If I Have To Initiate The “DTR” Talk, There’s A Problem

I used to get overly invested in and excited about a new relationship to the point that I couldn’t deal with the inherent ambiguity in the beginning stages of seeing someone. If I still didn’t know what we were after a couple of weeks, I’d come right out and ask where things were going. I’m cutting out this bad habit for many reasons, but mainly because if I have to initiate the DTR talk, he’s doing something wrong.

  1. Shyness is no longer cute to me. I used to think the shy, quiet type was adorable, but these days I can’t deal with people who can’t use their words to express their feelings. If he can’t come out and say outright that he’s into me, this is never going to work. “Words of affirmation” is at the top of my love language list. I’m not afraid to be vulnerable and my guy shouldn’t be either.
  2. I shouldn’t feel like I’m carrying the relationship. Been there, done that. I’ve felt like the leader of the relationship with nearly every guy I’ve dated and I won’t do it again. He needs to display some maturity, conjure up some courage, and go after what he wants whether that’s me or not. Fear of rejection is no excuse for keeping me in limbo.
  3. He should know how he feels. I’m not saying he should be 100% certain I’m the one he wants to spend the rest of his life with, especially not so early on in the relationship. I’m not set on marrying him either, to be honest. I just think he should be sure that he’s into me so far and wants to continue to get to know me further and seeing where things go. If he does, we should do so exclusively. If he doesn’t, let’s just move on.
  4. We should both know where this is heading. Let’s not waste each other’s time and miss out on better matches. I’m done with “hanging out” with guys and for now on, I’m saving that kind of casualness for when I’m in a committed, defined relationship. Now, I only go out on dates so there’s no confusion about whether I just make him laugh or he actually sees a future with me.
  5. I’m over the games. I used to think I could date casually without any attachment, but that’s just not me. We both need to be clear about what we’re looking for so no one (translation: this girl) gets hurt. Playing games is for children so if that’s what a guy’s looking for, we’re definitely not meant to be.
  6. There should be something that sets our relationship apart. I’ve initiated the DTR talk with a few different guys and without fail, the guy always mentioned that a lot of women had been confused about his feelings in the past. But if other women are pulling him aside to see if he’s into them when he really just thinks he’s “being friendly,” then he’s sending mixed signals and needs to learn to communicate better.
  7. I deserve a guy who’s upfront and real. He’s not going to hurt my feelings by telling me he just wants to be friends. Years ago? Sure, but I’ve grown thick skin and don’t take myself so seriously anymore. I’m serious about finding my person, so I’d rather he doesn’t waste my time posing as him.
  8. I want him to set the pace. I’m not the kind of girl who’s going to bend down on one knee and ask my guy to marry me, although there’s nothing wrong with women who take that route. However, I’m counting on my guy to set the precedent for being bold and leading our relationship through those stages—not because I’m lazy but because I deserve it.
  9. If he doesn’t step up to the plate, he’s going to lose me. With every passing year, I get a little wiser and bolder. I see more clearly what I deserve and am stricter about what I just won’t put up with. Soon, defining the relationship won’t even be something I feel like I need to do because I won’t waste my time with guys who can’t express their feelings and intentions straight up.
Jasmine is a freelance writer living in the Midwest. Her hobbies include solo international travel, hiking, and reading.