When Do You Have the DTR (Define the Relationship Talk)? – Revisted


The DTR is one of the most gut-wrenching, nerve-wracking talks to have with the person you’ve been seeing. Dating always starts off well. You go out for dinner, take in a movie, see a gig, tell stories and talk about each other’s common interests. Slowly, you begin to develop something more than interest, something along the lines of “Holy shit, I actually like this person!”

It’s a great feeling, but then comes the dread. What if they don’t like me that way? What if they just like being friends? Why have they strung me along this whole time? We’ve been dating for three weeks now, so surely it’s time to bring up the DTR, right…. Right?

We all turn into nervous little Woody Allens in these situations. Your brain reels with the myriad possibilities and pre-destines one of the worst outcome of them all: the friendzone. Sometimes, you’d rather let the whole thing go belly-up instead of facing the DTR talk.

But the key word in this is define. It could mean a number of things, such as: Do you actually just like being friends with this person? Do you have great sex, and want to keep it at that? Do you want to have 10,000 babies with them and grow old and die together? Or, do you simply want try a relationship, and see where it goes? If you’re not sure of what you actually want, then it’s best to do some soul-searching, before jumping into a pool of “This wasn’t what I expected”.

Once you’ve defined what you want out of the relationship, and feel honest about it, then it’s best to break it with the other person. But keep in mind, it may not be what they’re after, so follow the old saying: Hope for the best, but expect the worst. That way, if they do disappoint, it makes the crushing blow of rejection a tiny bit softer. A tiny bit…

Simply go out on a date, and then lay it on them. Don’t be desperate, or awkward (though this easier said than done). Simply start the conversation by expressing where you stand, and how you would like the relationship to progress. Then ask the person: What do you want? Try and be understanding if they let you down, and if they agree and feel the same way, try not to explode.

But in terms of ‘when do you have the DTR talk’ – there is no real right or wrong answer. Relationships, even at dating level, evolve. And it’s best to them eventuate naturally. Trust your instinct, but respect the boundaries of the other person. But always be honest, with what you want, and to accept and respect the wishes of the other person.


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