So, you’ve reached that point with that special someone who you’ve been dating for a while. Your other prospects have fallen by the wayside, and you finally found the victorious partner that you want to take things to the next level with.

Aside from the first date jitters, gearing up for the “what are we?” talk can be a nerve-racking phase of the relationship. But, have no fear, we’re here to help you figure out how to have the relationship talk with your soon-to-be significant other. We’ll help you gather your thoughts and feelings, and with these tips, you’ll be able to express everything the way you want to and come out the other side with an exclusive partner.

Soul Searching Time

Before you even think about how to craft your opening line to the dreaded conversation, you need to sit down and really ask yourself what it is you want. Are you looking for a serious relationship or do you like just having someone to hang out with when you’re bored or lonely?

Do all the positive aspects of this person outweigh any flaws that you know? Are you ready for all the extras that come with having a girlfriend/boyfriend? These are serious questions you should mull over before popping the question (the without a ring one).

Timing is EVERYTHING

First things first, knowing when to have the talk is, perhaps, the most challenging aspect. If you bring up the “define the relationship talk (DTR)” too early, it can scare some people off or create awkward situations if your crush isn’t quite on the same page as you yet.

The flip side to that is bringing it up too late, it can cause some to question if it’s just a casual thing and begin dating again on the side if they’ve stopped. Here are a few good indicators that it might be the right time to have that infamous chat.

  • You basically act like a couple — see each other at least a few times each week, communicate all day (if you can), say goodnight and good morning each day, etc.
  • You’ve brought them up in conversation to your family and friends.
  • You’ve accidentally referred to them as your boyfriend or girlfriend.
  • Most plans are assumed, you don’t have to ask who they’re spending the weekend with.

Right Out of the Gate

Another approach on how to bring up the relationship talk is bringing it up early in the dating timeline. Not necessarily to define what you two are, but more about what they are looking for, independently. This gives you an insight to knowing if they are just looking for something casual and fun vs. something more serious. Either way, you have your answer and if your wants line up, then you know it’s worth pursuing more. If not, then you know you don’t need to invest any more time and effort.

Always Put Yourself First

Remember that what you want and your feelings should come first in a relationship. Only have the talk, if you are ready for the talk. If you need some more time to figure things out, that’s okay!

Be honest with your partner, and most importantly, be honest with yourself. Know what you want and don’t stop until you get it. This means that if your partner isn’t on the same page as you, or they don’t have the “must-have’s” you are looking for, you need to be strong enough to walk away.

Skip the Texting

While texting is easy, gives a chance to craft the perfect response, and hide any reactions to an unfavorable answer, having the conversation in person is always the best route. Face to face —  a grownup conversation — is the best advice. You’ll be able to convey the exact tone you want and won’t have to rely on emojis to make sure that they get what you’re saying.

Assuming is Never a Good Idea

Even if they’ve brought you to a family dinner and have been seeing each other frequently for more than a month, it’s never a safe idea to assume you’re exclusive. Unless you’re hanging out every night of the week, each week, then you never know if they’re still dating on the side on their free nights. Knowing definitively is always better than assuming based on actions and relationship milestones.

If You’re Happy, Don’t Talk

Now, if you’re happy with the way things are going and you don’t want anything to change for the time being, then is there a reason to have the talk? Nope, and that’s perfectly okay!

You may be thinking to yourself, “Well, we’ve been dating and hooking consistently for two months, should I ask what we are?” If the relationship or situation is working for you, and you are content without having that relationship definition clarity, then don’t worry about having the talk.

If You’re Happy, Don’t Talk

Sober Thoughts and Words

While it may be enticing to have one or two of your favorite adult beverages to help give you some liquid courage for the conversation, it’s suggested to save the alcohol until afterward. This will eliminate any confusion that may arise from a drunken conversation about life, dating, and whatever else.

Light Mood Is Key

Just because the topic is a serious one, that doesn’t mean that the conversation must be worthy of a courtroom. Keep things light, playful and fun to help reduce the pressure and stress that is bound to be there. Start it out by saying, “I took my online profile down today; I think I’m ready to be taken off the dating market.” Something along those lines is a good place to start the conversation.

One Last Bit of Advice

Never lead with the phrase, “We need to talk.” This is a red alert for anyone who hears it and the panic immediately sets in. While you don’t mean it in a negative way, those words — in that order — almost always lead to bad situations.

In order to get to the “What are we?” talk, you need to find that special someone, and luckily for you, Baeby is just the place. With an abundance of eligible singles that might be looking for the exact same thing as you, Baeby makes finding last first date easy. Sign up, fill out your profile, and you’ll be asking, “What are we?” soon enough!