The age-old adage “communication is key” doesn’t seem to resonate too well with millennials. From varying definitions of what “talking” means to trouble starting up harder conversations about topics like mental health, it’s no wonder why so many 20-somethings don’t really know where their relationships stand. While communication might be hard, it’s what a lot of couples need most, especially in the early stages of dating. This issue especially comes into play when having the dreaded “define the relationship” (DTR) talk. If you’re ready to turn a first date into a second or simply want your partner to commit already, check out these six non-intimidating ways to DTR.


1. Pull the ol’ “we need to talk.” Nothing gets a *potential* partner’s attention like the phrase “we need to talk.” While this approach might seem intimidating, it signals to your (hopefully) future boo that you mean business.

2. Blame it on a friend. It’s a given that those closest to us are invested in our love lives. Capitalize on this fact by using friends and/or family as an excuse to ask where your relationship is going. If you start with, “My roommate has been asking me about you,” it takes the pressure off of you while still getting the job done.

3. Wait for an intimate moment. If you’re patient, you can try waiting for an intimate or opportune moment. The ideal opportunity for a DTR talk is when your potential S.O. invites you to something more serious and intimate, like a weekend getaway or a family member’s wedding. Because they started with the gesture, you can be surer of their feelings and use that event as a means to check in with where they’re at in the relationship.


4. Give it a deadline. If you’re hoping for an intimate moment but aren’t patient enough to wait for one to come along, create one yourself. Invite your potential partner to an event that’s in the future, say a few weeks or even months away. If they readily commit, they’re probably committed to you.

5. If you’re scared, be sneaky. Defining the relationship doesn’t necessarily have to be a big conversation. If you’re simply wondering where your current squeeze is at, drop hints that you might be going on a date or seeing someone else. Their reaction will say it all: If they react negatively, they’re probably ready to have you all to themselves.

6. If you’re bold, be direct. If you’re not afraid of hard conversations, directly ask the person you’re dating where they’re at. Your boldness will most likely prompt them to be honest and direct with you as well.

How have you successfully had a DTR talk? Let us know @BritandCo!

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