How To Know It’s The Right Time To Define Your Relationship

The dreaded “what are we?” talk is dreaded for a reason. When you start dating someone, there are no rules on how long you need to wait before you make it official; it’s all about you, which can be daunting.

You don’t want to scare off the person you’re dating if they’re not ready to call you their girlfriend, so how are you supposed to know when that “right time” really is?

It’s Going To Be Different For Every Relationship

couple staring sitting at water
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Ryan Jacobson
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Ryan Jacobson

Everyone moves at their own pace, so if you’re expecting me to be able to tell you that you should always have the conversation at the two-month mark or after a certain number of dates, you’re out of luck.

You don’t want to rush someone into something they’re not ready for, which is why sometimes it’s more of a discussion than just a mutual agreement.

What If They’re Not Ready Yet?

two hands reaching towards each other
Photo Credit: Pexels / Anna Shvets
Photo Credit: Pexels / Anna Shvets

The only way you’re going to know if the person you spend all your time daydreaming about feels the same way about you is if you ask them.

Shocking concept, I know, but it’s true.

Forget Every Timeline You’ve Ever Heard Or Read About

All of the rules about “you have to wait x number of dates or weeks before you define the relationship” can be tossed out with the trash.

Even if those rules applied to your previous relationships or your friends swear by it, forget about them. Focus on the relationship you’re in and what applies to that.

Is There A Ballpark Timeline?

couple laughing trying to ride skateboard together
Photo Credit: Pexels / Edward Eyer
Photo Credit: Pexels / Edward Eyer

Well, think about how long it might take you to get to know someone.

Most people would probably start to think about whether or not they want to continue a relationship around the two or three month mark, but that’s not a hard rule.

You Spend All Your Time Together

This is such an obvious sign, but you might not have recognized it.

All those nights that you’re spending together whenever you’re not working or don’t have plans already are getting dangerously close to adding up to a serious relationship.

And, You Pick Them Over Others

woman in green tee leaning on shoulder of man seated on bed
Photo Credit: Pexels / Blue Bird
Photo Credit: Pexels / Blue Bird

Not in an unhealthy way, but if your friend were to text you asking if you’re free on Saturday night at the same moment that he asks you, who would you choose?

Chances are if you’re choosing to spend time with each other over others, you’re probably ready to define the relationship.

There’s Evidence Of Your Relationship On Social Media

It may not be a series of posts on your Instagram, but you’ve definitely made posts to your story where they’ve been featured.

You’ve tagged each other in stupid memes on Facebook too, so all your family can see it.

If People Assume You’re A Couple, Neither Of You Corrects Them

couple on patio eating dinner against brick wall
Photo Credit: Unsplash
Photo Credit: Unsplash

If you’re out in public at a restaurant and someone refers to them as your boyfriend, there’s no awkward moment where you both jump in to say “no no no he’s not my— we’re not dating—”

You’re comfortable with the term, and so are they.

They’re The First Person You Call With Good News

Something exciting just happened to you or you’ve just got good news you’ve been waiting for, or maybe something really funny just happened to you.

Who is the first person you want to tell?

You’re Glued To Your Phone When You’re Apart From Them

woman in sparkly dress looking at phone
Photo Credit: Pexels / Inga Seliverstova
Photo Credit: Pexels / Inga Seliverstova

Heaven forbid you actually have to be away from each other, but when it happens you’re pretty much constantly on your phone in communication with them.

The beauty of smartphones is you never really have to be away from them, right?

Your Family And Friends Know About Them

Realistically, how often do you mention a casual relationship to your parents if you’re not planning on keeping that person around?

You know your mom is going to ask about him every time she calls, so you wouldn’t risk mentioning him if you didn’t feel like there was real potential.

The Thought Of Having “The Conversation” Makes You Excited

couple laughing with coffee walking outside
Photo Credit: Pexels / Katerina Holmes
Photo Credit: Pexels / Katerina Holmes

If you’re truly dreading bringing up the topic of defining what you are or you’re avoiding it altogether, could it be because you’re not confident in the relationship?

Maybe the reason you’re dreading it is that you don’t see this as a long-term adventure, or you’re unsure of their feelings.

Being Unsure About Their Feelings Is All The More Reason To Bring It Up

Avoiding the conversation because you’re not sure of their feelings towards you or because you know that they don’t feel the same way as you isn’t going to help.

It’s important to at least make your feelings known, and to understand what theirs are so you know what’s going to happen moving forward, (if you’re moving forward at all).

It’s Assumed That They’ll Be Your Date To An Event

group of people having dinner party on roof
Photo Credit: Pexels
Photo Credit: Pexels

Your friend is hosting a dinner party and they assume you’re bringing this person along. You have a wedding coming up in a couple of months and you’re already planning to bring them.

Clearly, you and everyone else in your life assume they’re sticking around, so you might as well confirm it with them too.

You’re Planning Things For The Future

It could be a casual comment or a lighthearted conversation about how you want to run away to Europe next summer, but it still holds some meaning.

Talking about the future probably means that you both see one.

You Don’t Really Have Any Bad Things To Say About Them

couple together at sunset on hill
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Cody Black
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Cody Black

Your maybe-boyfriend might have an annoying habit or two, but in general, you have a lot more good to say about them than bad.

You don’t spend your time complaining to your friends about your relationship either.

Neither Of You Is Seeing Other People

Maybe you both had a couple of casual relationships going when you first started seeing each other, but not anymore.

You’ve deleted all your dating apps and you’ve stopped answering late-night Snapchats from that one dude you hook up with every couple of months when you’re bored.

You Get A Little Jealous

woman looking at man who's looking at his phone
Photo Credit: Pexels / Budgeron Bach
Photo Credit: Pexels / Budgeron Bach

We’re not talking about crazy levels of unwarranted jealously or feeling entitled to be the sole person they talk to though.

“Jealousy” as in seeing them with another person or hearing about them with someone else makes you a little jealous because you want to be the one.

You Could Also Just Throw The Term Out There And See What Happens

Drop the terminology without warning and see what they do!

If they get upset or immediately correct you to say that they’re not your girlfriend or boyfriend, you’ve got your answer. Might not have been the answer you wanted, but at least you know.

It’s Better To Know Than To Not

woman leaning on man looking at camera
Photo Credit: Unsplash / JD Mason
Photo Credit: Unsplash / JD Mason

Not knowing what’s going on in your relationship is going to be a lot harder on you in the long run than just having one awkward conversation.

You’ll get the answers and clarity you need, then everyone can be happy.