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How to Ask a Guy Where You Stand & Not Seem Needy or Insecure

Knowing how to ask a guy where you stand with him without coming across as needy is tricky. But it can be done, and here is how you do it.

How to Ask a Guy Where You Stand

Let’s face it, figuring out how to ask a guy where you stand is scary. If you like him and want things to move forward, this could be an eye-opener that you want different things. That is a risk you have to take to be taken seriously and get the respect you deserve.

What is a DTR conversation?

DTR is short for “defining the relationship.” It is a conversation between you and someone you are dating about what the relationship can and should look like from now on. 

The conversation can include things like whether you are going to stop seeing other people and be exclusive. Or the conversation can go further and lead to officially defining it as a committed boyfriend/girlfriend relationship. Either way, you want to know where you stand with a guy.

The DTR conversation doesn’t always end with exclusivity or commitment. It can also be done if you are casually hooking up with someone or you have a friends-with-benefits situation. [Read: Dating exclusively but not in a relationship? The grey area dilemma]

Why is it important to define the relationship? 

If you have people asking you, “is he your boyfriend?” then maybe it’s time to have the DTR talk. That means people have noticed that the two of you have been hanging out a lot, and even they don’t know where you stand with the guy.

If you’re in a casual relationship, defining your relationship might not seem necessary. It can also be uncomfortable and unpleasant because you’ve never had a serious emotional discussion.

Regardless of that, just think about the DTR conversation as a kind of insurance policy. Just because you don’t need it right now when things between the two of you are going great doesn’t mean you won’t ever need it. [Read: Types of relationships – 26 ways to define your love life]

When you ask where you stand with a guy, it will help you understand the relationship better and what he wants. It also sets you up to be able to have more difficult conversations or even arguments down the road.

In other words, having a DTR conversation defines the expectations of both people so the two of you can act accordingly. Just because you have this discussion doesn’t mean that you’re going to get married and be together forever. But it will show each other your intentions about commitment – or not.

Talking about where you stand with a guy also will make you feel more secure. Knowing his expectations and desires will mean that you’ll spend less time worrying about what he’s thinking all the time. [Read: Define the relationship – when to do it and 20 signs it’s time to DTR already]

The conversation can also help you assess your sexual risk. If he’s sleeping with other people, you should know that so that you can take measures to prevent getting an STD. So, setting sexual boundaries is an important part of this conversation too.

We have all been dating someone when that time came to define the relationship. The infamous DTR conversation is something many people dread. Either it will lead you to a closer, more intimate connection, or it will end things.

If you want things to be casual and he wants things to be more serious, this could make things awkward.

When you’re dating someone, you have every right to know where you stand. Are you friends with benefits, or are you exclusive? Are you on the path to marriage? Do they see a future with you? [Read: The DTR made easy: Your simple guide to talking about your relationship]

But, it is never that simple, is it? Asking someone where you two stand is essentially asking them how they feel about you. That is a vulnerable thing to share, no matter who you are. In relationships, people need reassurance that they are on the same page. Asking a guy where you stand accomplishes that.

Why is it so hard to ask a guy where you stand?

Romantic comedies, the media, and society have tainted this question, making people think you look needy or high maintenance for simply asking where you stand with your guy. If you want even the smallest resemblance of a plan or clue into the future, you are asking too much for a lot of guys.

But, if that is the case, you probably got your answer by their lack of an answer.

[Read: How to stick up for yourself in a relationship and know your worth!]

We try so hard to see where we stand with guys without actually coming out and asking the question. It is not just vulnerable for him to admit, but it is twice as scary to ask because it shows you care.

As women, we are taught to care but balance it with being carefree. We are supposed to like a guy with our actions, but if you come on too strong with our words, we are needy and tying him down.

And we are also taught that all men are afraid of commitment. Even if you’re dating a guy and all is going well, the idea of asking him where you stand brings up so much anxiety because it could scare him off.

[Read: Signs it’s definitely time for the relationship talk]

These things build up in our minds and make us think that asking such a simple question is so difficult and means so much. And trust me, if you’re feeling all these feelings, you’re not alone. Not by a long shot.

Many people are in a cycle of, “should I ask this question to put myself at ease or should I let it go and be the cool girl who is just so chill?”

Well, more often than not, a lot of people fake being the cool girl. They pretend to be chill without knowing what they are. They swallow their desire for a relationship with mutual respect and communication for some male attention.

[Read: How to love yourself – your journey to self-love and happiness]]

But, you can only do that for so long before you think that is all you deserve. You will fall into a pattern of situation-ships. You might have a guy in your life that you treat like a boyfriend, yet he might treat you like an “almost girlfriend.” So, you get all the stress with none of the couple’s selfies, cuddles, or support.

When you let that happen so many times, you eventually become used to it. You become accustomed to this as the norm and think it is all you deserve. And once that happens, you don’t even think about asking a guy where you stand. Deep down, you know the answer.

But it can be so much better. It can be so easy to learn how to ask a guy where you stand. It all starts with knowing your worth, what you want, and not being afraid of the truth.

How to know your worth

Before you build up the courage to ask a guy where you stand, you must build that strength within yourself. It sounds cheesy, but it’s true.

Until you recognize your worth and what you deserve, you never will be able to confidently ask this question of a guy you are seeing. You have to learn that you deserve better than the man-children you have dated. You deserve a guy who can answer your questions honestly, even if it makes them a little uncomfortable. And you deserve to find a guy that wants to commit to you.

Once you come to the conclusion that you deserve it, you will have the confidence to be vulnerable. You will know that even if this guy you like isn’t on the same page as you, you will be okay. You know your worth.

[Read: The signs of low self-esteem in a woman and how it can sabotage your life]

How to ask a guy where you stand

Some people just flat-out asked their now-boyfriend what he was looking for about four dates in. Sure, he could say possibly say nothing serious or just someone to hang out with, so you need to be prepared for that response.

If you ask this question and the guy says nothing serious or is otherwise vague with his answer, you shouldn’t agree and act cool like you aren’t bothered. You have to have the strength in yourself to say, “well, I want more than that,” if he were to respond that way.

So, if he says he is open to anything, but if things felt like he’d want a relationship, you might feel validated and heard. He might be able to give you an answer without squirming or evading the question.

[Read: How to date when you have low self-esteem and find happiness]

He might answer that way because you ask the question with confidence and know your worth.

Steps to take to ask where you stand with a guy

Now that you know that you should ask a guy where you stand with him, how exactly should you do it? Many people are scared to have this conversation because they want to know the truth if it’s good news, but they don’t if it’s not.

Unfortunately, you can’t control whether or not he is going to be freaked out by this DTR conversation. All you can do is speak your truth, ask for what you want, and take the risk. And it’s better to do it sooner and not later to avoid any potential misunderstandings, resentment, or conflict.

So, how should you initiate this conversation? 

[Read: 20 healthy expectations in a relationship that define a good love life]

1. Think about what you want to say first

If you’re nervous about the conversation, prepare what you are going to say ahead of time. That way, you will know what is important to say, and you won’t fumble through your words. You will also come across as more confident and self-assured.

2. Be emotionally prepared

You have to be prepared for the possibility that he might not want to have this DTR conversation. He might try to avoid it like the plague.

But if he does, that is a huge red flag. That means he doesn’t want to define the relationship, which means he doesn’t want any type of label. Instead, he just wants to do whatever he wants to do with whoever he wants to do it with.

3. Act like it’s not a big deal

When you are initiating the DTR conversation, you don’t want to freak him out right away. So, act as if the discussion isn’t a big deal. Don’t start it with, “can we talk” or “we need to talk about something.” That will make him feel fearful and defensive of what’s to come. [Read: 20 subtle secrets to play it cool with a guy and not be distant or clingy]

4. Have the conversation when you are ready

There’s no right or wrong time to have this conversation about the boundaries in your relationship. It can be early on, or you can wait a while. Do whatever feels right to you.

5. Don’t make any demands or put pressure on him

This is a conversation about boundaries and limitations. If he’s not ready to have the conversation, you can’t force him to. He might not be ready for the kind of commitment you’re ready for. And if he’s not, then you need to choose what to do next.

6. Be honest

If you want exclusivity or commitment, be honest about it. Don’t beat around the bush because that makes you seem weak. Instead, stand up for your truth. Love yourself enough to be able to walk away if he doesn’t want the same thing you do. [Read: 18 secrets to get a man to open up, communicate, and understand you]

7. Respect their response and wishes

If he isn’t interested in being exclusive or committed to you, there’s nothing you can really do about it. Don’t try to change his mind because that will just push him away even more.

He’s allowed to have his own reaction and his own feelings. If the two of you are not on the same page, don’t give in to him. Respect yourself enough to walk away and find someone who wants the same thing you do.

Doing it right

If you know what you want, you cannot be afraid of asking for it. You don’t have to wait for him to let you know when he’s ready. Even if a guy does want a relationship with you, he may not say anything for his own fear of rejection.

You’ll only get what you want if you are willing to go for it and deal with an answer you may not want.

[Read: How to make him realize your worth and see that you deserve better]

Knowing how to ask a guy where you stand will prevent you from wasting a lot of time with guys that don’t deserve the amazing person you are.

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