Ask A Woman: Tick-talk, it’s about that time…
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I’ve been seeing a lady for about three months. I’m in my final year of dental school, she’s in her second year of medical school, so we are both pretty busy most of the time. We get to see each other maybe once a week.
All of my past relationships have either been entirely casual or too fast for me to form any attachment. I’m not used to the whole “serious” thing and haven’t talked to her about defining the relationship. However, I find myself really liking this girl.
Is having the talk something people still do? Am I missing a step? And is there any stepping stone of intimacy (physical or otherwise) that would signal it’s time to have “the talk?”
Dating may have changed–Tinder, Grinder, Match.com–and admittedly I am one of the olds who has been partnered up for many years, but the mechanics of relationships have not. Or at least I hope they haven’t. I don’t mind that people meet online, but I would hate to think that it has changed the dynamics of intimacy between people.
(NSFW) Perhaps they should have had the talk before the date even began…
Sometimes there’s a scenario that pushes you to want to know where you stand with the person you’ve been dating. Work event–do you bring this person as your date? Your parents come to town–do you want to introduce them? And sometimes there isn’t a particular situation, you just feel like enough time has passed and your feelings are strong enough (or not) that you should discuss it. I suppose there are people who date indefinitely without ever discussing where they stand and wake up one day three years later, living together and taking turns walking the dog in the morning. But certainly, it’s not wrong or lame or weak to want to have the talk. It’s healthy, and often necessary.
Three months in seems like as good a time as any for the two of you to discuss where you’re at. The fact that you’re writing in to me tells me that it’s starting to nag at you a little bit. This is good. You’ve never felt the need to bring it up in past relationships because they weren’t working as well as this one seems to be. Go with that nagging feeling.
The best way to do it is…just to do it. It’s probably going to feel (or be) awkward. That’s how it’s supposed to feel when we do anything that makes us vulnerable. So try to power through your nerves and be as upfront as possible. Also casual–no need to turn this into a SERIOUS talk where you sit on the couch holding hands and gazing into each other’s eyes. You can chat just in the course of staying in and watching a movie or cooking dinner together. You can ask how she feels: “So, how do you think things are going between us?” You can tell her how you feel: “I think things are going really great between us.” You can bring up the topic sort of generally: “We’ve been dating about three months, right? We’ve never really talked about exclusivity…”
Hopefully it’s not this awkward.
Or you can use the supercool line I used with my other half, “If someone asked you if you had a girlfriend, what would you say?” Cuts through all the BS while having the added benefit of making you sound like a big nerd. Cheers!
Got something brewing in your life? Send me an email–style, etiquette, relationships–I answer it all: firstname.lastname@example.org