Defining Your Relationship: When and How to Take It to the Next Level

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defining the relationship

In a time where people forge friendships and relationships over direct messages on Twitter and carry out full-on arguments over text messages, “going steady” or even the idea of asking someone to “go steady” seems like an uncomfortable situation. Many relationships physically move at an extremely fast speed, but emotionally seem to be stunted or moving at a glacial pace.

“Catching” feelings and emotions are, more often than not, frowned upon; it isn’t appreciated or celebrated by the younger generation. Despite all of this pressure to avoid sentiments and to keep things casual, many still want a steady, monogamous relationship. How do you define a relationship like that amongst all the friends-with-benefits and casual relationships being built around you?

Be honest with yourself. Call it cliché, but being honest with yourself is so imperative to being honest with someone else. If you find yourself hanging out with your friend-with-benefits or casual hookup, and realize you like them a lot more than what this relationship entails, do not pretend to feel otherwise. That is the surest way to get hurt. It’s understandable if you fear the relationship will fall apart entirely if you say anything, but giving and getting less than what you want from someone is a painful situation you should remove yourself from sooner than later. You also might be pleasantly surprised to find that that person feels the same way you do.

Despite what you hear, “catching” feelings is not a crime against humanity. Don’t let your peers shame you into avoiding your feelings. I’m a feelings kind of a person. I don’t often really like someone, but when I do, I’m pretty open about it. The way I see it is I’m not going to waste my time pretending my feelings don’t exist because my generation has emotional setbacks. I’m lucky enough not to be sociopathic and unattached, so I’m going to revel in my blessings, dammit.

Decide what you want. You may have feelings for someone, but do you really want a relationship with them? Figure out what you want to ask them for. Do you want to see where this could go or are you ready for a full-fledge relationship? You need to decide two things: how you feel about this person and what you want to do about it? Being prepared always makes for a better conversation.

Timing is important. Once you’ve figured out what you want from someone, you need to find the right time to let them know. A crowded party while both you and significant other are tipsy may not result in a solid foundation to move forward in your relationship. Find time where you and your significant other are alone and not rushed. This gives you a chance to say what you need to say to sober captive audience.

Be confident! You’re intelligent, beautiful, and fabulous. Any guy would be lucky to have you as his steady girlfriend! Keep that in mind when you tell your significant other how you really feel about him. You don’t have to be aggressive, but looking the person in the eye and speaking with confidence helps show them that you’re ready to get serious with them.

Stop worrying about the “what-ifs”. Don’t obsess over all the questions in your head like, “What if he says no?” or “What if I look too emotional?” Push all the out of your mind and be a go-getter. Relationships can be healthy and normal, despite anything you’ve heard. There’s nothing wrong with wanting that from someone you really care about. The only “what-if” you should be worried about is, “What if I never try?” At the risk of sounding like a corny Nike commercial, if you don’t try, there’s virtually no chance of success. Put your best foot forward and go for it.

[Lead image via Pressmaster/Shutterstock]

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