Gynomite is a licensed therapist in 2 1/2 states and she would love to take a crack at your emotional dilemmas. Write her at firstname.lastname@example.org- all emails stay confidential. Today, Gynomite takes on figuring out where you stand with a man.
I’ve been seeing someone casually for a few months now, but I’m not sure where we stand. I like him, and I want to ask him where he sees this going, but I’m also concerned about putting too much pressure on him too soon. I’m also not sure if he’s seeing other people (or at least wants to keep that option open for now). I have been out with a few other people, but I don’t want that to blow up in my face if I learn he thinks we’ve reached a certain level of commitment already. I don’t actually really care if we keep it casual for now, but I just want to make sure we’re on the same page… without scaring him!
The last time I tried to have this talk with someone, he freaked out and ran away kicking and screaming, so I’m just trying to avoid making the same mistakes.
Oi…this is a question as old as the hills, and a good one at that.
First off, we have to acknowledge that yes, men can and will freak out when asked to define a relationship. This casual thing has been going on for a few months, so it doesn’t seem too soon to discuss it to me, and the fact that you have been seeing other people here and there makes it sound like you’re not too obsessed with WHERE ARE WE GOING? with this guy, and that’s great. Not being obsessed with the question helps get an answer.
But here’s my question: what do you want out of this talk? You say you just want to know what’s up, but if this were a perfect world, what would you want him to say? Do you want to be in a relationship? Do you want to just have sex with this guy here and there? What do YOU want? Because you need to have an opinion in this, and if you’re not sure what you want from him, then I would hold off on having the talk. It’s not fair to expect him to have more insight into your relationship than you do.
But if you know what you want, I would literally write it down. Imagine what you would say if he came to you to ask where you two were going. You say you wouldn’t mind if it stayed casual, but what does that mean? Get specific. You want to sleep with him, you don’t want him to sleep with other people, you want occasional brunch and/or movie dates? You want him to know that you’d be willing to date him at some point down the line? This will help you get a clearer picture of what page you are on, with or without labels involved.
When you’re ready, talk to him. Do it at a time when you guys are enjoying yourselves, not fighting, and not among other people. Tell him that you dig how things are going with him, but you want to make sure you’re on the same page- just like you told me. Employ silence and don’t try to make excuses are belittle your own needs and wants. Tell him what you like about how things are going, and what you want from him. Let him know what you’re willing to do, and not willing to do. If you want it casual, let him know you want it casual, and be blunt. You are both grownups.
I say this casually like it’s nothing, but I know it’s hard. I’ve said ridiculous things in situations like this, once invoking the “people are asking me about us” bullshit in order to find out where I was with a guy. Men always complain that women want to know where things are going, and perhaps we are too wrapped up in wanting to know all there is to know, trampling any little bit of magic coating in courtship in order to get to the meaty stability inside…
…But the reason you should talk to him about this is if it’s something that’s genuinely concerning you. You can’t spend your time with him holding your breath and hoping the magic will last, because at some point you have to inhale.
Ultimately, if you like a guy, and he likes you, but just having this conversation is enough to scare him away, you are better off without him. You are worth a commitment (should you want one), and you deserve someone who can be honest and adult about issues concerning the genitals. If he can’t handle it, find a man who can.
Good luck to you.
Ladies and gents reading this, do you have any opinions on the matter? I always like to hear how other people handle this situation.