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How to bring up the relationship talk

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When did it become so crazy to communicate and share how we are feeling and what we want? Screw scare tactics. Keeping it casual only works for so long.

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You might not be used to having serious emotional discussions, either with your current partner, or at all — and you might wonder what the big deal is with DTR convos. Having that conversation will help you better understand the relationship and what the other person wants, as well as position you to navigate difficult discussions, arguments or even full-blown fights later on.

What men really think about defining the relationship

Engle agrees that defining sexual boundaries is a useful and important aspect of a DTR convo. If you're still seeing other people, you need to keep using condoms to protect your health and the health of your partner.

Regardless of your sexual health situation, though, a DTR conversation is about trust. Discovering that you had vastly different ideas about the relationship after the fact is deeply unpleasant, and can essentially feel like cheating.

All you can do is speak your truth, ask for what you want when you feel it and take the risk. As NYC-based dating coach Connell Barrett notes, a DTR conversation is about being confident to be open about your feelings, not about making the other person agree to your terms.

So how do you kick the conversation off? Sullivan suggests thinking it over in advance rather than simply leaping into it.

How to have “the talk” to define your relationship

Sullivan notes that how your partner responds to a DTR convo can be a big tell as to whether you two have a future together. A conversation to define a relationship is about boundaries and limitations, Caraballo says. If someone doesn't want to be monogamous with you, move on.

Go find someone who is interested in that. A strong relationship is a communicative one; and starting good communication habits early will benefit you both as the relationship progresses. Are you monogamous? Figure out the details and be sure you're on the same.

Get tested for STIs before engaging in sex without a condom. Barrett suggests you celebrate by doing something that will make both of you feel good about your newfound relationship definition.

‘what are we?’—the right way to have ‘the talk’

What if the conversation turns into a fight, your partner accuses you of being emotionally controlling or something similarly unpleasant? In the immediate aftermath, Sullivan suggests taking some time apart to think things over might be the best move. Ultimately, however, what the two of you have might not be worth saving, Engle says.

It's not worth your emotional energy on someone who isn't willing to give you what you need.

Caraballo agrees. Search AskMen Search. Messages You have no messages.

Where is this relationship going conversation – 9 relationship experts reveal what you need to know before having the relationship talk

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Our new persons

I was a junior in college and had been dating a guy for about two months.

I was in college and had been seeing this guy for a little over a month and had never felt so strongly for someone else, ever.

Stacey Schwenker.

But when is the right time to define the relationship?

What are we?

Once you've built up the confidence to talk to someone you're seeing about defining the relationship, the next step is to figure out what you're actually going to say.