It’s all very confusing, especially if you’re the type of person who doesn’t like to test boundaries for fear of scaring the other person off.
I get it, having the “defining the relationship” talk is terrifying, you have to be open and honest and vulnerable and ugh I’m sweating just thinking about it.
But fear aside, it’s important to know where you stand and what the future looks like, because if you’re going to invest valuable time in someone and open up your heart and your Netflix account, you deserve some clarity.
So here are some tips for making the exclusive talk a little easier and a lot less scary (and sweaty). Go in having a general idea of what you’re hoping to get out of it.
Keeping up your self-protective wall for too long can stunt the growth of the relationship.
When you figure out that you’re both equally invested in creating a longer-term relationship, this creates a sense of security that allows each partner to safely open up, be more expressive, and develop a stronger bond.
Casual relationships can establish a "healthy outlet for sexual needs and desires." J. They often fall head over heels at the first sight of a potential relationship.
Rebecca Plante, an associate professor at Ithaca College, has specialized in research on casual relationships, and says that this type of relationship can be beneficial. "Eros" lovers are lovers that are often struck by "Cupid's Arrow".
With online sites and dating apps there are so many nuances with modern day dating that it’s hard to know when to have a define the relationship talk.
There’s chatting online, which moves to text or phone calls, casual dating which can last a few dates or months, which develops into an exclusive relationship, and then finally comes a defined BF/GF status. Because everyone has a different dating approach—some put all of their eggs in one basket, while others date multiple people at a time, it can be confusing which stage you’re in unless you talk about it directly.
The shift from childhood to adulthood brings on much exploration in different fields. A study published by the Archives of Sexual Behavior reported that sixty percent of college students have participated in a casual relationship.
Wayne State University and Michigan State University conducted a similar survey and sixty-six percent of the undergraduates in this study said they had also been in a casual relationship. Barnes: The psychology of love journal, has come up with two main types of lovers for college aged young adults.