A Kiss Is Not A Contract, So You Better DTR

By Amy Juran

In an attempt to stay chill and keep things from getting too serious, we tend to shy away from labelling our relationships.

In reality, having a good DTR (defining the relationship) is incredibly healthy for everyone involved.

There is a natural period of time when we get to know someone and spend time with that person to find out if they are someone we could imagine dating. It can be awkward to finally start that conversation of “So…what are we doing here?”

No one wants to come across as clingy or needy, but it is perfectly natural to desire to know where you stand with another person. Just because you talk, look, and act like you’re dating doesn’t necessarily grant either of you the confidence to feel fully secure.

Here are four benefits that can come with taking the leap and starting the talk:

1.) Impart value on the other person

Putting a label on a relationship is a declaration of how you feel about the other person. When you are willing to make it official, you are placing value on a person that not only builds their confidence but imparts an affectionate commitment. If the other person gets the feeling you are hesitant for whatever reason, it can cause them to wonder if they are doing something wrong. But if you can respect them enough to open up and share your desire to be in a relationship, you are letting this person know you see them as more than a casual “hang out buddy” and as someone you wish to pursue with the integrity of a commitment.

2.) Build your own confidence and self worth

So much of how we view our self worth is derived from how other people treat us, whether we realize it or not. The desire to have clarity regarding your role in someone’s life doesn’t make you overly sensitive; it gives you the confidence to live into that role fully!

When we are unsure of how another person feels about us we tend to approach situations with hesitancy and can internalize our true feelings. But when we know that either yes, this person wants to be committed to me, or no, they only desire a platonic relationship, we have the choice to proceed with assurance or to even distance ourselves from this person.

In trying to show another person we care, it is important we don’t forget our own value. In not wanting to push the conversation because we don’t want to make the other person feel uncomfortable, we cannot diminish the importance of creating for ourselves.

3.) Avoid Confusion

Relationships can be so hard to navigate, even for couples who have been together for years, so it is only natural that newer relationships come with their own type of confusion as they blossom.

If you have been hanging out with someone and aren’t sure whether it’s the right time to have the talk, you can ask yourself, “What is keeping me from wanting to have an open conversation about this?” You might be surprised by the answers that arise. If you aren’t feeling good about the situation for whatever reason, this may be a sign you should rethink being with this person at all. Sometimes avoiding the DTR is a way of avoiding the clear reasons why you shouldn’t be together.

Opening up and seeing where the other person stands is the best way to relieve anxiety or confusion, and to protect yourself from becoming too attached to someone who doesn’t share the same affection.

4.). Establish physical boundaries

The DTR is the perfect time to set physical boundaries. It’s like laying down the ground rules before you start a game! Without the initial check in, it can be easy to think you’re just friends, and it would be weird to bring it up. However, it’s unlikely when you’re in the heat of the moment with the person you’re interested in, you will stop to analyze if your actions are attached to any sort of lasting commitment.  By talking with each other about how intimate you want to be, you can lessen the likelihood of misinterpreted actions and can trust one another to hold to what you mutually decided.  On the flip side, living in ambiguity is the surest way to end up in a situation that you don’t want to be in, so set the boundaries.

Take the leap. Define the relationship. You’ll be glad you did!

Have you ever been in a situation where you wish you had defined the relationship better? 

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