How do you have the "define the relationship talk"?


Hi. I have been going out with a Christian woman for 2/1/2 months - cinema, coffees, lunches etc, but no dinner, and I have given her various gifts and surprises.

We also talk regularly on the phone and email of course.

The thing is we have never had a “define the relationship” talk and it concerns me that this has not happened yet - I would like some certainty as to whether we are boyfriend/girlfriend or whether she does not see anything developing. I think she is wonderful and I would love her to be my girlfriend.

The reason in particular I bring this up is because Valentines Day is soon and we have not spoken about it, and she has told me she has Church commitments for the remainder of the weekends in February, so I will not be able to see her for the rest of February.

We will be talking during the week on the phone and I was going to ask if she would like to go out to dinner for Valentines day. I guess I would know one or the other that way.

What do you suggest I do?


I would say that there should be no rush to have a serious relationship talk. I think you are right though, if she wanted to go out for dinner on Valentin’s Day, that would be a really good sign.


Well, you might start with asking what she wants to do with her future. That would give her a chance to drop hints as to whether that does or does not include you. If it is ambiguous…“I’d like to find a nice man and settle down and have children”…you can ask, “Do you think I might possibly be that nice man, or would you rather keep me in the friend category?” The main idea is that you are asking what she wants and listening to what she has to say, rather than putting it in terms of what you want…this is always charming.

If she skirts the question you are interested in, you can be a bit more blunt, “You are so bright, I think you’ll make a fine lawyer. Have you decided whether you are interested in settling down, too?” That is, be careful not to make it sound as if you think a professional career and marriage might be incompatible–like saying, “That’s great, but what about marriage and children?” unless that is what you do think. We professional women can be overly sensitive on that point, on behalf of others with different goals than we have, even. Just know that this is one potential minefield in your way.

If it is unambigous, you can slip in your side as a joke, “Oh, shucks, not getting married? I could have gotten my hopes up for someone like you! Well, you will make a fine religious, I’m sure. If I’m going to lose a woman like you, let it be to Jesus!” In that case, she will be relieved to not have lost a friend when the process of discernment makes her want to keep everyone she can.

If it is along the lines of, “I feel like I’m still on the rebound” or “I still have strong feelings for someone who doesn’t reciprocate”, then you might say: “You are a wise woman, and an honest one. I’m glad you were frank with me about that. If you would like, though, we can still go out for Valentine’s Day, just to someplace very UN-romantic. It’s up to you.” As long as you are not a doormat and make your possible interest in something more serious clear, being a true friend when a woman needs one is not a bad way to move up to better things later on. If she holds you as an “I like you, get back to me” then stay in the “I like you, and if I’m still available, then sure, feel free to get back to me” category. You don’t have to shut the door to let her know you aren’t feeling a necessity to keep it open for her. Fair is fair.

If she sounds as if something serious with you might be a possibility in her future, you might say, “Well, it is too soon to talk about marriage, after only 10 weeks, but for this year, would you like to be my Valentine?” If so, you can make plans for a more romantic outing than you’ve had in the past. If not, she’s only turned you down as a Valentine. That is something you can cope with in good humor without ruining the whole evening…“Well, you will make someone a fine catch, and I didn’t want to lose you for having not asked!” Either way, you want to be a guy interested in finding a woman, not a stalker. Make it totally OK for her to be just as interested as she is, and not one bit more. That is very attractive, as it makes you seem both self-confident and genial. Do not make all this very serious; that can be scary.

If she doesn’t want to be your Valentine this year or any other, you’ve given her a chance to let you know how she feels without putting her in a position that she has to reject a stronger declaration on your part. She’ll appreciate that, I think, no matter how she feels about you.

Whatever you do, do not lay a big guilt trip on her about your feelings. Do not act as if she is your last chance on the planet for marital happiness. That is creepy and off-putting. (And thank goodness, it sounds as if it is not true.)

That is the nice thing about Valentine’s Day. It is something that gradeschool kids celebrate. It is not a lifetime commitment, just a day to celebrate the joys of simple affection and an excuse to buy chocolate. It doesn’t have to be more than that. Use that to your advantage!


As hard as it might be, and as much as we all like to avoid potential rejection–I would just state your feelings. You enjoy her company, you are sensing that she feels the same…and see where that conversation leads. If you are sincerely interested in moving things forward–I’d take the risk. If she doesn’t see the relationship ever turning serious-she will let you know. You probably don’t want to upset the applecart, and if she doesn’t feel the same as you–having such a conversation might do that. But, if you’re ready for something serious, why continue to date someone who doesn’t feel the same? It’s a tough call! I wish you luck…but, I’d take the risk and ask. The worst she can say is ‘no.’

I think if she has plans for Valentine’s day…that might also indicate that she’s not interested. Give it a whirl–go for it–let us know what happens, k?:slight_smile:


Sure ask her to dinner on Valentine’s Day. As far as initiating the “talk,” just stay clear of proposing too her. Just treat it as a confession you don’t want to go to. Just get the worst thing over first. After that first nervous sentance, the floodgates are open. No matter how she feels, she’ll take a little heart on the awkard foolish guy talking, if it’s negative, she’ll probably let you save some face, if its positive you’ll be able to define some stuff.

Chances are for the most part if she likes you, you could probably tell her you want her to go with you as you go out to become a pirate, and she’ll be more than delighted. OK, that’s a joke. (If she was really intrested in a honeymoon in the Carribean, well you know that pirate thing…nevermind) But so long as you sound sincear and don’t sound too controling, your probably granted a pass on almost anyway it’ll come out. If she doesn’t so much want a relationship, if you had the skills of Cicero it wouldn’t matter.

It sounds like you both haven’t dated too much, so I’m guessing you both might not be the best at showing and figuring out hints, so it might just be up to you spilling it out.


Just my two cents, too…but from the woman’s side of this–I would hope she would be somewhat interested in a relationship, if she’s accepting the gifts that you’re giving to her.:o Typically, when a man starts giving a woman gifts, if she truly isn’t interested, she should tell him…i appreciate the gifts, but i don’t feel comfortable taking gifts from you. If you are both friends, and have been friends for eons, it’s one thing. But, if you haven’t known her all your life, you are not ‘friends,’ you are paying for lunches, for the movies, for gifts…there’s an assumption that a dating pattern is happening. I wouldn’t let a man pay for me, or buy me gifts, if I wasn’t interested. That’s called…leading him on.


Well, from your previous post (about holding hands) I think this would be a perfect opportunity to hold her hand! Help her out of her chair, offer your hand to her, and then just don’t let go. :wink:

Yes, you probably owe it to each other to have a discussion but she may feel incredibly forward for bringing it up. She may be going crazy inside waiting for you to say something!





Hi. I can’t seem to get this define the relationship talk sorted!:slight_smile:

So, I wrote my ladyfriend a love poem telling her I think she is beautiful, wonderful etc and asking her out for Valentines Day dinner. She really like the poem, but she is not able to go out because she has a commitment in Church.

We’ve talked on the phone again and laughed a lot, and enjoying talking to each other.

I have told her I will send her a Valentines Day card and she is happy about that and said she will text me also.

But, there’s still no certainty for me about whether she is my girlfriend or whether she sees me as more than a friend.

We have been going out for over 2 months so, I am thinking about including in the Valentines Day a letter telling her how good it is to know her etc and asking her in the letter if she would be my girlfriend?

What do you think?


I think this is going a very nice direction. She is happy at your overtures. When given the chance to discourage you, she has not done so. I wouldn’t worry myself about definitions, or worry that she isn’t abandoning all her commitments to have a date with you on Valentine’s Day just yet.

Think of it this way: If this were a pregnancy, you probably wouldn’t even be telling anybody yet. Don’t rush to make this something you could put into a press release. It is too soon for that. Let her be a little coy, for crying out loud. It is still the proper time fot that, too.

Patience, patience, man. Roses and romances are best if allowed to unfold slowly. :thumbsup:

This is a magazine for Christian young adults, and the top three articles this week are all about having a “define the relationship” talk…I would read them…


Well, good luck to you both! I’ll say a prayer.


Very good idea!

However, in your Valentine I would include a little “certificate” for one special Valentine’s Day Dinner (even if not on the 14th). Give her a choice of days. Or include a self addressed stamped postcard with the dates on it and have her circle one of the choices and mail it back to you. Just something cute and fun.

Sounds promising. :thumbsup:


I second the motion! Boundless is a great magazine–many of the articles concord well with Catholic thought. And right now there’s a funny Define the Relationship video on the website too.:wink:


Thanks for all your replies.

So, I have sent my lady friend a Valentines Card which she said she would like.

After my love poem to her last week, I wrote on the card

“you are beautiful, wonderful and amazing”.

I also included a CD with a song I bought from iTunes - Joe Cocker’s “You are so beautiful to me”.

I’m kinda scared now that I have sent it about what she wil think about it all.:eek:


Well thats good, if you’re feeling a bit worried, well that would have to happen sometime.


For me, it would be odd to talk about marriage so early, so I don’t think it would be that great to ask if you might be her right man, or how close to him you seem to be as of now. Discussing such things kills the charm for me. I don’t like having things too defined, either. Of course, you need to know if you’re the only one or if there’s someone else, or know your obligations. But if the relationship might as well be a friendly one judging by the external appearances, it might well be way too early to talk about defining. I believe defining should start when there’s controversy. :wink: Personally, I would try to leave it to life itself up until the point where it would be immoral to continue without obligations. In my own case, that would be when something happened which should come out of love rather than friendship, which generally means romantic things such as kissing, embracing, declaring love or serious attraction. If there is none of that, I think I’d even prefer it friendly unless I were positively in love - then I would declare my feelings rather than talk about the nature of the relationship. If I didn’t love the girl, there would be no need for her to be my girlfriend.


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