For most people, dating is just about playing the field, seeing what shows up, and taking it as it comes.
Most people don't have much intention for things to go somewhere. They might hope that it does or dream about how it might but they're not too serious about it. They're content to just play the game and see where it takes them.
There's something to be said for going with the flow, not becoming overly attached and trying to force things, but too many of us take this to a negative extreme. No attachment becomes no intention and no direction so we endlessly repeat the same cycles that lead nowhere.
Relationships as a whole then become a huge letdown and we constantly feel disappointed and unfulfilled.
For someone like you, who truly desires a partnership that is meaningful and fulfilling, you want all the effort you put into dating to actually lead somewhere and you can't afford to waste your time just "playing the game".
To actually get somewhere, you have to date with a clear intention about what you're expecting to find and not allow yourself to get stuck in someone else's game. You have to learn how to identify real potential in someone and do so before you waste too much time with them.
And something you definitely need to do is learn how to have "the talk"--the "what are we doing here" conversation.
For most people, this is one of the most awkward and fearful aspects of dating and one area where we tend to make the most mistakes. This post is written as a step-by-step guide to having "the talk".
Following the instructions we lay out here will make this conversation easy and natural and will allow you to determine the true potential of the relationship within the first few months you are together.
So first, when is a good time to start "the talk"?
This may come as a surprise to you but the first "talk" should be on the first date.
The first mistake that most of us make is that we bring it up way too late. There's this false idea that dating should be casual in the beginning and become more serious as we go along but when you do it that way, you're beginning every single relationship on the wrong foot.
You might think, "I can't come on too strong in the beginning. I have to act cool, make it seem like I have no expectations and I'm ok with whatever, and we can make it more serious later on."
When you start a new relationship this way, what you are actually communicating to the person is exactly that:
"I'm not interested in anything serious and I'm cool with whatever."
That is the worst message you can send to someone, especially when the dating world is full of people just looking for easy hookups with no commitment.
You think if you seem too serious in the beginning you'll scare people off and most likely, you will, but only the people that didn't want anything serious anyway. You'll scare away the people who are looking for an easy hookup and that's a good thing. It will save you a lot of wasted time.
So what does this first conversation look like? Something like this:
"I have to be honest with you because I don't want to waste my time or yours. I'm sincerely looking for a long-term relationship and I just want to know if you're looking for the same thing. If you're not, that's cool, but then I don't think we should take this any further."
With this statement, you are clearly communicating what you want to this person without putting any pressure on them. They are completely free to make whatever choice they feel is right for them but they know where you stand if they choose to continue seeing you.
By following this first suggestion, you ensure that any relationship you get involved in is starting out in the right direction and it makes the following conversations much easier to have.
Ok, so where do I go from there?
Once you've established that you're seeing this person with a serious interest in the relationship going somewhere, you begin the discovery phase.
At this point, you're not in a committed relationship and there's no obligation for either person to continue on with it. At any point, you could decide not to take it any further and that would be just fine.
That's the point of the discovery phase and it should last somewhere between 1-3 months depending on how often you see each other and how much you're in contact.
During this time you're in discovery with this person:
Do I see the potential of us having a future together?
Is this a relationship that I can see myself being fulfilled in?
Is this someone that I really want to be with long-term?
Because you've already established the intention of the relationship, the next conversation will be much easier to bring up and it should look something like this:
"So I just want to check in, how are you feeling about things? Do you see this relationship going somewhere?"
Again this is no pressure. It's totally ok for either of you to decide not to continue on but you're creating a space of open and honest communication where you can sincerely be in discovery together.
You have to be ok with someone choosing not to be with you and honestly allow them the space to make that choice. When you don't, they will experience your desire for a relationship as pressure and avoid being honest with you about how they feel.
Usually, after 2-3 dates (1-2 months), you'll both know how you feel about each other and there won't be any need to continue on unless you sincerely feel you have real potential together. If there is real potential, the feeling will be mutual.
So how do I know we're on the same page?
Somewhere within the 2-3 month window, both of you should be pretty clear about how you feel. It really doesn't take longer than that.
We're not saying that you're going to get married or spend the rest of your lives together, only that you are both genuinely interested in each other and want to give your relationship an honest chance.
If you've established your intention in the beginning and been checking in with each other along the way, the evolution will be natural and effortless. You won't have to force it. There will be a natural desire to take it to the next level.
This is the point where you make it official--you become exclusive, boyfriend/girlfriend, and so on. If you've been dating consistently for 3 months and one or both of you are not ready to take that step, you must want something else more than you want the relationship. That's not necessarily a bad thing but to avoid that or pretend like it's not the case is only asking for trouble down the road.
A lot of people don't like that we give a 3-month guideline, but you have to consider we consistently encounter people who have spent years hoping a relationship would go somewhere and it never did.
That is literally years spent with someone who was never going to make you happy when you could have spent that time meeting someone who would.
You have to have boundaries that you're not willing to break. If someone can't get clear that they want to be with you, you can't allow them to drag it on endlessly. Their lack of clarity is an answer itself.
We put together this outline with the sole intention of saving you time and heartache.
Wasting time is the worst thing you can do in dating. The more time you waste, the more defeated you feel and the more hopeless it all seems.
When you invest in something that is going nowhere and you give your everything to it only to have it fall apart, that's when you start to doubt that you'll ever find Love. You lose trust in yourself and in other people, you start to think that Love is dangerous and people will hurt you, and you begin to sabotage relationships before you even give them an honest chance.
What we're presenting in this post is how you give everyone an honest chance without becoming overly invested in someone when it's not going anywhere. Doing what we're suggesting isn't easy but most people don't find happiness in relationships because they do what is easy.
Following these steps will require you to walk away from a lot of people, sometimes even people that you like, but every time that you walk away from one person who's wrong for you, you'll be walking towards someone who's right for you and that certainty will make you feel empowered.
The more you clarify your boundaries and stick to them, the more you attract higher and higher quality people. If you have the courage to follow through on this you will see the evidence for it and your experience of dating will get continuously better.
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And thank you for reading. Lots of Love <3
Thank you so much for enjoying our content! Our greatest joy comes from knowing that people like you are using it to transform your lives and relationships and that the world is becoming a better place because of it.
We know the feeling of being alone, of struggling through what seems like an endless series of dead-end relationships, of waiting for the phone to ring, of being rejected and let down again and again.
We know what it's like to go to bed alone each night wondering if that will ever change and fearing that it might not.
We know these experiences all too well and that is why we do the work we do. We want you to know that you can find Love, that the application of these simple tools and practices can make a complete difference in every aspect of your Love life, ultimately leading you to the intimate, loving, lifetime partnership you so deeply crave.
You're not in this alone. We're here for you <3