You’ve been going out with a wonderful guy for a few weeks and he has been consistently sweet and charming. You spend almost every day together and you constantly text and call each other. You’ve gotten to know some of his friends and your girlfriends are already fond of him. You know he is into you and that he has said that at some point he wants to be with somebody in a long term committed relationship. It’s what pretty much every girl in the dating world wishes for. When you think about him, which is all the time, you can’t help but smile.
About this time, you start thinking, “I really, REALLY like this guy and I think WE can work.” You get signals that he feels the same way and he does things to reassure you that he’s not playing around. Then comes the big question—“ok, but where is this all going?” and you want to define your relationship.
Although you don’t want to be the one to ask first and spoil the connection between you there is still a fear of being played. There’s that lingering feeling of wanting to ask “What are we?”… “Maybe he’s just in it for fun and has no intention of taking things to the next level?”
You worry maybe you made this pseudo fantasy in your head and perhaps he doesn’t like you as much as you like him. If you don’t have a talk, you won’t know for sure and he could easily go date someone else since there are no set rules yet.
The next day, you sit him down, look into his eyes and blurt out all these questions, *cough*insecurities and then…CRASH!!! He bolts faster than you can say “commitment.”
This is a reality for a lot of women and not just you. When in this situation… or rather, before you get into this phase in the dating timeline, you have to learn to control your urges to ask the 3 W’s—(1) WHAT are we? (2) WHERE is this going? And, (3) WHO am I to you?
You need to understand that women see labels in a completely different light; in contrast to men’s perceptions.
We enjoy saying “my boyfriend” or “my man.” We say it with pride whenever we’re sharing anecdotes with our girlfriends.
Don’t think that men don’t like labels AT ALL. They do. And they also need that to gain some degree of structure in their lives, as well as hey, they’d want their friends to know that they’re girlfriend is the confident ‘hot mama’ coming over to their table.
The deal is, men are not afraid to put a label on things. If your guy hasn’t done so after a month of dating, it doesn’t mean that he won’t step things up. It’s not committing to you that bothers him. It’s the general concept of commitment. Most guys have what I call a “flash forward” moment when they first start dating a woman – where they get a gut feel on if this one has the potential to go long term (ie. ‘a Keeper’)
But guys want to be sure about their feelings and it takes them a lot longer to process their emotions. If they were to give up their freedom and make a major change in their lifestyle, they HAVE and NEED to be sure it’s with the right person.
This will then segue to some lessons on pacing which is crucial to getting him to the part where you actually can gracefully have “The Talk.”
No matter how much fun you both are having, you have to look at things based on his timetable. This means that you should assume moving in slooow motion. If things are really going well for the two of you, don’t worry. HE WILL NOTICE. But you ideally just have to wait for him to see it.
Enjoy the moment! Having fun and stop dwelling on the 3 Ws. Time passes by faster when you’re happy, right? Resist your urges to analyze what is going on and what it means. Just let it be, enjoy your life and pace it out.
Remember, giving ultimatums won’t hasten his pace. If you’ve just been seeing each other for a month or less, and you feel a real connection but there’s no initiative to say what you mind says needs to be said; STOP, BREATHE, and FOCUS.
Focus on how happy he makes you feel at the moment. Sure, keep an eye out for possible red flags that you should be paying attention to but focus on how much you’re having fun getting to know each other and what his values and mannerisms are.
You can’t catch a butterfly by flapping your arms and being loud, you’ll scare it off. Avoid threats. He’s sure to bolt away if you’re not smooth and collected. Act gracefully and playfully.
Timing is everything so there’s no rush when you’ve just started dating. A good man can and will make you feel reassured without having to say “I’m committed to you.” They just like taking their time, that’s all. Patience is a virtue (although I know is not my greatest strength but I also am practicing!).
My parting notes: Have faith in yourself and know that any man would be fortunate to have you in his life if you are being the best version of yourself and enjoying life. Don’t waste your time with guys who can’t make some level of commitment even after 6 months of dating. Bid him farewell and find yourself a better, more commitment-ready man if that is what you desire. Life is too short to keep waiting for something that’s not coming.