Thursday, August 21, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

How to clarify a relationship

By Alexia Elejalde-Ruiz

So you’re dating someone. At least, you think you’re dating, though maybe you’re just hanging out. It is so hard to say when no one has said.

At some point, though, in this era of confusing courtships, you want some clarity around whether you are on a relationship track or just enjoying a casual fling. You want to “Define The Relationship” – a move so anxiety-provoking that it has its own acronym: DTR.

“These talks are so difficult because the stakes are high,” said Los Angeles psychologist Seth Meyers. “At least one member of the couple believes that he or she may have found a lasting, long-term romantic partner” – and the greatest fear is that pushing the subject will drive that person away.

This conversation takes courage. You can do it. Meyers gave some tips on gracefully orchestrating a DTR:

Take it slowly. Wait to have a DTR until you’ve been dating at least a month and are sure you want to be serious and exclusive with this person. You should have already met close friends, co-workers and/or family members. The greatest mistake daters make is meeting someone and then talking every day, including seeing each other frequently in short periods of time.

Be informal. Choose a time when you are both relaxed to prevent defense mechanisms from taking over the conversation. Choose an environment that feels free, where he or she doesn’t feel trapped, such as over a walk or an evening glass of wine. Don’t do it over dinner, because many people feel suffocated or set up once confined at the dinner table, or in the bedroom, which should remain a peaceful sanctuary.

Be light. Start awkward conversations by saying in a relaxed tone that you have something awkward to talk about. This allows a person to mentally prepare. Express how you feel and that you hope your date feels the same way. For example: “The good news is, I really like you; the bad news is, I have an itch for us to have that awkward where-are-we-headed question. Seriously, you’re the one I want to be with, and I hope you feel the same.” Using humor, laughing and smiling can help deflect the seriousness.

Be brief. Don’t ask questions whose answers are going to make you anxious or obsessive. For example, don’t ask, “Have you been seeing anyone else the past month or two?” It doesn’t matter. Do ask, “Do you feel ready to be exclusive with me, or are you more into keeping it casual for the moment?” Phrasing questions in this way allows the other person to tell you the truth, because you haven’t given him or her a reason to be defensive.

Take it in stride. If you get an ambivalent or conflicted response, wear your brave face but say you might need a week or two to sit with it. Run the issue by some friends, but don’t make any decision for a week or so. Ultimately, an ambivalent response is usually the same response as a “no,” just framed in more polite language. If you feel confused by a mix of feelings, always go back to what your goals are. Are you ready for a grown-up relationship now? If so, move on because there are others out there who could commit to you fully without the drama of hesitation.

Mcclatchy-Tribune News Service

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Railroad crossing stalemate continues

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1

 
First day back to school brings laughter, jitters

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Potrero Hills Landfill legal appeals exhausted

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1

 
Breakfast after the Bell wins support

By Mayrene Bates | From Page: A2, 1 Comment

 
Suisun city employees get pay raise

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3

 
Fairfield candidates hear about lean, nimble city staff

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Free e-waste collection to benefit Scarlet Brigade

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Fairfield mayor to appear at GOP dinner

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4, 2 Comments

Girls on the Run seeks volunteer life coaches

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A4

 
College finalizes police department takeover, OKs bond plan

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A4

 
Weather for Aug. 21, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: B10

Fairfield police log: Aug. 19, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

 
Suisun City police log: Aug. 19, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

.

US / World

Militants use British killer as propaganda

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Governor criticizes new-hire pension enhancements

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

US mission to rescue hostages in Syria failed

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
US official: More airstrikes in Iraq

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

Beheading spurs new attacks on Islamic militants

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 1 Comment

 
School sorry for making special ed kids sort trash

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Police seek mystery pair in selfies after burglary

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
Teens deny threatening boy in school shooting plot

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Panel OKs state librarian despite initial concerns

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
North Korea insults John Kerry over his looks

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Ukrainian govt troops take over much of Luhansk

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Picture emerges of officer in Ferguson shooting

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10, 2 Comments

Navy kicks out 34 for nuke cheating

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
CHP says officer may face serious beating charges

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10, 1 Comment

8 homes destroyed, 1,500 threatened by wildfire

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Drought has state debating its unregulated pumping

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Holder says he understands mistrust of police

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Liberian slums barricaded as Ebola sets new record

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

.

Opinion

Editorial Cartoons: Aug. 21, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
California needs pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A7, 1 Comment

 
Tell the story, don’t be it

By Ruben Navarrette | From Page: A7

 
We’re spending way too much on raising our kids

By Megan Mcardle | From Page: A7

.

Living

Today in History: Aug. 21, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Aug. 21, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Horoscopes: Aug. 21, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

 
Why do parents drink alcohol after their children’s games?

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

.

Entertainment

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A5

 
Emmys: Billy Crystal to pay tribute to Williams

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6 | Gallery

And the Emmy winners are…? We’re happy to guess!

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6 | Gallery

 
Aniston, Hamm, Hudson set to Stand Up to Cancer

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

.

Sports

Peavy pitches Giants to 8-3 win over Cubs

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
WR Stevie Johnson adds depth to 49ers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Fairfield boxer Avila set to put perfect 15-0 record on the line

By Brian Arnold | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Giants win protest, rain-shortened game to resume Thursday

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

A’s stumble and must regroup with Angels coming

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Raiders FB Reece’s injury not as bad as feared

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Reality check for Phelps at Pan Pacific Champs

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Kent State starting center dies at 21

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Serena Williams seeded No. 1 at US Open; Halep 2nd

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Tony Stewart skipping 3rd straight race after Ward’s death

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Las Vegas spoils Mo’ne’s night, beats Philly 8-1

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Sharks F Torres undergoes surgery on right knee

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

US routs Dominicans in exhibition as Rose rests

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Schilling blames chewing tobacco for mouth cancer

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Sports on TV for Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B4

 
This date in sports history for Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

.

Business

BofA reaches $17B settlement with US

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
Brine firm sues over biblical fracking billboard

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

Apple’s stock bounces back to hit a new high

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
.

Obituaries

David G. Gibson

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Charles (Chuck) H. Doty

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

George ‘Wayne’ Hause

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Sharon Ilene Boyd

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9