When Should You Define The Relationship? 13 Millennials On When It's Time To DTR

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In the dating world, I struggle with interpreting the true intentions of my partners. In a world where hookup culture, swiping right, and ghosting someone you're seeing are the norm, dating for Millennials has become such a gray area. The once black and white question — are we in a relationship or not? — has become filled with ambiguity and even more questions.

“Far too many relationship defining talks are initiated because one of the parties is upset about their nebulous relationship status,” Demetrius Figueroa, founder of the dating blog and podcast Tao of Indifference, tells Bustle. “Entering into a relationship is a big step, one you shouldn’t make out of anger. Instead, try to start the conversation from a neutral position. Have the conversation that you both want to have, not a conversation one of you wants to have because you’re angry.”

In the past, I've found myself in the painful pattern of casually dating someone who has totally different intentions than mine. I am oriented towards love and commitment, yet I have run into the trap of dating guys who lead me on. I have been ghosted several times after a seemingly perfect night out. This issue is in part my own fault because I've been too afraid to ask, "What are we?" I've been too fearful that I will sound too needy or that I'm placing pressure on the relationship. Instead, I've kept keep quiet and then got strung along for weeks, and months, only to finally realize that I'd been investing my time and energy into a dead-end relationship.

So when is a good time to define the relationship? Here's what 13 Millennials have to say.

1Clara, 25

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"I think when the time is right and it's just meant to be, you just know. "

2Graham, 25

"I don't think there really is any correct set amount of time. I think sometimes it just feels right."

3Jessa, 22

"After a few months... I also think you should wait to have sex until a few dates."

4Ted, 28

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"When you are both at a place in your life when you are stable and you can want exclusivity and something serious.

5Ali, 22

"I don't think it's so much a time period but more so how much you've gotten to know the person and the level of intimacy you have with each other."

6Katrina, 24

"You should be their best friend first and foremost before you commit to anything serious."

7Shane, 25

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"When you feel like you would be wasting your time if you kept it going on."

8Diana, 24

"When you feel like the ambiguity of your relationship status is messing up the time you spend together."

9Lucinda, 25

"Only after you've had sex and you know if [they're] good in bed or not."

10Erin, 26

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"Only when you could visualize a future with that person."

11Westin, 25

"Relationships are defined upon first impression or after developing personal intimacy. Depending on the person."

12Michelle, 30

"I think it'll always depend on the relationship, but personally, I give it at least months before I make any decisions about the state of the relationship."

13Corrine, 22

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"Totally based on the relationship but I shouldn't be spending time with you on a consistent basis and not know that you are also sleeping with someone else regularly."

By understanding our own needs and intentions, we can manifest a relationship that has the potential to be amazing and fulfilling. By asking to DTR at a time that feels right for us — rather than staying in the dark, we are being assertive, honoring our needs, and treating ourselves with the love we deserve.