“Ladies, the right man for you will pursue you. Actively. He won’t leave you wondering whether he’s into you or not.”
~ Mandy Hale
1. Know What You Want
If you’re wondering where your relationship is going, do you know where you want it to go?
Whether or not he has an opinion, your opinion is important.
You want to ensure that you’ve spent time deciding what you want and how you want the relationship to progress. You’re an active participant in this relationship, so – participate!
2. Be Assertive
Assertiveness is the stance that your wants, needs, and opinions matter, as do others. It is seeking to speak clearly and listen well, so that you find a win-win with all parties involved. It is having confidence and kindness.
Assertiveness is not passivity (saying nothing) and it’s not aggressiveness (making demands or issuing ultimatums). So now that you know what you want, ask for it.
3. Listen Well
If you are truly asking, then you’ll need to truly listen. Hear what he wants. Listen to why he wants it. Ask questions so you can accurately understand.
4. Be Gracious and Patient
Everyone has their own pace. This man may be very interested in being in a relationship with you (and even see that it has a future), but also want to go at a slower pace than you.
You may regret discarding a great man just because his pace is not yours. What’s your rush? If it’s something good, is it worth slowing down for?
5. Believe that You Can Manifest Love
Sometimes a question like this is motivated by worry. And sometimes that worry is about future prospects.
If you’re worried that if this relationship ends it will mean you’ll be alone forever, you may have some soul work to do.
You are a wonderful person who is very lovable. I truly believe this! Everyone has unique and valuable qualities, no matter their past, mistakes, or struggles. And given this wonderful and lovableness about you, you are incredibly capable of creating loving relationships everywhere you go.
You can manifest love, even romantic love.
Have faith in yourself and your ability to bring about love. Even if this relationship ends, your prospects for romantic love will not.
Also, if you’re worried that he’s your only shot, you’ll be settling for whatever he gives you. Not only may that be unpleasant, but it’d be devaluing yourself. You deserve to be loved well. Demand it!
6. Reflect and Learn
All relationships are unique in how the partners relate to one another. And they require communication. Aside from those two general qualities, consider how this relationship may relate to your past relationships.
- Do you regularly ask this question?
- Are there common characteristics of the guys you date (such as not wanting to be exclusive or commit)?
This may be a chance to make some larger changes in your life so you’re dating guys more suited to you and your goals.
Stacey Schwenker, MDiv, LMFT – www.gardencitycenter.org
Before you have the “Where is this relationship going?” conversation with your man, it is essential that you understand your intention for having this talk.
You most likely fall into one of two categories:
1. You’re feeling unsure or confused about the status of your relationship.
Perhaps you’ve received mixed messages from your guy. One weekend he’s wanting to spend the entire weekend with you and the very next weekend he doesn’t even call. Or perhaps the relationship isn’t progressing naturally and it’s feeling “off”.
For instance, it’s been a year and he still hasn’t introduced you to any of his guy friends?
Regardless of the specifics, something has happened that is making you wonder if you’re on the same page. You need clarity so you know how to best proceed – to either continue, adjust, or end the relationship.
2. Or, you’re feeling optimistic about the way things are going and want to check in with your guy to confirm you’re on the same page about this.
Perhaps you and your guy have been spending quality time together, getting along really well, and have similar values and interests. You’re happy with the way the relationship is progressing and curious to know if he’d agree.
Once you understand your intention for having this conversation, you need to get clear on what YOU want.
What is your personal vision of a deeply satisfying love relationship?
Take some quiet time to reflect and write out on a piece of paper your personal vision of a deeply satisfying love relationship. Describe your vision in as much detail as possible.
Does your current relationship align with your vision?
If so, then you’re probably feeling pretty confident about this relationship which will make this conversation feel more comfortable. If not, then you may be feeling discouraged. That’s okay. Even more reason to have this conversation now before you get too attached and come to find out it is a dead end.
Now you’re ready to have the “Where is this relationship going?” conversation.
Here are some practical tips to set this conversation up for success:
It’s best to have this talk when it’s just the two of you. Don’t have the talk in front of others – it’ll catch him off guard and he’ll likely blow it off or get defensive.
Also, don’t have this conversation right before or after sex – you won’t have his full attention and he may feel manipulated. Catch him when he’s feeling positive, relaxed, and stress-free.
Pick a place that’s familiar and comfortable like the cozy couch in his living room, his go-to spot on the patio, or the pool/hot tub. Or bring it up while enjoying a meal at your favorite eatery or while walking his dog.
You know your guy best so pick a setting where you’ll have his undivided attention.
Approach the conversation with ease, honesty, and confidence.
Don’t make it so serious – this may raise his defenses. Remember, you already know your intention for having this conversation. Be clear, honest, and sincere. You got this!
Don’t start the conversation off by saying, “We need to talk” – this is a major turn off for most guys.
Instead, try saying something like,
“I’ve really enjoyed the time we’ve spent getting to know each other over the last several months. I was hoping we could talk about where we see things going between us. Are you open to talking about that?”
Or, if you’re doubting where your man stands on this, you’ll want to be more direct by saying,
“Can we talk about where we see things going between us?”
If he tries to avoid or gives you vague responses, don’t be afraid to express why this is important to you. You need to know if this relationship is still worth investing in.
e. Express Yourself:
Share your experience in the relationship without being critical or defensive. This is your time to be clear about what you want. Express how you feel and what you hope for with your man moving forward.
After you’ve opened up the conversation, don’t make it all about you. This should be a back-and-forth where you both share your thoughts, feelings, wants, needs, visions for the future, etc. Hear him out. This will help you get a sense as to where he sees the relationship going. Expand the conversation by asking open-ended questions and mirror back what you hear him say. Then, you can determine if you two are in alignment.
After you’ve had the conversation, now it’s time for you to reflect on how it went and what to do next. If the conversation went well, congratulations for being brave and having the courage to show up for your growing relationship. This will serve you well the next time you need to talk with your man.
If the conversation didn’t go as planned or it confirmed this is not the right guy for you, a congratulations is still in order.
Putting yourself out there, verbalizing your desires, and clearly and confidently knowing what you DO want is a sure-fire way to quickly weed out any guy that doesn’t align with your vision.
Do not settle for anything less than what you deserve and desire.
So, the good news is by letting this guy go, as hard as it might be, it will make room for the right guy to come into your life. Who doesn’t want that?!
If you’re struggling with dating or relationships, connect with a Licensed Therapist who can assist you in exploring these topics and empower you to live your best life with the right partner by your side.
Rebecca Lanier, LMFT, EdS, MEd – www.rebeccalanierlmft.com
Are you ready to talk with your partner about the future of your relationship, but feeling unsure about where to begin?
Whether it’s the “where is this relationship going” conversation or one of many other vulnerable topics that come up in relationships, there are ways to reduce anxiety and increase understanding and connection as you navigate these conversations.
1. Coming prepared:
Understanding your own hopes for the relationship is a crucial first step as you consider discussing your relationship with your partner.
Consider the following:
- What do you want for the future of your relationship?
- Why do you feel ready for this discussion now?
- What are you hoping to get out of the discussion?
2. Setting the tone:
After reflecting on the questions above, notice what feelings come up for you.
Do you feel anxious, worried, fearful, or uncertain about approaching your partner?
Sharing with your partner, “I’m feeling nervous to bring this up…” can invite them into the vulnerable space that you have opened and set the tone for more emotional sharing, in addition to lessening your own anxiety in the moment.
It can also help to communicate what you are hoping to get out of the conversation, like a better understanding of your partner’s feelings or how you both imagine your future together, as this reduces uncertainty for both of you and gives you something to aim for.
3. Leading with curiosity:
Active listening and leading with curiosity can help your partner feel heard, understood, and support a more open dialogue.
Lead with curiosity by asking your partner about what they’ve just shared with questions focused on increasing your understanding of their perspective and feelings.
This opens space for further sharing and clarification. Also, repeating back what you’ve heard your partner share, in your own words, lets them know that you’ve heard them and that you are listening.
4. Finding a good time
When it comes to finding a good time to talk about vulnerable topics, it is important to remember that though a moment might feel right for you, it might not be the best time for your partner.
Checking in with your partner by sharing what you would like to discuss, what you are hoping to get out of the conversation, and when would be a good time for them to talk, whether it’s that moment or later in the day or week, can help reduce pressure and provide space for your partner to do their own reflecting as well.
Vulnerable discussions, like the “where is this relationship going” conversation can bring up feelings of anxiety, uncertainty, and fear.
While anxiety might feel uncomfortable, it is not inherently bad, it is information that your body is sharing with you and can mean that you are stretching yourself and challenging yourself to grow.
Brené Brown reminds us what’s at stake: “Staying vulnerable is a risk we have to take if we want to experience connection.”
Lauren Skuba, MA, MFTC – www.positivespace-therapy.com
So you want to know where your relationship with the guy you have been seeing is headed.
Are you two on the same path, or two totally different tracks? There is only one way to find out and that involves having the DTR (“define the relationship”) conversation.
Typically, this means you want to stop seeing other people and feel ready to begin a monogamous relationship with your guy.
It may be a conversation you are having anxiety about, but having this conversation is important.
Like with anything, you can’t know ahead of time how he will react, but you must remember you are both part of this potential relationship and there is nothing wrong with sharing your needs.
This is your chance to lay your cards out on the table, be vulnerable and honest about what you want.
How your guy responds to this kind of emotionally complex conversation can give you an inside look as to what a future relationship with him may be like.
Typically, this kind of conversation is romanticized about finally becoming “officially official” boyfriend and girlfriend.
Defining the relationship is just the beginning of creating a foundation of healthy honest communication and trust.
Now is the time to openly discuss what a relationship means to each of you. We may have different individual expectations of what it really means to be a boyfriend or girlfriend.
It is important to really listen to your potential partner in this conversation so you can decide if you are both compatible and in agreement to move forward with the same expectations.
If they haven’t been discussed already, this talk includes big questions like if you both desire similar things in the future, such as kids and/or marriage, or if you are adamantly against them.
You also want to discuss what being sexually safe means for you, discussing what your birth control approach looks like, if you/they have any STDs or if you want you or your partner to get tested. It is good to know where you both stand on these big life topics so you can each make a clear decision.
None of this means you must commit to getting married, having kids or moving in together right now!
That is best to wait on until after you have spent more time together as an established couple. Talking about all the above-mentioned topics simply sets the foundation for each of you to feel secure in starting a new relationship.
Establishing trust and communication from early on is helpful for when other issues occur throughout your relationship because they will!
All you have to say is “I have something I want to share with you” or “There’s something I want to talk to you about.”
Having this conversation lets you know what’s up so you can move forward confidently, whether that is together or apart.
Samantha Murphy, LPC – www.westhartfordholisticcounseling.com
My husband chuckled to hear what I’m writing about today. We still recall driving on a backroad when I tearfully asked, “I just don’t know—where is this relationship going?”
Perhaps this either makes me the worst or best person to reflect upon this subject!
Working each day with people navigating relationships, I often hear about the build-up to this question.
No one wants to feel like they’re on the wrong page. You want to be confident yet careful with your emotions. And that’s all normal. How could you not want to know these pieces? It’s okay to want reassurance and to ask these questions.
Before talking to your partner, check in with yourself.
What is your honest sense of your connection and relationship?
- What makes you nervous about whether they reciprocate your feelings and wishes?
Checking in with ourselves helps us to see how honest we’re being about our own feelings and intuition.
As for the conversation itself:
• Make sure it’s a good time. Feeling rushed, hungry, sleepy or distracted hinders how warm and present we are. If you’re especially nervous about the answer, consider what your plan can be later in the day: calling a friend, watching a favorite movie, going for a bike ride.
• Take a breath. Feel the ground beneath your feet. And ask the universe to help you find the right words. Remind yourself of the quality of relationship you want and of the quality person you are. You’re honoring all of that by having this conversation.
• Keep in mind that the goal isn’t simply to know everything about the other person’s stance (i.e. to interrogate them), but most of all, to share with what’s going on with yourself.
• And, reach out to your partner and explain you’d like their feedback around some thoughts and feelings you’re having.
- What you believe to be true,
- Your hopes (and timeframe if relevant),
- How it feels to share this,
- Any worries or stories you’ve been telling yourself.
- Then, invite them to respond.
Example: “I love our time together. I feel calm and connected with you, and I like how we work through hard times. My hope is that we’re to the point of moving in together this year, but I sometimes worry you don’t want to stay together long-term.
I feel awkward and vulnerable telling you this, but I’d like to know where you stand, as I want us to be able to be open about these pieces.
Do you think moving in together is something you’d want?”
• Honor your needs. Notice whether this person feels aligned with how you want your partnership to be. You may love this person and still determine that what they see for your future isn’t what you want.
By speaking kindly and openly about difficult topics, you’re developing a skill that will help you in this or any relationship you choose to be in.
And for that, I feel really good about where your relationships may go.
Sarah Claus, MA, LPCC – www.sarahclaus.com
Relationships are a progression and it’s normal to want to know where on that progression your relationship is.
However, the relationship is made up of you and your partner and you may not be in the same place on the progression. This is not a bad thing. People move towards greater commitment at different speeds. It’s just one of the dynamics that has to be negotiated between the two of you.
It starts with you knowing where you are.
Usually if you’re asking the “where are we?” question, you are ready to move the relationship forward. So what you’re really asking is “where is he?.
So ask him.
I always think that it’s better (and braver) to begin with a statement about your own feelings.
“I am feeling good about us and I’d like to know how you are feeling”.
Questions for him could include,
- “How are you feeling about our relationship?”
- “Do you see us moving forward?”
- “Is there anything that would be interfering with our moving forward?”
- “Is there anything that we need to be talking about?”
The common denominator in these questions is that they are not ultimatums.
Ultimatums are seldom helpful or successful. They tend to create an adversarial environment.
If you feel like you want to utter an ultimatum, you have probably waited too long to take the temperature of your relationship.
None of us has all the time in the world and we don’t want to waste time in relationships that have no future. Do remember that you and your partner may not be in the same place at the same time, so unless this relationship has really dragged on with very little forward momentum, you might just need to be patient.
When you feel like you need to know something, it’s time to ask.
As long as you are non-confrontational and genuinely curious about how your partner is feeling, the conversation should go well. And although it’s possible that you may not hear what you want to hear, at least you will know.
Sally LeBoy, MFT – www.sallyleboymft.com
If you have been wanting to know where the relationship is going it might be the case that you are longing for deeper commitment and intimacy.
Some women feel ready for this from the first date, while others might want to get to know the man they are dating a little better before they feel ready to commit.
In reality it makes most sense to wait a little because taking the time to assess first if there is enough compatibility, connection, attraction, interest, reciprocity, etc. is very important.
Thinking that you are ready when you only have only seen the person once or twice might be indicative of other things, worth exploring in therapy.
Nonetheless, it’s totally legitimate and fair to want to know where your relationship is going!
In preparation for this, give yourself enough time to explore how you REALLY FEEL with him instead of focusing on what you are projecting unto him.
Projection is the process of displacing or attributing our feelings onto others based on what we think the other person is.
For example, thinking the other person is perfect or never gets angry, etc. are examples of a projection. typically, projections are indeed a distortion of reality.
A lot of the work I do with clients is help them investigate the ways in which they see, or experience others as better than them due to projections.
Putting someone on a pedestal is very common in the early stages of a romantic relationship because we project a perfect other onto the other person.
The problem about projections is that they can be very misleading and deceiving because they are not accurate as you don’t really know the person.
So ask yourself what do you FEEL with this man, not what you think of him.
Use your body’s wisdom and intuition to guide you. It is very likely that the ideas you form about him during the first stages of a relationship are projections— so take them with a grain of salt.
Now, if your body is telling you that this man is a good candidate for a long-term partnership and your discerning mind (use your discerning mind!) tells you that in a fundamental way you two are compatible, then you are ready to have the ‘where is the relationship is going’ conversation.
When inviting him for the conversation be open for it to unfold in any way.
You are still in the exploration phase, remember?
Assess gathering information. Having the conversation will give you a better idea of where he stands, and whether or not he is clear about his feelings for you and where he wants the relationship to go.
Be ready to hear his truth without making it a statement about you, or who you are; and be ready to openly express what you want regardless of what he wants.
If his response is not what you wanted or expected, re-assess again but don’t jump to conclusions, maybe it needs more time, but more than anything: Trust your instincts.
Juana Rincón, MA, LPC – www.unnidocounseling.com
At some point, the status of a relationship became a taboo topic and in a way a symbol of power.
If you were the one who asked, you were the desperate one but usually you were asking because the other person was not showing commitment to the relationship so why wouldn’t you wonder?
As another animal on this planet, we pair up to meet our need for emotional fulfillment and eventually mating. Of course, there are stereotypes about which is more important for men and women but we all need both to feel fulfilled.
Humans don’t procreate with every partner we have ever dated and much of that reason is because we are asking our self that question: where is this relationship going?
If you have got to a point in which you are seeing someone but you aren’t sure if he or she has titled the relationship, the relationship is monogamous, or any other question that clarifies if the relationship aligns with your current goals in life and love, then it is your right to ask!
If you follow these tips and your partner still attempts to make you feel as if you are odd or taking things too seriously then please make a run for it!
It is important, however, to be mindful of how you bring up and discuss the topic because relationships bring up a lot of hurt and insecurities for many people that can lash out in situations like this where the person may feel pressured or anxious.
If this does happen, just give the person some space and possibly try to discuss it at a different time and the person has had time to think or via different means (ex: writing).
Okay, now that I’ve given you history and some warning signs, let’s discuss what you should do!
This topic is not one that you want to bring up while your partner is running out the door so request some time that the two of you can talk.
As you start it may be helpful to think of the movie Anger Management and how Adam Sandler was required to repeat “Goose Frabba” to stay calm.
I want you to remember that calm, slow tone of voice and if you haven’t seen that movie imagine the voice of a yoga or meditation instructor.
Let your partner know that you want to bring up that topic and you are interested in hearing how he or she is feeling about the relationship.
Now remember! You may not hear things that you will want to hear, hence why you may be reading this article.
The important thing is be thankful that the person is willing to be open and honest with you so that both of you can decide the best way to move forward, whether it be working on the relationship or separating.
Practicing these skills and determining what you want will eventually help you find the right partner.
Jodie Shea, LMFT – www.pillowtalktherapy.com
The first thing to consider is the following question: What do you truly want?
After all, if you are at the point where you need to have that conversation, you should have your mind clear.
- Do you want to be in a committed relationship with that specific person or do you want the dream of being in a committed relationship and you are wondering if the person you are dating will match your dream?
The distinction is very subtle but very important.
If you want to be with the person you are dating, then be. Enjoy him FULLY for as long as you have him.
Why? Everyone and everything in this life is temporary!
Don’t go on focusing on what is going to happen in the future because nobody experiences the future they imagine exactly, when have you?
The irony of graciously accepting life as life is, is that when you do, you become a more desirable human being. You will feel more alive and joyous.
Why is this so important?
We can’t make people want to be with us, there are no guarantees in life, no matter how long you have been dating or the amount of conversations about the future. The closest you can get from having someone wanting to be with you is by becoming a more desirable person.
Being a more desirable person has a lot more to do with your attitude than your looks, which can attract but not necessarily keep a man.
A happy, loving, flowy, present, light, caring, secure, grounded, emotionally independent, are characteristics of a desirable person because they are pleasant to be around. You see, people don’t reject you, they reject your unpleasantness.
If you are always worried about the future, can’t enjoy the moment, are always complaining, taking things too serious or too personal, jealous, controlling, insecure and fearful, people may not feel motivated to be near to you.
Now, if you answer the second option, then you need to be very clear from the start.
Only date men who are looking for the same things as you. And if things change along the way, try to have loving and kind conversations about it and express your wants and needs clearly and rationally without pressure but objectively.
Don’t play games.
Although there are no guarantees in life, you need to precisely ask for what you want if you expect to receive it. Just keep in mind that nobody likes to feel pressured, if the man you are dating doesn’t want what you want, it may not be a good match.
I know, we usually get upset every time life and people don’t function the way we want. But when did life work 100% the way you want all the time?
So, instead of wishing for the impossible so you can finally be happy, be happy now! It will make you the most attractive woman ever!
Cristina Sabroso, LMFT, PhD, CCS – www.drsabroso.net
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