How to Have “The Relationship Talk” The Right Way with a Man

You hear it from practically EVERYONE, regardless of religious or philosophical ideology: do not rush into a commitment! Yes, we all probably know the story of one couple who had a teenage wedding and lived 50 years later to tell us all about it.

But the sad truth is, those types of relationships are fairly uncommon. Most couples that get together and become engaged or married within a few months are headed for failure. When emotions overpower logic, irrational thinking prevails. It’s hard to build a lifelong marriage on abnormal thinking, romantic though it may be.

That’s precisely why you should avoid jumping into a relationship with a guy you just met. That was kind of the point of Disney’s Frozen, right? Time reveals a prince’s true colors. Time reveals whether your love is real or feigned. And just so you know, time only makes real love grow stronger. There’s really no such thing as love that’s only valid for a week month or for a few months, you know, like a coupon. Real love doesn’t expire.

So rather than jump into a commitment neither of you are sure you can handle right now, why not just focus on the here and now? Spend more time getting to know him. Learning his good qualities. Noticing how he treats you, how he treats his family and friends. What motivates him? What are his secrets and dreams? These are the things you should be learning and evaluating, to make sure your perception of this great guy matches up with the reality of who he is.

That means you want to avoid forcing him into a commitment (aka an exclusive relationship), as well as avoiding HIM if he’s trying to make you exclusive without your agreement. Now that’s not to say that you want to distance yourself and push him away, sending him mixed messages. You may really like the guy. And if that’s the case, GOOD! All the more reason not to ruin a good thing by putting limits and laying down rules. Slow things down and try to actually ENJOY dating.

The best thing to do, rather than wait for the guy to bring it up and risk an awkward conversation, is to tell him how you feel about “relationship talk.” No need to worry…here are a few ideas on how you can broach the subject in a positive way rather than creating negative energy.

1. Avoid being clingy in the first place if you’re not ready to commit. Show him this will be a slow relationship.

It’s no wonder some guys get carried away with commitment when the clingy behavior of girlfriends drives them to it! If you really want to send him the message of “Take it slow”, then resist the urge to monopolize all of his time. Let him have his independence. Don’t schedule dates in advance, don’t insist on meeting his family or having him meet your family. Keep things casual and he may follow suit just fine.

2. Have the talk sooner rather than bringing it up later.

It’s best to be clear about expectations from the very beginning. In fact, a man usually responds worse when he thinks you spring this “relationship talk” on him without any warning. Make it clear in the very beginning what you don’t want, and what you do expect.

For example, you would tell him upfront if you’re not looking for a commitment or a life partner right now…you want your independence. On the other hand, maybe you would negotiate some kind of exclusive arrangement if and when you start having sex. However, sex doesn’t necessarily mean a full-time engagement, with all the expectations of family, friends and regular dates. Maybe that’s another milestone you will work towards. The sooner you flesh out these details, the sooner you avoid misunderstandings.

3. Don’t hide how you feel. Speak freely and encourage him to do the same.

It’s important that both of you are represented in the first relationship talk. Don’t hide your true feelings because you’re afraid of running him off. Hiding information only seems to bring on more emotionally wrenching breakups later on. You should also encourage your partner to be honest about what he wants, expects, or fears. All the more so if you sense he’s reluctant to open up. (And yet he seems to want more intimacy)

Establish your relationship based on his and your needs. Hear him out and be honest about your perspective. Compromise equally and don’t let him decide everything. It should be a mutually beneficial and respectful negotiation.

4. Leave emotion out of it!

This refers to all emotion—whether it’s a big dramatic “We have to talk!” announcement, a drunken revelation late one night, a crying meltdown, or a screaming fit (followed by amazing sex). All these clichés (which seem to work in the movies) are a mistake in real life. Out of control emotion is what scares guys away, not necessarily the commitment or the “talk” of where this relationship is headed. Handle things in a mature way, without excessive emotion, since inevitably, most emotion at this point is negative. A man will respect you for communicating your needs in a logical and respectful way.

5. When in doubt, postpone sex.

This bears repeating because too many women today are still making the mistake of using sexual bribery to advance or invest in a relationship. Hey, look…we’re all really happy about the sexual revolution going on and equal rights for women to be one-nighters like the guys. But that comes with one asterisk…

Don’t sleep with a guy if you really like him and want to explore a real relationship. Friends with benefits almost never macro-evolves into true love. If you really want to take a relationship slow, use the ultimate bargaining chip. A slow relationship in which you don’t have sex, and so you DON’T have to have the relationship talk anytime soon.

It’s best to avoid it until the very end…that is, after the guy has fallen for you. That is, when he’s ready to commit and when you decide to reward him with sex—meaning you’re ready for the relationship to advance too.

It’s all a matter of timing. Your courtship behavior slowly progresses in a way where all of this seems natural and logical. The key is to avoid sex until he starts feeling an emotional connection.

Relationship talks don’t have to be so scary. Keep it casual by not over-investing in him prematurely. Respond positively to his efforts and as always, keep him chasing you over a period of time. Slow and steady wins his heart!

About The Author

Matthew Coast

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