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Ask the Love Lady

How do I know if hes my boyfriend?

By Tina Kells

Q: I’ve been hanging out with this guy for nearly 2 months. We kiss and hold hands and do things that couples do but I’m just not clear on where we stand. Are we dating or are we just friends? We haven’t had “the talk” yet and I’m a bit scared to bring it up but it’s getting to the point where I really want to know. If we’re not a couple then I want to cut ties and look for a guy who wants to be with me and only me. Am I being irrational? What should I do? Is there a way to tell if he’s my boyfriend without having to ask?

First of all there is nothing irrational about what you are thinking. In fact, in my opinion you seem quite rational. You are not making any assumptions about the nature of your relationship with this guy and that is good. You know what you want and that too is good. Finally, you know that you’ve reached a point in your mind and in the relationship where things need to be defined or they need to end and that is very good. You know your boundaries and you won’t compromise them and that shows a maturity that many adult women don’t have. Congrats on that! Pat yourself on the back, take a deep breath and pay close attention to the rest of what I am about to tell you. Ready? Good! Here we go…

From what you have told me this guy is not yet your boyfriend. Even though the two of you play couple you just haven’t had a meeting of the minds on whether or not you are exclusive. That’s fine, there’s nothing wrong with taking things slowly. Now the question is can slowly be too slow? Is there a normal pace at which relationships should be moving, a sort of timeline of milestones if you will? No, there is no normal pace. Relationships move at different speeds for many reasons and there is no one way of playing it out that is “normal” or “best.” But what is a good gauge of where a relationship should be at any given time it is your gut feeling. Your gut feelings are your inner guide, they let you know when you are ready for or needing a change of pace and they are what you should listen to when deciding if it’s time to initiate a move to a new phase in your relationship. Right now I’d say your gut is telling you to move things along and there is only one way to do that. Yep, that’s right, it’s time for the two of you to have the dreaded “talk.”

Why people fear “the talk” has always been a bit of a mystery to me. I’m a plan for the worst hope for the best kind of girl myself and as such I find that good news or bad I just want to know what I’m dealing with. But for many people “the talk” is a frightening ordeal. This is probably because these people fear the answer that they don’t want to hear and this fear of rejection (or fear of having to do the rejecting as the case may be) can be very disconcerting. So that being said here is the most important rule about having “the talk”… Never, ever initiate the conversation until you are ready to deal with and accept the outcome you fear the most. If you’re not ready to deal with this guy telling you that he doesn’t want to make a commitment to you don’t ask him to define your relationship. It’s that simple. But if you’re ready to deal with the rejection then go for it, initiate “the talk.” It is the only way you will ever be sure.

So there you have it, in order to know where your relationship stands you have only one choice, you have to ask. You have to have “the talk.” Just one caveat, as ready as you feel you may be to deal with rejection be just as sure that you are really wanting a committed relationship with this guy. Be sure you are having “the talk” because you feel ready to move things to the next level and not because you feel like you should be moving things along. Don’t put the pressure on just because you think that 2 months is enough time to be in a casual relationship. If casual is still working for you just let it slide. Don’t worry what the rest of the world is doing, don’t fret over how your friend’s relationships have played out in comparison to yours, just worry about what makes you happy. If what you are doing with this guy right now makes you happy why rock the boat? Only you can know when you need to pick up the pace and define your relationship and only you will know when the time is right to put it all out there. Bottom line in matters of the heart, trust your inner guide, your gut, because it’s rarely wrong.

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