How To Initiate The 'Define The Relationship' Talk Without Sounding Like A Clingy, Wannabe Girlfriend

Being the one who's ready to DTR is always an awkward position to be in.

How To Talk About Your Relationship Define The Relationship DTR Without Being Clingy Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

"Can we talk about our relationship?" is the dreaded question all women hate to ask the guys they've been dating, but we need to know — especially if they don’t seem to understand our hints, express interest in asking us out, etc. Often, it’s up to us to define the relationship (colloquially known as "DTR" these days) before it fades away, becomes an awkward friends-with-benefits situation, or gets too serious too quickly.


So, how do you initiate the relationship status conversation? How do you ask someone you like if they like you as much as you like them?

RELATED: 15 Signs You're In A 100% REAL Partnership (Not Just A Relationship)

And how do you stay so calm while doing it? I mean, it’s a loaded question with many possible answers — some answers may even be dismissive, if your date is just unsure about the situation.


Approaching this conversation topic takes skill, poise and straight-up guts. After you wrestle with your internal self who’s wondering “what if they don’t like me?” and “am I going to come off too clingy or desperate?” it’s time to prepare your speech. Well, your question.

These 4 tips can help you conquer the serious talk like a pro and avoid sounding like you’re begging for a relationship (because you never should).

1. Consider the location.

Where you pop the question is important. Try to ask him about what you are and where you see the relationship going in the near future in private. This will encourage him or her to respond in earnest and focus on you and what you are saying.

Rather than feeling pressured to say the “socially appropriate” thing, your date will be more inclined to tell you how he or she really feels about you and the relationship if you approach the topic in private.


RELATED: 11 Good Reasons To Keep Your Relationship Status Secret

2. Be blunt and honest.

Do NOT beat around the bush. There are topics that warrant some type of “foreplay” before getting into the nitty gritty details, but this isn’t one of them.

Ask your date clearly, “What are we?” or “How do you think the relationship is going, and do you want it to progress?”

Obviously, use your own words and pull from your own experiences, but focus on the main point: Should you continue dating or not?

If you have an opinion on the subject (and I hope you do), state it. Explain how you define the relationship first, if that helps start the conversation. Just remember to be honest and open with your date to prevent conflict in the future.


​RELATED: 8 Simple Ways To Have A Completely Stress-Free Relationship Talk

3. Mention your feelings (without caving in to too much emotion).

Although this discussion is about your feelings for one another, getting too emotional during the conversation doesn’t benefit either of you.

You cannot have a very productive conversation if you are crying, angry or otherwise distraught. Keep a level-head and really try to listen to your date’s perspective on the relationship.

By maintaining your posture, your date will know you are mature and potentially ready for a relationship. Additionally, you can maintain your dignity if you do not start groveling or begging your date. Never resort to begging; no relationship is worth that.


​RELATED: How To Know If He'll Ever Take Your Relationship Seriously

4. Wait for a real response.

At first, your date may brush off the discussion, giving you a half-assed response to appease you temporarily. However, you can keep pushing the matter until he or she actually gives you a decent answer.

Understanding where you are in a relationship is essential to insuring a relationship’s success, so don’t be afraid to continue asking until you get a real answer besides the cop-out “I think we’re having fun together.” In fact, you’ll seem like less of a clingy girlfriend if you do not accept that the relationship is worth pursuing until you get a valid response.


​RELATED: How To Bring Up The DTR Chat With Your Guy, Step-By-Step

Meaghan Summers is a writer who covers astrology, pop culture and relationship topics.