“The Talk”: Who’s Supposed to Define The Relationship?

I was having a conversation with a girl friend of mine and we were discussing the inevitability of heartbreak. It is my opinion that everyone should get their heart broken at least once by the time they graduate from high school. There’s no way to escape that pain, it’s a non-negotiable part of the dating journey. Heartbreak and disappointment usually comes from cheating partners but nowadays disappointment comes from lack of communication and people being misled. With the rise of roaching and ghosting, people are more devious than ever and deception comes into play as people are only out to get what they want. So how can you cut down on the chances of being heartbroken or disappointed by the new person you’re dating?

The most surefire way to protect yourself from disappointment is to have define-the-relationship (DTR) talks with the person(s) you’re dating. This is the most secure way to get on the same page so that everyone’s intentions are known. The problem is that we’re not communicating effectively because we don’t want to look too vulnerable or needy. We’re afraid to express our true feelings because we run the risk of getting rejected which is a weak, fearful mind state to have. With good timing, the DTR conversation can save you from embarrassment or heartbreak before it’s too late.

So when is a good time to have the DTR conversation?

When it comes to dating, it is key to understand that there are no strict rules. You’re dealing with fickle human beings who want one thing today and the opposite tomorrow. So there is no clear time to have the DTR conversation but I am glad to offer my opinion on when it would be best. I believe that it is best to have the DTR conversation by the end of the third date.

The first date is obviously too soon to have such a serious conversation and here’s why. First, the first date should be treated as a pre-date. Unless you’ve already known each other prior to dating, you’re basically having dinner and/or drinks with a stranger. The first date is just to see if you even like this person. So, if a man brings up the DTR conversation on the first date, he will come off as desperate. This will turn a woman off because she doesn’t even know the guy and he’s already talking about a relationship. She will subconsciously know that a guy who gets so serious so early doesn’t get laid much and is probably going to turn out to be a weak, possessive control freak. If a woman brings up the DTR conversation on the first date, she will come off as stifling. A man doesn’t even know the woman yet, and if she’s already bringing up the DTR conversation his freedom is immediately threatened. Having the DTR on the first date is a definite no-no for both parties.

By the second date both people will have more familiarity with each other. Whereas the first date is a pre-date to get to know one another, the second date can be taken more seriously. This is the date where you get to know the person on a deeper level and determine whether the first date was just a flaw because you both were on your best behavior. It is my opinion that having the DTR conversation on the second date is still too soon because at this point, you two should just be having flirty fun with each other. Having the conversation this early still denotes desperation.

I believe the third date is ideal because now things are heating up. It is widely agreed that sex has the highest possibility of happening on the third date. If the gentleman plays his cards right at this point, he has established himself as a fun guy that the girl can enjoy herself with. She should be comfortable with him and her barriers should be lowered, opening the door for him to make that move. Because sex can definitely happen at this point, I believe this is why the third date is a great time to have the DTR talk. But who should be the one to initiate this conversation?

As mentioned earlier, there are no clearly defined rules when it comes to dating. Conventional wisdom states that it is the gentleman’s job to lead the woman, therefore it’s his job to have this talk. I believe that the person with the most to lose should be the one to initiate the DTR conversation. In most cases, this would be the woman. I wrote about how women have more to lose when it comes to sex in this article┬áso let’s not waste too much time there. The person who is most emotionally invested should be the one to initiate the DTR talk because they are the one most at risk for heartbreak.

I must warn you, having the DTR conversation does not mean that you will never get hurt or deceived again. There are people out there who will tell you what you want to hear just to sleep with you. So women, if you have the talk with the guy you’re dating and you still get lied to then there’s nothing you can do. It is up to you to be an outstanding judge of character and determine whether this guy you’re dating is worthy of a relationship; this is what the first few dates are for. Remember, the DTR conversation won’t save you but it will allow you the opportunity to be clear with what you expect from him while allowing him to express his intentions.

Don’t be foolish and trick yourself into believing that you will never get your heart broken again, this is naive. However, by communicating clearly and defining the relationship after several dates you can lower the chances of heartbreak. I’d love to know what you think in the comments below.

The One Way To Not Get Too Attached

The dating game can be likened to a game of tug and war; you are constantly in a state of giving and receiving your attention and affection in hopes of pulling someone in. Give too much and you’ll fall hard for the person and likely push them away. If you don’t give enough, the other person will pull back their attention and find someone else. In both cases, you’re left standing alone holding your rope. So how do you find that perfect balance of being interested but not clingy?

Date multiple people.

If you are single, you should be dating multiple people anyway. By having your eggs in multiple baskets you maintain a mystique about you that builds attraction. It is human nature to want what we can’t have, so by not fully investing in pursuing someone wholeheartedly it makes them want you more.

It’s all about balance.

You want to let the person(s) you’re dating know that you are interested in them, but simultaneously give off the vibe that you would be just fine without them. Show too much interest and you come off as needy or clingy, and this is what you don’t want. The bad boys do this naturally because they genuinely don’t care about the people they date so they never have to worry about being clingy.

Why is clinginess so unattractive?

Clinginess reveals a needy, insecure personality that will likely lead to an unhealthy relationship. Have you ever dated someone who constantly texted and called you inquiring about your whereabouts? Have you ever dated someone who accused you of cheating if you failed to reply to their text message within 20 minutes? Everyone wants to be loved but no one should want to be controlled.

The other reason why clinginess is unattractive is because it shows a lack of independence. An ideal healthy relationship consists of two partners who lead their own fulfilling lives. It’s about two happy and healthy people coming together and sharing life experiences, not about one person controlling and possessing their partner. If you are leading a full life and dating multiple people, there is no way you can come off clingy because you simply have too much to do. You’re too busy dating other people or spending time with hobbies, mastering a craft, or furthering your career or education.

When dating multiple people, you will likely be faced with a familiar stigma: dating multiple people is trashy behavior. If you’re a woman dating multiple guys, detractors will label you as a slut. If you’re a guy dating multiple women then you will be labeled as a player. Do not succumb to societal pressure. The whole idea of dating is to meet multiple people and spend time with them until you meet the person who shares the same values and interests as you do. You’re essentially interviewing people for the position of significant other. Until you find someone that you want to enter into a relationship with, it is your job to test the market. It’s the only way to guarantee that you are making a good relationship decision.

So always keep in mind that dating is all about balance. You should be constantly balancing your attention between the people you’re dating and your own life ambitions. The best way to keep balance when dating is to date multiple people until you find the one for you. With this in mind, you can ensure that you will become a catch and you will no longer be the loser holding their rope because you chased people away.

Are You Settling? Why Everyone in Relationships Isn’t Happy

Almost everywhere you look, you can find “happy couples” living their “happy couple” lives and doing “happy couple things.” This may evoke a sense of disgust at their lovey dovey relationship or perhaps hope that you may one day find a similar fantastical romance. Recently, I’ve been paying more attention to these couples and the way they interact. I’m starting to find that things aren’t always what they seem. What I’ve found is that in a lot of cases, at least one of these partners are not truly content in their relationships. This leads me to ask, “are you settling?”

I’ve previously spoken against the idea of monogamy in another post so I won’t delve into that here. I want to start with what I’ve been seeing a lot from men lately. Working in retail, I constantly see couples shopping together. What catches my attention, though, is the man’s demeanor throughout their shopping experience. The men often seem to be dragged along almost against their will and I can see the subtle telltale signs that they are not enjoying the bonding time. Not even a little bit.

I see needy women parading their significant others throughout the store asking their partners to buy them this and that. I see guys unemotionally giving vague opinions on how their girlfriends look in a dress that they really don’t need. I see guys reluctantly swiping their credit cards to appease their materialistic girlfriends and wives. Sure, I understand that the whole experience of shopping does not primarily appeal to men. I understand that this one scenario cannot justify all relationship imbalances, but it makes me wonder, “what else are people suffering through for the sake of a relationship?”

It is my opinion that a healthy relationship brings two people together and serves each partner equally. A relationship provides people the opportunity to grow and develop together with the added perk of romance. It is my opinion that people (guy or girl) should not be sacrificing their own happiness for the sake of a relationship. Gentlemen, you shouldn’t be in a relationship just for steady sex. Ladies, you shouldn’t be in a relationship to fulfill a programmed need for attention and sense of self worth. This leads to men being disloyal sexual deviants and women being attention seeking divas.

Yes, every relationship has its ups and downs. It’s about compromise, so I understand that partners are going to have to make sacrifices in order to make the relationship work. This does not mean that you should be sacrificing who you are and what you value in order to appease a significant other. Your partner should bring the best out of you and help you grow into the person you’re capable of being. Not someone who just uses you as a sex doll or free shopping sprees. You have to ask yourself, “what am I getting out of this relationship?”

If you’re constantly unhappy and you notice that you actually dread spending time with your nagging girlfriend or your self centered, egotistical boyfriend then why are you with them? Is the sex worth it if you’ll just despise them afterwards? Are the gifts and treats an even tradeoff for you self esteem?

It is imperative to understand that your happiness is the only thing that matters in this world. You should live for you. Sure, help and give to others as much as you can just as long as you are not sacrificing your own morals or values in the process. This is important because too many people lose focus of this when they enter a relationship. Guys will workout less or completely stop because their girlfriends want to spend more time together. Ladies will see their friends less and less because their boyfriends are controlling and jealous. This is how people lose themselves in relationships.

I say all that to say this: stay true to you. Relationships can be a beautiful opportunity to grow together in love and life or it can be a painstakingly demoralizing deathtrap that drains your soul. It is up to you to recognize what you value and if your relationship is one you feel you deserve. It’s okay to be alone. It’s okay to be single for a while. Stop letting outside forces influence your own self beliefs and self worth. Stop settling for less than you deserve.