How To Find Out Where Your Relationship Is Headed (Without Nagging)

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How to Find Out Where Your Relationship is Headed

No pressure.

Broaching the delicate question about the status of your relationship can feel nerve-wracking to both people involved. Gaining clarity about where your relationship is headed is crucial to your success at finding love.

My client Louise has been seeing Mark for five months. While she is experiencing affection from him, Louise still has doubts about his feelings and the future of the relationship. She wants to find out if he is serious about her without scaring him away.

If Mark is like most men, he’s likely to express his feelings mostly with actions. If he’s not gradually increasing "together time", he’s probably satisfied with the status quo. At the moment, he has plenty of time to himself and is seeing Louise regularly.

He, like many men, are capable of having a lengthy liaison with a woman for whom he feels affection but has no intention of marrying. There is no reason for him to forsake dating others if he hasn’t committed to dating only Louise.

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Five months is long enough to have an honest, open, no-pressure talk about the nature of the relationship and where each person sees it going. Louise’s best bet is to initiate a calm, unemotional conversation with Mark, telling him how she feels without pressuring him to respond in a specific way.

Approach your conversation from a place of confidence, vulnerability, and curiosity. Your objective should be to share your desires and reality and find out what he’s thinking and feeling without passing judgment at that moment.

Tell him that you enjoy being with him, but that you’re afraid that you might be becoming too involved in the relationship. Say that you care for him and that you’re past the point where you can just be casual friends, so you would like to know how he sees your relationship.

In a relationship talk, it’s best to be specific about what is important to you. For example, you can say, "I realize that I’ve become involved to the point where I’m not comfortable dating other men and I was wondering if you were on the same page about dating other women." Then, be quiet and listen to everything he has to say.

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If he asks you to be exclusive, be sure to clarify what he means. Monogamy and exclusivity mean different things to different people.

This hit home to me when one of my male clients asked, "When you talk about monogamy, are you talking about being monogamous for now or are you talking about monogamy leading to something more serious?"

Louise doesn't know whether Mark sees monogamy as the first step towards a possible lifetime commitment with her.

Mark may end their relationship if he never intended to stop dating other women. It won’t be because Louise scared him away. It most likely will be because he believes that the honorable thing to do is to give her the freedom to find a man who wants the same thing she does.

You have to be willing to walk away if he wants something casual but you want to get married. Waiting for a man to change his mind about the kind of relationship he wants is likely to be a confidence-draining, time-wasting exercise in frustration.

It’s extremely unlikely that you can do anything to convince him to see you as a potential partner if he only sees you as "Ms. Right For Right Now."

Gaining clarity on both of your intentions in a dating relationship will save you time and heartache. Your best bet is to address what each of you wants in a future relationship with each other before you become any more deeply involved.

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Annie Gleason is a Dating Coach whose strategic dating advice has provided lasting love to hundreds of women. To find love, don't leave it to chance. Get more free dating advice by visiting her website.

This article was originally published at Get A Love Life . Reprinted with permission from the author.