What Does It Mean When My Girlfriend Wants to Take It to the Next Level?

by Nina Edwards

When your girlfriend drops the “it’s time to take things to the next level” bomb, you can be left reeling with unanswered questions. You may be unsure about what this means for you or for your relationship. Taking things to a different level could mean various things depending on the nature of your relationship. So take a breath before you start going into shock. The progression of a relationship is centered around fulfilling needs of intimacy and commitment.

Public Acknowledgement

It may still be the early stages in the relationship, and the reason why your girlfriend is talking about taking things to the next level is because she is looking for the acknowledgement that the two of you are committed. Meeting the people in your inner circle could demonstrate your level of commitment, suggests Dr. Jeremy Nicholson in “Commitment Techniques of the Millionaire Matchmaker” on Psychology Today. To take this a step further, introduce her explicitly using the word “girlfriend” to your friends and family to show that you are a pair.

Making it Official

That next level of commitment may mean talking about your future plans as a couple. Simply having the conversation about whether or not you plan on making things official -- asking her to marry you, move in or have babies -- could be taking it to the next level. Moving in with you may enable you to find out whether you are compatible, says Sharon Sassler in her article "The Process of Entering into Cohabiting Unions" published in 2004 in “Journal of Marriage and Family.” Taking things to the next level in essence could mean making a trial run for marriage.

Sexual Intimacy

If things in the bedroom have become a little too predictable, taking things to the next level could mean she wants to try something new. Wanting to try new things sexually doesn’t necessarily mean that she is not satisfied. Perhaps she wants to try new positions that will enhance the depth and passion of your experience. This may mean she's asking you to open yourself up to reading books or watching films that will aid this process. If the two of you have not been sexually intimate, taking things to the next level could mean engaging in this kind of intimacy.

Emotional Intimacy

There is another way in which intimacy can be elevated. Creating deeper emotional connections is what she could be referring to. Being vulnerable with anyone isn’t easy, and men tend to have a harder time sharing feelings and talking about their emotions, according to Helen Fisher, Ph.D., in “Building Intimacy in Your Relationship” on Oprah.com. Perhaps she has noticed this about you and would like to establish a deeper emotional connection with you. For example, you could be walking out in the middle of arguments leaving her without an opportunity to express her concerns. Whereas, opening up about your problems and dealing with them may be a way to build more authenticity.

About the Author

Nina Edwards holds a doctorate in clinical psychology and has been writing about families and relationships since 2000. She has numerous publications in scholarly journals and often writes for relationship websites as well. Edwards is a university lecturer and practicing psychologist in New York City.

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