lock that shit down

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You meet someone from the internet. You go on a first date. There’s an immediate connection and chemistry, and after running your first date long into the early hours of the morn – sitting at a 24 hour diner, sipping tea, talking, flirting, kissing, touching, and exploring each others psyche – you reluctantly part ways. You fall asleep in your own bed with a smile on your face, and the knowingness you’ll be seeing this bearded, blue eyed creature within 48 hours, because – lucky you – you booked the second date on the first, a tell tale sign that you’re both on the same page.

The next 10 days are a blur, one transitioning into the next as you spend all your free time together (other than the eight or so hours you’re at work.) You. Can’t. Get. Enough. And to your surprise and delight, nor can he. And after a weeks worth of texting all day everyday, and sleepovers and staying up talking until 4am, and waking up only to soak up more time together – over a shower, a tea, an in bed chat, a smoke – you have this innate feeling that this one might be a keeper, one that offers more than a one week shelf life. That despite the fact that you met on a dating app and really had no expectations, that this is a good thing. It’s worth exploring further. And how rare is that, these days? Everyone is so disposable, and someone new is just a swipe away. So when you find someone you share an organic and natural connection with, do yourself a favour and lock that shit down.

But how? Now what? Do you delete the dating app you met on and casually let them know you did that so they ‘get the hint’ and potentially follow suit? Do you stop seeing that other person you’ve been casually hooking up with because doing so feels deceitful (even though you and the new guy have yet to discuss monogamy or exclusivity?). If you haven’t had The Talk, what do you owe the other person? And if you don’t explicitly know where they stand and how they feel, do you just do you until they bring it up? Should you just wait it out and let things unfold naturally? Do you go on other dates to keep your options open in case this new other doesn’t feel the same way? So you don’t get hurt? Fuck no.

If you genuinely enjoy the other persons company. If you genuinely think that they are a bonus to your already busy and full and settled life, then it’s high time to just be open and vulnerable and just check in to see if they feel the same. We’re adults now (surprise!) Time to act like one. And adults who like each other talk and share the inner workings of their minds and acknowledge the situation so you can be on the same page. It’s respectful. It’s key if you want to establish healthy boundaries and expectations. And lastly, it’s sort of cute as an adult to utter the word boyfriend, connecting this other to your sassy little self.

I get it. The Talk is awkward AF for all parties involved but is something that needs to be done when it’s evident that you’re both into each other. When it’s evident that they’re curious about it because they’ve passive aggressively asked ‘Hey, how many dates in should you talk to the other person about where it’s going?’ The Talk isn’t what it used to be when were little babes, hoping to secure a title, only to promote our newfound relationship status on our Facebook, at parties, through images on our social networks. We’re adults who have gotten out of shitty relationships that went well past their expiration date and we want to know what up at the start of something new so we can proceed with caution. So we don’t make the same mistakes we made in the past, usually avoiding the talk thanks to all our insecurities.

So when do you have it? Why, whenever the thought pops in your head. There’s no sense in “waiting it out,” or waiting for them to bring it up. No sense allowing your thoughts to hold you back from bringing it up. If you’re curious about where the relationship is headed, address that with your new partner as soon as that thought emerges. Be a man. Speak up.

Discussions need not be heavy or big or shape shifting. They can be simplistic and done over text, or just brought up casually next time you’re together. It’s as simple as asking this other where they stand, where they want this to go, and expressing the same in a raw and adult way. One of you needs to initiate this discussion. Somethings gotta give.

– Jen

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