The beginning stages of a romance are always exciting, intriguing, and engrossing. Our days, though still busy with work and the life we already had before meeting this new guy, are filled with dreamy thoughts about him. What is he doing right now? When will he ask to see us again? And when will we be able to say we’re dating this guy, and not just “talking” to him?
While the “talking” phase is a sort of inevitable stage of any romantic relationship, I think we’d all agree that sometimes, it feels like it’s never-ending. As if the relationship is just…stuck. Banished to the “talking” wasteland, or at least, moving at a snail’s pace to the land of labels and commitment, after we exchanged numbers with a guy who seemed interested. Despite engaging in witty banter over text, he won’t take the wheel and properly ask us out.
So how do we get out of the dreaded talking phase? How can we move the relationship along when we feel like it’s stubbornly staying put in what we feel like should’ve been a shorter stage? And most importantly, how can we do this without having to practically coax a guy into asking us out?
Invite Him Out for a Not-Date
So, you’re determined to not be the one to do the asking out, right? Well, simple: invite him out for a not-date. Maybe plan a friendly dinner gathering with your crew, or there’s a birthday party or some other kind of group event coming up we can invite him to that’s obviously not a date, but instead, a no-pressure hang.
Invite him to a group event or dinner party with your crew.
This gives us the opportunity to not only suss out whether or not our first impression of him was correct and we do want him to ask us out, but also to drop little hints for him to ask us out at a later date: “Doesn’t the new James Bond look awesome? I can’t wait to go see it.” “Have you seen that new Thai place on 8th? The line is crazy long, so it must be good.”
Establish That You’d Rather Talk in Person
Most of us have a love-hate relationship with texting. It definitely requires less effort than chatting on the phone for an hour, and the introvert in me loves that I can take as long as I please to answer someone, but at the same time, it doesn’t replace the connection we get from some good, old fashioned, face-to-face interaction.
While texting can be a low-pressure way to get to know someone, it’s essential that we establish ourselves as someone who prefers real-life conversations over extended texting sessions. This way, we’ll be able to tell immediately if he’s only looking for a relationship of convenience, or if he’s interested in actually dating us – while making it clear that he can’t have unlimited access to our time and emotions without even asking us out.
Once You Do Go Out, Limit Texting
So, he finally asked us out, we had an incredible time, and can’t wait until we hear from him post-date. The moment his name pops up on our screen the next day, we’re really tempted to launch into an hours-long discussion over text. We want to tell him all about our day, and wonder what his was like – and we’re also holding out hope that he’ll initiate a second date.
Save your conversations for face to face.
Here’s the thing: while it’s really tempting to give in and text back and forth all day long, once we’ve actually been out with him and know for a fact that our butterflies weren’t a one-time thing, it doesn’t necessarily help our cause. Instead, we can let him know we have something funny, thought-provoking, or odd to fill him in on the next time we see him. This way, he’ll be able to look forward to seeing us in person instead of hearing everything we have to say through an impersonal text bubble.
Be Willing To Make Your Intentions Known
It’s been a trend in recent years to insist that men leave the pursuing up to women, that it’s really empowering to a woman to let her be the one to initiate contact or define the relationship. Of course, this comes from a place of wanting young women to know they have power in their relationships, and it’s not wrong for a woman to ask a guy out, but this notion also leaves a lot of single men somewhat uneducated, or even scared, when it comes to wooing a woman and dating with purpose.
Sometimes, we have to be upfront in order to get what we want – especially if we have a really good feeling about this guy and don’t want to call it quits yet when he hasn’t made the moves we’d hoped he would. We don’t have to question or confront him, but a simple, “Hey, just so we’re on the same page, I’m in a place where I’m looking for a relationship,” is an honest but gentle way of letting him know that if he wants to make a move, he can.
If All Else Fails, Maybe It’s Not Meant To Be
There are some guys who, no matter how many small hints we drop, how well we thought the date went, how open we are about our expectations, or how masterfully we avoid over-texting him, still seem totally disinterested in moving forward or labeling anything, despite being weeks into seeing us.
We have to be willing to cut our losses if a guy isn’t responsive to our obvious interest in moving forward.
Eventually, we have to be willing to cut our losses if a guy isn’t responsive to our obvious interest in getting out of the talking phase. After a couple of weeks of waiting around for him to take the lead and show some interest beyond non-committal hangouts, if he hasn’t budged, it’s time to let him know that while it was fun getting to know him, this relationship isn’t right for us.
Although in the moment, we might wonder if we should give him just a little more time or another chance, it’s crucial that we value and respect ourselves enough to invest our time in a relationship with someone who actually wants to be with us.
Sometimes, the dreaded talking phase lasts just a bit longer than we’d like, or a guy needs us to leave little clues that say we’re interested in him to give him the confidence to move forward. If it’s the right guy for us, he’ll notice these hints and do something about them. If not, we should be glad we didn’t waste more time with a guy who isn’t looking for the same type of relationship that we are.
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