“The Conversation”. That scarily built-up concept that everyone starts asking you about when you’ve been seeing a guy for a while.
At the time you can feel like you’re about to play your only ace at poker and it’s a win/lose gamble. It doesn’t have to be so. It’s time to change the conversation. There’s ways to get the assurance you want, without presenting it as a be-all or end-all ultimatum.
Firstly, have the semi-conversation. When you’re at a point that you really see there is potential, have a conversation along the lines of: I like you and spending time with you. I’d be open to this developing into something more in the future, and to continuing to get to know you now. Is this something you’d be open to as well?
Note how different this is to: I’ve been really hurt by people in the past so I’m not willing to continue to see you unless you tell me you want to be in a relationship with me. If not, I don’t want to waste my time.
You’re simply floating the idea of something more serious, without putting any pressure, and allowing a “opt-in” or “opt-out” for both of you. Remember this is a two way thing.
You can then check-in around a month or so later, and see whether you’re happy with the commitment and direction of your relationship. If you need more certainty, enter The Mini Break.
Secondly, or alternatively, bring up the idea of a short break away together. This is great on many different levels. Firstly, it requires a higher level of commitment than a dinner date so is a good “stretcher” test. Secondly, it gives you both the chance to spend a real amount of time with each other and see how deeply compatible you are.
The reaction to this idea will naturally give the guy to chance to show how committed he is to getting to know you, or will allow any commitment issues to arise. The break itself will give you both a chance to explore things, see each other in a different light and show how compatible you really are.
Believe me, when you get back from a mini-break together, your friends on both sides will already be assuming this is going somewhere serious. Chances are, you won’t even have to have the conversation with your guy. One of his mates will do it for you, and he’ll then bring it up with you.
It's a great sign that things are on the right track, and will already be introducing the idea of it getting more serious, without any direct pressure to do so.
Don’t freak out
...if it doesn’t go exactly how you thought it would. I’ve known relationships where one member has backed away completely from The Conversation. A few weeks later, after some space and contemplation, they’ve realised that actually they are ready and this is their person.
If it doesn’t go to plan, give some space, stay positive and fulfill your needs in your own life for a bit. Trust that if it’s meant to go somewhere, it will. A few weeks later, you could be having a similar conversation with a very different outcome.
Or, it doesn’t go to plan and you see the true colours of your budding relationship. Maybe the relationship or the guy isn’t what you thought it would be. At least now you know, and your cards have been put on the table.
Have you tried either of these approaches? How have they gone? Comment below and let me know!