After several dates with a guy, it's normal to wonder where things are going. If he hasn't referred to you as his girlfriend or asked you to commit to a serious relationship, you may be questioning how much he likes you. You don't want to come across as clingy or insecure, which can make it difficult to ask him where you stand. Remember, communication and honesty are important elements of a healthy relationship. If this guy is worth it, he will be happy to answer your questions, but make sure you ask him at the right time and in the right way.
Bide Your Time
Trying to put a label on your relationship too soon can be a disaster. If you are having fun with this guy, and he treats you well, ask yourself why you're so keen to find out where you stand. Relationship coach Terri Trespicio advises that you wait until you've been seeing each other for at least three months before you have that conversation. Having it too soon can put too much pressure on a relationship, warns Trespicio in the article, "I Want to Know Where Things Stand. Should I Ask?" on "Terri Trespicio.com." If it's still in the early days, concentrate on enjoying yourself and getting to know him better. Let him know how much you like him, suggests Trespicio, and he may be forthcoming with his own feelings, which will give you the confidence to postpone the conversation for another few weeks.
Do the Ground Work
Before you come right out and ask the guy where you stand, do some detective work. Ask him what he has planned for his summer vacation. Casually suggest that you go somewhere together, and see how he responds. If he's keen, that's a sign that he sees you being together with you in the long-term. However, if he isn't willing to make plans too far in advance, he may want to keep his options open. Mention a couple you know who recently moved in together or who became engaged. Observe his reaction. If he gets uncomfortable, or makes jokes about the man being "tied down," this may reflect his own uncertainties about a committed relationship. Ask him where he sees himself in three years' time. His answer will tell you a lot about his stance on relationships -- and his feelings for you. If he says he would love to be married and expecting a baby, great. However, if he says he doesn't want anything to change, or that he hopes he'll still be having fun with his mates, your future together may not be so rosy.
Prepare yourself for the conversation about where you stand. Consider how you feel about this guy and whether exclusivity is really what you want. Think about what you need from a partner and whether he has the potential to meet those needs. Be prepared to hear that he doesn't want a serious relationship with you. Remember, it's better to know -- one way or another -- than be left in the dark.
Make Your Point
The clearest sign that a guy wants to be in a relationship with you is that he tells you so, according to psychologist Jill Knapp in the article, "7 Signs That Dating Won't Necessarily Lead to a Relationship," for "The Huffington Post." If he's not forthcoming with the information or is sending mixed signals, all you can do is ask him how he feels, says Knapp. Beating around the bush will do you no favors here. Be relaxed and friendly, but get straight to the point. For example, you may say something like, "We've been dating for a couple of months now, and I'm really happy with how it's going. Do you see a future for us?" Or, "I've noticed you aren't calling me as much as you used to. Is there a reason for that?" Don't assume that you'll come across as needy, advises Maura Kelly in the article, "5 Ways to Tell if He's Just Not That Into You," for "Marie Claire." Don't have the conversation when you're angry or upset. Stick to the facts and ask for honesty.
C. Giles is a writer with an MA (Hons) in English literature and a post-graduate diploma in law. Her work has been published in several publications, both online and offline, including "The Herald," "The Big Issue" and "Daily Record."