The concept of commitment scares a lot of people. It doesn’t have to, though. Asking a guy to be with you exclusively is reasonable, and the right guy will be psyched at the opportunity.
Here are some tips on how to bring up the topic:
- Know that you aren’t asking him for too much.
You may feel as though you’re asking him for the world. You’re not: this is a simple request. And you deserve a guy who will say “yes.” Dispel the doubts that you’re asking too much. You’re not.
- Wait until you’ve been together for the right amount of time.
This is an intentionally non-specific suggestion. Time is a relative concept from one person to another. Some people feel as though three weeks is the right amount of time together before bringing up commitment. Others think three months would be more appropriate. Whatever span you settle on, be sure you feel comfortable with the amount. If you’re asking him for a commitment on your first or second date, you’ll scare him away, and rightfully so. You will know when it would be appropriate to ask.
- Be vulnerable and take a risk.
The idea of discussing taking your relationship to the next level can be daunting. It’s intimidating to risk getting shot down. Maybe you won’t, though! Either way, talking about commitment will give you feedback that will help move you in the best direction for you. So, take the risk and put yourself out there. Open up your heart, make yourself vulnerable to him, and be prepared for his answer.
- Be straightforward.
It’s difficult, but being open and honest is by far the best way to be. Gaining clarity will benefit both partners. Try saying something such as, “I’ve been thinking about our relationship, and I realized that I don’t want to see other people. I only want to see you. How would you feel about that?” Get straight to the point so he doesn’t have an excuse to be vague or to misunderstand you.
- Don’t assume a commitment exists.
You should talk about exclusivity when you’re ready to commit. Don’t assume that you have an unspoken commitment because you both really like each other, or since you’ve exclusively been seeing each other. In fact, the opposite should be assumed—you should be free to see other people until it’s been clearly communicated otherwise. The commitment discussion is essential.
- Decide beforehand what you’ll do with his answer.
What will you do if he says “yes”? You’ll likely celebrate and commit to each other. Congratulations! But what if he says “no”? What do you plan to do then? Will you continue seeing him? Or will you call things off with him right then and there? The more prepared you are for different scenarios, the better it will go.
- If he flips out, then he probably isn’t the right partner for you.
Two possible negative outcomes would be that he criticizes you for even asking, or that he gives you an emphatic “no!” as his answer. Either is okay. You needed his input to make your decision. If he says “no” to commitment but wants to keep dating you, then you know you’re also free to see others or to walk away from him. It’s not necessary for you to sacrifice your needs and desires to accommodate him.
- Don’t follow the advice to just let the relationship progress “naturally.”
If you feel as though it’s time to have the commitment talk, then do it. A lot of people believe that you should go with the flow and just let the relationship develop “naturally.” This is utter nonsense. Healthy, committed relationships don’t automatically materialize. Someone has to be proactive and begin the conversation. Why not you? If you’ve been wondering, then you need to do something about it.
- Understand that people are different.
Some people feel as though commitment should be discussed after about three months, while others are comfortable after three weeks. Everyone’s timeframe will be different. Hopefully, you connect with a guy you like and he feels the same way you feel.
- You deserve to be with a guy who’s as excited about committing to you as you are about committing to him.
You should wait to make a commitment until you meet that guy who excitedly says “yes!” when you bring it up. That exclamation point makes all the difference. He should be as eager as you are. It shouldn’t seem as though he’s fulfilling a duty. You deserve a guy who’s passionate about being with you. He’s out there, and he’s worth waiting for.