Just like promised, this article is about defining the relationship.

In any relationship, it is very important that the partners involved know what they want, they should be sure that they have the same motive.

Defining the relationship is all about clarity; clarifying your needs, desires and even boundaries, so it is not just for those in a committed or “serious” relationship. It is relevant to all types of relationship (I’m sure you still remember them).

An undefined relationship is exhausting, tiring or draining and such relationship often leads to serious, constant misunderstanding and in worst cases heartbreaks.

Relevance of defining the relationship

This may seem to be unnecessary to those in casual relationship (as they may think) but it is really important to those in committed relationship.

There is something called “DTR” (defining the relationship) conversation, usually involved in defining a relationship.

DTR conversation is a conversation between two people who just got into a relationship. Here they talk about their relationship and how it should be. They talk about their views and expectations and how they can be on the same page in their relationship.

Below are the importance of having a DTR conversation

  • A DTR conversation will help the couples to understand the relationship better.
  • It would enable them know what each other wants from the relationship.
  • It gives a kind of emotional security. You will know your partner’s stand and won’t have to worry too much about their feelings (if they are totally into you or not).
  • This conversation also help partners address their sexual needs and risks, that is, they’ll be able to define their sexual boundaries (to know their views on sex in their relationship, if they want it or not). This is very important in a DTR conversation.
  • It would as well enable partners to agree on the type of relationship they want. If they want something casual, committed or the friends -with-benefits kind of relationship or just any type that suits them. The most important thing is that they both have the same understanding and have agreed with each other.

How can one initiate a DTR conversation?

Deciding to have this conversation is one thing and starting the conversation is another thing. Most people in a relationship want to have this conversation but they don’t know how to go about it (probably they are scared of the outcome or they don’t just know how to start it), so they chose to live in assumptions.

This article is designed to assist you and we hope it does.

First, you should know that there is no specific time, stage or level in your relationship to have this conversation, because defining a relationship isn’t dependent on how long the relationship is but rather it is based on the feelings of the parties involved.

But if you must work with time, a relationship guru recommends 2-3 months into the relationship. It is believed that by this time, both you and your partner are well familiar with each other (at least to some extent).

When you are ready to define your relationship, when you have made up your mind, here are some steps to guild you:

  • Evaluate how you feel in the relationship at that moment. Are you happy, worried or sceptical about your stand with your partner? If you find out that you don’t feel alright, you are ready to start the discussion.
  • After discovering the need for the conversation, think of what you actually want, what will make you feel good in the relationship. Ask yourself what your expectations for the relationship are. (This will prepare you for any reaction from your partner).
  • You are not aware of what the outcome of this discussion will be, so I will advise you brace up for whatever will come out of it. Sometimes we don’t get what we want. You might want something serious, but your partner just want something casual (it happens). You have to prepare yourself mentally and emotionally.

Bear in mind that you can’t force someone to be in a relationship with you. So as painful as it may be, accept it. (It’s better you realize their stand earlier than being

where you are not wanted).

Other things you must know or do while in this conversation;

  • Ask open-ended questions. You sure want your partner to answer you sincerely, so avoid a Yes / No question as much as you can.
  • Endeavour to be specific, say exactly what you want. Do not mix words or beat around the bush. Set boundaries (if you both are on the same page).
  • Start right. Avoid these four words “we need to talk” they spoil things. Just imagine a friend coming to you with those words, I bet you would feel like you’ve done something wrong. No good conversation started with that phrase.

In other not to make your partner feel threatened, avoid those words. Let the conversation flow naturally.

Although we said that the DTR conversation is mostly done at the early stages of a relationship, you should also know that, it shouldn’t end there.

Conversation or communication is very necessary for a healthy and successful relationship.

Virtually nothing good can happen if you don’t communicate or discuss about your relationship both at the early stage and as often as possible.

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