years on someone whose goals don’t align. They won’t change, nor should you have to change for them. Breakups can be difficult, but they’re much easier than years of unhappiness.
  8. Tell him why you’d like to move the relationship along. Are you in love with him? If you haven’t dropped the l-bomb yet, now may be the time. Let him know you see him as husband-material if you’ve been dating for some time. With that, you can figure out your future together if he feels the same. If you’re not sure where he stands, try to look at subtle cues that he’s equally into you. Body language is big. Making eye contact, along with excuses to hold your hand or be close to you, is also a huge sign that he’s falling hard. These little cues will help boost your confidence while having the big talk.
Karen Belz is a New Jersey native who is currently living in Maryland. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Speech Communication with a focus in Broadcasting and Print Media Studies from Millersville University of Pennsylvania. Since graduating, she has written for sites like LittleThings, HelloGiggles, and Scary Mommy and is currently an e-commerce editor at Bustle.

When she's not writing, she enjoys making her phone run out of memory after taking too many photos of her dog. You can find her on Twitter @karenebelz or on Instagram @karenbelz.