How Long Should You Wait Before Having the BF/GF Chat?
OK, so you’ve navigated the world of online dating, read hundreds of profiles, sent countless messages, been on a handful of dates. And then it happens, the most terrifying thing of all: you meet someone you actually really like, and that’s where the real difficulty begins. You can see it there on the horizon – the whole “So where’s this going?” chat is waiting for you.
The dating game has changed dramatically, and while it used to be as simple as a quick conversation along the lines of “OK, so we like each other, let’s make this official”, there is now a list of new stages in a fledgling relationship that can seem to make things more confusing. Everything has become a little ill-defined, and I wouldn’t be surprised if you’ve asked yourself these kinds of questions:
- So are we dating or seeing each other, and what’s the difference?
- Should I delete my online dating account now? Are they still using theirs?
- Are we monogamous?
- If we are monogamous, does that mean we’re official?
The early stages of dating should be when you’re having the most fun of all, so don’t let things worry you, because really this is when you should be running through parks holding hands and making slushy PDAs on the tube. There really shouldn’t be any need to rush into anything – however, it’s important to be realistic.
Everyone has different ideas of what’s right when it comes to dating etiquette. Some prefer to stay monogamous from the start, while others like to keep their options open, just as some view sex as something to be saved until the blossoming of a full-on relationship, while others need it early on to determine levels of chemistry and attraction.
The key is to be honest in your intentions without being bossy about the behaviour you expect from the man or woman you’re seeing. If you keep these discussions light and non-confrontational, you’ll soon know where you stand, and if you’re not happy with their stance, you can decide early on whether it’s something you want to proceed with. You don’t want to appear possessive and jealous just weeks into meeting someone – save that for later, when you can check their phone while they’re in the shower (just kidding).
In some cases, people just click and things progress naturally – there’s never really a need to sit down and have a discussion as to whether or not you’re official, because you “just know”. This isn’t generally the norm, however, and most often people will understandably want a little reassurance.
Personally, I tend to think that if you’ve been dating someone regularly for a couple of months and they’re not ready to commit to an exclusive relationship with you, they probably never will be. If you haven’t convinced them of how remarkably brilliant you are after this time, what’s going to change? You could end up torturing yourself trying to make yourself worthy of them, or hang around in the hopes that they’ll change their mind, only to be left disappointed. Obviously there are always exceptions to this rule – bad past relationships or life priorities outside of dating can always delay things – but the undeniable truth is that if someone wants to be with you, they won’t make excuses not to be.
It’s totally normal to want to hedge your bets and hold off for a while, though – you don’t want to come across as pushy, and everyone moves at different speeds. However, if it gets to a stage where you think you’re being taken for a ride, just talk to them. The best-case scenario is that they’ll want to be with you; the worst is that they don’t and they’re still seeing other people. Either way it’s a win, because if the latter is the case, you’re far better off knowing the truth and getting out of there… before reinstating your online profile, obviously.