You can put it off as long as possible. You can try to dance around it. You can pretend to ignore completely. But at some point, it’s going to happen — the “Where is this going?” conversation. Bringing it up can be really tricky. At best, it can make you feel awkward and vulnerable. At worst, you suspect that you might not hear the response that you want to, but you feel the need to ask anyway.
Even if you have a feeling that the other person wants what you want, it can be tough to bring that up. But, it’s so important to ask the question — especially if you feel yourself getting attached. If you have real feelings for this person, then asking is almost always the right answer — a little clarity now can save you a lot of hurt feelings later. At least if they don’t want something as serious as you, you can get out of it before your feelings are hurt too badly.
“I am actually a big believer in having this talk,” relationship therapist Aimee Hartstein, LCSW, tells Bustle. “I know that many people, particularly women, shy away from it because they think that it’s too pushy or forward… My feeling is that if you are looking or a relationship, it would be good for you to know (sooner rather than later) that this person is just looking to have some casual fun.”
But how do you ask someone about where they see this heading? It’s important to remember that you have every right to ask that question. Here are some tips to help the conversation go more smoothly, according to experts.
1Don’t Go In Too Seriously
If you’re feeling nervous about having the talk, it’s easy to just blurt out what’s on your mind, but try to take a deep breath first. “There are few sentences that come with as much baggage as ‘we need to talk’ in modern dating,” Demetrius Figueroa, founder of the dating blog and podcast Tao of Indifference, tells Bustle. “If they’re already a bit gun-shy about defining the relationship, hearing that will only make them more anxious. You’ll get better results by saying something like ‘Hey, can we talk about where we see things going between us?’” Having a gentle start to the conversation can help ensure that you’re both in a good frame of mind to talk about the serious stuff.