Mel Schilling is a relationship expert, confidence coach and TV presenter who is passionate about educating, motivating and inspiring people to be their best. Mel’s advice is backed by her 20 years spent as a psychologist and aims to improve your relationships in life and love.
Question: We've been dating for a couple of months, is it too soon to tell them I want more? How do I bring up the conversation?
This question comes up a lot. In fact, as the dating landscape has changed over the past couple of years, the GREY AREA in relationships has become a gaping chasm. The instant gratification of mobile dating apps has created a real sense that ‘the grass is always greener’ and a genuine tendency to avoid commitment to avoid missing out on something better #FOMO.
Add to this, the pandemic and extended periods of lockdown and singles are feeling more alienated and less confident in the dating world than ever. The rise of the ‘situationship’ has given legitimacy to the non-committal relationship and normalised the idea of having one foot in a relationship and the other foot out (most likely being pampered by someone else!)
So now, more than ever before, it’s important to make a decision about YOU WANT from your dating life. Do you want casual hook-ups? Non-exclusive situationships? Or a monogamous relationship for the long term? Once you know what you want, you can start to date in a more strategic way and your conversations about relationships will become easier.
Now, to your situation – what do you want? Be really clear about this before you open the conversation with your partner. It sounds like you want a longer-term relationship with this person, so stand strong and be confident in this.
You’ve been dating them for a couple of months now. Do you have a sense about what they want from the relationship, based on their behaviour?
Here are some indicative signs that they may be interested in something more long-term:
Introducing you to their friends and family
Sharing personal and intimate things with you about their life
Making future plans with you
Being consistent in their behaviour (ie: doing what they say they will do)
Talking about you as a couple in the future tense
To answer your question about timing, no, a couple of months in is not too early. In fact, I’d recommend having this type of conversation even earlier. If you’re doing online dating, put your dating goal front and centre on your profile. If you're dating IRL, tell people up front, this is what I want. Why waste your time with people who want different things from you?
I’d suggest you bring up the conversation by talking about what you want. Something like this:
“We’ve been seeing each other for a few months now and I want to be really clear with you about what I’m looking for. I want an exclusive, committed relationship. It would be great if this is what you want too, but if not, that’s ok. If we don’t want the same things, let’s not waste each others’ time.”
Be clear that you want a straight answer from them, not a vague mumble about what ‘might’ happen one day in the future.
This is an assertive way to bring up the topic. It’s not needy or ‘desperate’, you are not begging them to be with you (cringe!) but rather, simply stating what you want. This approach will leave you feeling empowered and strong, regardless of their response.
Mel's topline advice:
Be clear in your own mind about what you want
Consider the signs of commitment your partner has been/not been demonstrating
Use assertive language to own what you want and ask for a straight answer
To learn how to step into your confidence you can sign up to Mel Schilling's workshop here.
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