After months and months of filling your funnel, you think you’ve found a guy you really like. He’s smart and funny, sensitive and sweet, with just a dash of edge and spontaneity. You’ve been seeing each other for roughly three months and feel like you are both pretty into each other. Only thing is, you haven’t had “The Talk” yet. Does he consider you to be exclusive? Are you still dating other people? Can you start introducing him as your boyfriend? These questions can all be answered with one little conversation. But how do you bring it up? Before you cross the Rubicon and have this discussion, you must think this through. Once you have the talk, there is no going back. Say too much too soon and you could scare the guy off or tip your hand. But if you wait too long you could lose your sanity, or worse, waste your time on a guy that never had long term intentions. So what’s a girl to do?
The best way to have the relationship talk is to make the guy bring it up first. So how do you make him start yapping?
Rule No. 1 : Whenever you are trying to get someone to do what you want, always negotiate from a position of strength. In this case, you want this guy to be your boyfriend, right? You want him to stop seeing other girls and make you his one and only. Great. What kind of bargaining power do you have that will make him want to do this? What will he get in return that he is not getting now?
When my friend Cara started seeing her boyfriend, Justin, she refused to spend the night at his house. They would hang out, watch movies, eat dinner, and fool around, but never did she put on her PJ’s and climb into bed with him. He hated that she always went home and eventually asked her what he needed to do to get her to stay. That’s when they started having the talk. Because her boyfriend wanted her to spend the night, Cara was able to negotiate from a position of strength.
Now, let’s say you’ve already blown that. You’ve not only been spending the night, but you’ve been having sex with the guy too. You are now in a position of weakness because you want the guy to give you girlfriend status, but you have nothing that he wants from you (because he’s already getting it!)
Rule No. 2: Use a little fear of loss. After you have had a nice dinner, cuddled up on the couch, and maybe had a serious smooching session, give him a big hug and say, “This has been a great night, but I think I’m going to go now.” He will, of course, be shocked at this sudden and erratic change in behavior. “Why?” He will ask. This is when you tell him that you really like him, but things have progressed a bit fast for you. You feel like maybe you should just slow down a little because at three months of dating, you don’t know how you feel about the relationship… does he? And that is when you sit there in silence and wait for a response. If he says, “I think things are going great,” don’t let him get away with that. Keep sitting there, thinking pensively,and don’t say anything more than, “hmm…okay.” Use the silence to your advantage. The first one to talk in this situation loses. Eventually, if he likes you, he will start talking.
Now what if you are in a position of weakness, fear of loss didn’t work, and now you are back at your house wondering how that conversation went so wrong.
Rule No. 3: The most important rule of all negotiating: Be willing to walk away. So he let you walk out the door and go home that night. He hasn’t called you yet to ask you to come back and talk. Stay calm, and whatever you do, don’t go back on your word. Don’t cave and start hanging out with him even though nothing has been discussed. Give him some time. Now that you aren’t around he will either miss you or forget you. You just have to be patient and see which one it is. If you don’t hear from him and he doesn’t want to talk about his feelings there is only one reason: he doesn’t have any for you. If he’s not saying it, it’s because he’s not feeling it and you should just move on at that point. But if after a few days have gone by, and he’s texted and called, wants to see you and take you out, know that you are back in a position of strength! This time don’t blow it. Don’t fall back into your old routine. End your date at the height of Impluse, hold back your bullets, and you will get your man this time around.
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