Dating can be fun when the boundaries between what’s right and what’s wrong are completely lessened. But that doesn’t make it any easier to figure out when to DTR (‘define the relationship’) without completely messing up the timing.
DTR is all about having that serious talk with the person you’ve been dating for a while. You reach that awkward stage where you’re not really sure what the two of you are anymore.
Are you still in the dating phase or are you a couple? How does he introduce you to his friends and how should you introduce him to yours?
And then, all of a sudden, that “WHAT ARE WE?!” question slips out of your mouth and there’s no going back.
But how do you know when it’s the right time to have a DTR talk with your special guy? You’re aware that you’re on shaky ground and you don’t want to chase him away from you.
If you try to have a conversation about it too early, you know that he may not be on the same page as you and he’ll probably run away. But if you wait too long, you may give him the impression that you’re not interested and he may go out and meet other girls while you make up your mind.
The stress level is high and you don’t know what you should be doing but if you keep reading, you may find all of the answers you’ve been looking for.
Hopefully, by the end of the article, you’ll have a clear idea of what your next move should be.
When to DTR without a chance of messing up?
On average, it takes around six weeks for a new couple to put a label on their relationship. Still, it’s hard to give you a strict answer as to when you should sit down with your partner and have a DTR talk, since all couples are different.
So, what works for one maybe won’t work for the other. That’s why no one can tell you exactly, “Hey, today is the day when you’re supposed to have a DTR talk. If you miss this chance, there’s no going back.”
That’s not the way things work. However, if you’ve been dating for quite some time and you want to make things official, the chances are that you already feel ready to have this chat.
Yes, the bare thought of it still stresses you out but you know that you should have it as soon as possible, once you start experiencing different feelings that make you realize that you need to ask your guy where you’re headed.
If you don’t find out what the two of you actually are, you can feel like you’re losing your mind.
You know that the timing will never be perfect, so you can either go for it or you may miss the chance of being with the one you’ve been looking for your whole life.
So, to save you from the pain of overthinking, here are the times when you should consider having a DTR talk. Once you feel these things, those are your signs that you shouldn’t wait any longer.
1. You realize that you expect more than you get
Maybe you expect him to text you daily and to plan dates with you regularly. You want him to be there for you when you need him and to call you whenever he needs someone’s help.
And when you don’t get any of those things, you start to feel disappointed. You want him to put you as a priority because it’s more than obvious that you already have feelings for this guy.
If things remain this way, you’ll end up getting less than you expect from him and that’s not something you want. So, when to DTR, if not right away?
It’s clear that you want the two of you to be on the same page and that’s never going to happen unless you have a talk with him.
Maybe he doesn’t have serious intentions with you and doesn’t want to commit or perhaps he wants to call you his but he doesn’t want to scare you away with the question.
You’ll never know the answer if you don’t sit down with him and ask him straight away. The, “What are we?” sentence may sound scary right now but it’s your only ticket to getting what you actually want from your relationship.
If you don’t want this thing to turn into a simple fling, then you need to let your guy know that.
2. It hurts to know that you have no idea where you stand
Once you start to feel hurt because you have no idea where you stand, it’s time for you to have the DTR talk.
Maybe you’re upset because you think that he’s seeing other people since the two of you aren’t official. Maybe you’re hurt because you want so badly to introduce him as your boyfriend but you don’t think you’re allowed to do that.
So, you’re searching through the Internet, trying to figure out when to DTR, while the only thing you should be listening to right now is your heart.
It’s evident that you’re suffering and the only thing that can save you is finding out the truth but you’ll never be able to do that if you don’t ask him directly.
Also, if you keep postponing the question, maybe even waiting for him to make the first move, believe it or not, you may start hating him. You could get angry at him because he waited too long before having the DTR talk with you.
So, in order to save yourself the pain and make sure that you won’t end up in a place you don’t want to be, you need to have a conversation with him.
That way, you’ll finally know where you stand and you won’t risk your future relationship with him.
Even if he’s not on the same page as you, it’s better to know that than to spend the rest of your life waiting for something that won’t ever happen.
3. You slipped up and referred to him as your boyfriend
When to DTR? Well, once you accidentally refer to him as your boyfriend, you know that it’s time for you to have a serious talk.
Maybe you were introducing him to your best friend and the words, “This is my boyfriend,” slipped out of your mouth. Once you said it, you felt your cheeks blushing and you couldn’t look him directly in the eyes.
Subconsciously, you want to call him your boyfriend and you want him to introduce you as his girlfriend as well. But all this time, you’ve been hiding that from him.
You didn’t think that you were supposed to ask him what the two of you were, so you kept quiet. But once these words go out into the world and he hears you saying them, the only thing you can do is have a DTR talk with him.
See what his plans for the future are and ask him how he feels about you. Does he intend to make things official or is this only a short-term thing for him?
You need to know the answers or the uncertainty will keep eating you up. So, you can either ask him right away or you can suffer in silence.
4. You already act like a couple
If you already act like a couple, there’s no point in waiting to have a DTR talk. I mean, the rest of the world already thinks of you as a couple so why would you wait any longer?
You hang out together all the time, you finish off each other’s sentences, and you make plans for the future. He’s the one you confide in and you’re the one he puts as a priority, no matter what.
So what’s the point in waiting? Why would you keep biding your time to ask him where you stand when the timing has been right for a long time already?
Save yourself from overthinking and gain the courage to ask him directly. From this point of view, it looks like your visions about the future match up perfectly.
5. It feels like the right thing to do
Do you feel comfortable around this guy? Do you think that he’s the only one who understands you completely right now and does it feel like no one could take his place?
If the answers are yes, then you no longer need to ask yourself when to DTR and have a serious talk with your crush. It’s obvious that the timing is right already and you shouldn’t be postponing it any longer.
You see that both of you are in the same place and you’re ready for a serious relationship. You seem happy with each other and you’ve crossed all of your previous obstacles successfully.
So, what are you waiting for then? It doesn’t get any clearer than this.
The timing is perfect and you feel ready to move forward in the relationship. You’re 100% certain of what you want but you need to know whether your guy feels the same way in order to be fully happy.
So, pluck up the courage and have a talk with him. There’s no reason why you should be prolonging this conversation any longer.
6. You want him to meet your friends and family
Maybe you want him to meet your friends and family but you’re unsure about how you should introduce him.
If you tell them that he’s just a friend he may think that you don’t want the same things as him but if you introduce him as your boyfriend, he may get scared and think that you’re rushing things.
You feel like your head is about to explode as you have no idea of the right move to make. So, before you take the step of him meeting your friends and family, the best thing to do is have a DTR talk.
There’s no point in waiting any longer and it’ll make it easier for both of you to figure out what you should be doing once you hear each other out.
If his intentions aren’t serious and he doesn’t feel ready to take the next step in the relationship, then it’s too early for them to meet.
Or maybe the best move would be to go your separate ways if you don’t want the same thing from this relationship.
But no matter what, you won’t know the answer until you have a serious conversation with him. That’s the only way to find out the truth.
7. You feel safe and secure with him
Apparently, you’re still dating but you feel safe and secure with him. When he holds you in his arms, you feel like no one could ever hurt you.
He’s like your guardian angel and you know that no one could ever replace him. If you feel this way, then there’s no need to ask yourself when to DTR, as it’s obvious that the time has already come.
He makes you feel protected and you want to know whether he has the same plans with you as you have with him. Does he intend on making you a part of his future and is it the right time to make your relationship official?
You’re tired of looking for words to describe the thing you have whenever someone asks you about him. You want to call him your boyfriend so badly and it’s time to see whether he agrees with that.
8. You’re already making future plans together
You already bought tickets for a winter concert even though it’s the middle of spring and he already invited you to his brother’s wedding because he doesn’t want to take anyone else with him.
It’s obvious that you guys are making plans for the future, whether they’re big or small, and this only goes to show that you should have a DTR talk with him now, as you want to be sure that you’re headed in the same direction.
Making things official will make everything much easier for both of you.
You won’t have to overthink about whether he’s going to leave you all of a sudden since you’re not officially together and he won’t have to worry that you’ll be going out with other guys for the same reason.
So, gain the courage and hit him with that, “What are we?” question and hopefully, you’ll get the answer you want to hear.
9. You get jealous about other girls
Have you noticed that he gets a little jealous every time you mention other guys? Or do you realize that you change your facial expression every time he mentions other girls?
There’s no need for jealousy if you agreed on not being official yet but if you’ve never had a DTR talk, then it’s obvious why the green-eyed monster introduced himself into your relationship.
You know that you don’t want to see him with other girls since you have strong feelings for him but maybe you don’t think that you should ask him where you stand.
What if he thinks that you’re moving too fast? What if you scare him away?
Those are some of the questions that stop you from doing what you want to do so badly. You want to know what the two of you are but you can’t figure out whether you should have a serious talk with him.
However, if you noticed that you’ve been feeling jealous every time he mentions other girls, then this is your sign to have a DTR talk right now.
It’s obvious that you want to make things official and once you ask him how he feels about it, you’ll know what you should do next.
10. You no longer go on dates with other people
Have you stopped seeing other people? Is it because you like him too much and you no longer feel happy on dates with other guys?
You want him to be the only man who takes you out, so you stopped dating others completely. Right now, he’s the only one in your life and you don’t want to change that.
If this is the case then I’m not really sure why you’re asking yourself when to DTR, when it’s obvious that you should be doing that right now.
If he doesn’t have the same idea in mind, then you’re only preventing yourself from moving on after him. So, you should find out his plans and then move on forward from there.
If you don’t do anything about it, however, you’ll be stuck in the same place for a long time.
11. The idea of commitment no longer scares you
Before you met this guy, you had a terrible fear of commitment. Your relationships were always short-term and you never even thought about being serious with someone.
But it looks like right now, things have changed completely. The only thing you wish for is to have a serious, long-lasting relationship with this guy.
If so, then it’s time for you to have a DTR talk and see whether this guy wants the same thing as you. It’s clear that you’re ready to take that step but you can’t do anything until you find out what he wants to do.
How to successfully define the relationship?
Once you decide to have a serious talk with your guy and define your relationship, you need to know what you should be doing.
You need to be aware of the steps you should take in order to not give him the impression that you’re pressuring him to do something he’s not ready for.
So, here’s what you should keep in mind.
1. Know what you want
Before having an actual conversation, you need to know what you want from the relationship. Maybe your goal is to make things official right away and to be in a serious, long-term partnership.
But if your guy doesn’t feel ready to take that step, what will you do? There’s a chance that his opinion will differ from yours and you need to know whether you feel ready to make a compromise.
If you know that you won’t feel happy staying in the same spot any longer, then you’ll need to do what makes you happy, even if it means losing the one you thought to be right for you.
If you want to move forward but he’s not giving you that, you need to know when it’s the right time to walk away.
2. Don’t be dramatic about the actual conversation
Having a serious talk regarding your relationship can sound scary, especially when you don’t feel certain about when to DTR. But you don’t need to make things any worse by being even more dramatic about the conversation.
Look at it as a simple chat between two people who need to figure out their next step. The phrase, “We need to talk,” makes it seem more dramatic than it is, so you shouldn’t decide to start the conversation with these words.
Instead, simply start talking about your relationship whenever it feels right and that way, it won’t look like you’re forcing anything and your guy will feel much more comfortable talking about it.
He won’t get the impression that you’ve been practicing this chat for a long time and that’s a good thing because it certainly makes it less stressful.
3. Let your partner express his feelings
Once you let this guy know how you feel about the two of you, you need to let him express his feelings as well.
Let him tell you what his doubts are when it comes to making things official and let him explain to you what scares him the most about taking that step.
You have to hear his side too. Just because you feel a certain way, it doesn’t mean that he must feel exactly the same.
So, ask him what he thinks and then give him time to share his thoughts. That way, you’re showing him that you’re reasonable and that you respect his opinion.
4. Plan the next step
Once both of you have had a chance to speak, you’ll have to figure out your next step. Since you’re already talking about this subject, there’s no need to prolong the decision.
If you’re on the same page, then act accordingly but if your visions don’t align, then you should know how much you can tolerate.
If you don’t want to wait any longer then the only thing you can do is walk away but if you’re willing to give your guy a bit more time to figure out what he wants, then that’s what you should do.
No matter what, always have your happiness in mind, and don’t ever sacrifice it for the sake of others. Hopefully your DTR talk will be a success and it will help you get everything you ever wanted and maybe even more.