Having the Talk

I have a situation: is the “talk” always necessary when dating or is it ever implied that you’re exclusive? Like when you start sleeping together, or after a certain period of time, say three months…  Should a girl be ballsy and ask? Or let the guy do the talking? –Michelle 

just ask

just ask


First of all, I’m pretty sure we lost our monopoly on doing the talking in the 50’s (I actually think Oprah owns the majority share of the talking now). Second, I’ll let you in on a little secret: we are just as nervous about this as you are. Granted this anxiety can stem from any number of reasons, from wondering if it’s too early to bring you home to meet the parents, to wondering if it’s too late to bring someone else home for a bit of ‘how’s-your-father.’  At the end of the day, we all can only gain from knowing where we stand. This basic need is sometimes compounded by certain individuals’ insecure obsession with “leverage,” who feel aversion to “showing their cards.” My advice is to leave those people to play solitaire, and roll the dice with a grown-up.

That being said, I would like to answer your three part question in three parts.

One: assumptions only make an ass of u and me. Implied exclusivity is the bane of many new relationships, and the worst part is that everyone ends up mad and no one is really to blame. On your end you need to decide how you feel about this person and recognize that hooking up with someone else might jeopardize your potential relationship, and act accordingly. As far as finding out where he’s been/planning to be, it’s not weird or clingy or even ballsy for a girl to say, “Look, I like where this is going and I’m not in any rush, but I’d like to know that this is worth me getting involved emotionally.” However, you should say this BEFORE you get involved emotionally, because if he wants to keep things casual, it doesn’t work retroactively.

Two: this isn’t contract law, there are no Squatter’s Rights, and in this age of sexual liberty, neither where we stand in our path around the sun nor the pitcher’s mound define the boundaries of a relationship. For all you know, A-Rod could have hit a grand slam last week (though you’re probably hoping not). Don’t get me wrong, I’m not setting any standards. To the contrary. But holding someone else to your personal standards isn’t fair, and sets you up for disappointment.

Three: should the girl ask? Please. As if coming on too strong like Jo-Jo the idiot circus boy with a pretty new pet was lost with the fourth leg of our Y-chromosome. Guys have the tendency to come on strong, like, all the time. While I have rarely been the one to initiate “the talk” (an insecurity most likely rooted in a pubescent experience of unrequited love involving a blonde), the girls that laid the law down for me, I ultimately respected more and ended up dating longer.

Nutshell time. If you care about someone and want to date them, that’s when the talk needs to happen, and if he doesn’t initiate it, then you should. Don’t write a “check yes or no” ballot, in fact avoid terming it as any kind of ultimatum. Just be honest and tell him you like him and want to see where things go, but you’re not trying to build a castle on a swamp (if he hasn’t seen Monty Python and The Holy Grail enough times to catch that reference, you need to recalibrate your Match.com profile). This can only result in him jumping on board, or jumping ship and you finding love faster without the dead weight. — Chris Brown

+ Leave a Reply