This concerns people that are actually interested in having “the talk,” as in discussing what exactly it is that you and your date are “doing.” Why are you hanging out exactly? Whether you’ve been introduced by a friend, met on the metro, or online, the question sits and uncomfortably lingers for most people at some point, no matter what their intentions are.


Dr. Marie Land LLC | Psychologist Washington DC | Relationship Therapist Dupont Circle

There’s a serious stigma for many women (it’s not easy for men either though) who are dating and are looking for something more than a casual encounter or hook-up. It’s almost taboo to bring up the topic of “what exactly is this?” because it can seem like you’re being too eager, needy, even desperate. In response to this stereotype of women being more interested in commitment than men, women are sometimes afraid to “scare the man away” with talks of the status of things. My advice – Fear not.


One of the easiest ways to avoid this situation all together is being upfront in a warm and confident way from the get-go. If you’re interested in casually dating with the mindset that you’re open to connecting with someone who is relationship material, then say it. It makes future talks way easier and less intense. Most people rely way too much on their intuition and belief that they can “read” another person and be able to basically tell if the other person is really looking for things to move towards a relationship or to just be in a plateau of casualty indefinitely. Unfortunately, people aren’t that accurate and a lot of time is wasted by not being upfront. No worries if you weren’t though. If you missed the boat at the start of your series of dates with someone there are a couple of opportunities you can take:

1. Nonchalant , oh by the way…. Remember, talking in general is as casual as you make it. If you you’re comfortable then it really doesn’t have to be a big awkward mess. The basic hey, I’m having a good time hanging out and it occurred to me that we don’t even know what we are hoping (or not hoping) to get or not get from dating. Always providing an “out” at the start of the conversation can help the other person feel casual about the conversation too and keep everyone non-defensive. Generally, this is best after at least a few dates. 2.) Prior to physical intimacy. This can be a sort of natural and easy way to bring up the topic. Combining “the talk” around this time can be a great opportunity. 3.) Referencing how you got together in the first place. Mentioning something about how you first met can be an easy way to bring up the topic of what exactly it is that you’re doing with one another. It can be as simple as inquiring about how open or not open they were to getting to know you and why that is. If you consider yourself in a “dating” phase of your life than you’re basically trying on lots of personalities (and whatever other criteria you have) to see if they are a good fit. The only way to tell is if you don’t run from being genuine about what you’re looking for.