So you're wondering what's going on between you and the person you're dating. You want to know what the deal is. Where things stand. You think it's time to have the conversation.
Don't do it. In fact, delay that conversation as long as you possibly can, maybe indefinitely. Why? Because the first person who brings it up loses.
The need to "have the talk" may seem all mature and adult, but really, it's just you scratching an insecure itch. You need "to know." I counter with this: If you're having a fun, great, sexy time, why, oh, why would you drop those dreaded words, "Where is this going?" It's the relationship equivalent of walking into the middle of a great party, turning off the music, flipping on all the lights, and saying, "So, I just want to check. Is everyone having a good time?"
I did this a few years back. I regret it and would never do it now. I had been seeing the guy a few weeks. He was a bit of a tough read, and I got insecure. I thought I’d help things along or feel better by asking, “So, what is the deal--I mean, are we seeing other people, or…” It was a moment of weakness. Big mistake. The whole tenuous, if promising, thing collapsed on itself a short while later. And while that wasn't the only reason, I sped it to its short and brutish end. Like driving into a wall at 60 mph.
I've also been on the other side, by the way, many times. I gently tried to back off this very conversation with partners because it felt like I was being asked to make a decision I wasn't ready to make. I felt pressured to say what I think he wanted to hear and, if that's your idea of honesty, well, it's not. I've often found myself marking time FROM THIS TALK, wondering who would be the one to bail out first. Why create this pressure when you're really trying to get to know someone? Keep it a little gray--a little mysterious. This is how you keep that intrigue alive.
Ask yourself this: Why do I need to ask? What do I really want to know? What do I hope to accomplish? And while I can’t purport to read your mind, I’ll assume you’re craving what most humans do: significance and security. You want to know what’s going on, not because you’re conducting an investigation, but because you want to assuage the nagging fear and be reassured that you are special. You already are--can't you tell? Nothing is totally secure in love and life, and no one owes you a sense of security.
And if your reason is that you're afraid he'll meet someone else? He could meet someone else regardless. There's always that risk. What would happen if you held off on the grand summit meeting and just enjoyed the person without worrying about how to categorize or title or otherwise claim him? You get the best of both of you--and your own privacy, too.