On tonight’s episode of “Guy Code” at 11/10c on MTV2, the guys are discussing an awkward moment that most guys avoid (and many girls train for): defining the relationship, or DTR.
You might not want to overthink matters of the heart, but it's important to know where you stand ... and when to know where you stand. So before you ask "what are we?", ask yourself the following...
How long have we been hanging out?
Romances don't always have to be a slow burn, but all relationships take some time to build. The danger of having the talk too soon is that you haven't given yourself enough time to make that call (and the other person hasn't either). When you don't take the time to get to know somebody before trying to DTR, it comes off like you don't want them ... you want anyone.
What do we do together other than hook up?
You might want to hang out during the day before entertaining the idea of a talk. Usually going on, y'know, a date is a prerequisite for DTR.
Are we friends?
DTR with a friend you've recently promoted to benefit status is the most challenging, because real feelings are more likely to develop at a fast rate, which can be a whirlwind or a disaster. Sometimes those romantic feelings only happen on one side, while the other person wants to go back to platonic status. Sometimes it works out and it's overwhelmingly intense.
Either way, it's vital to think about the friendship itself and what's at stake, and then approach it with as much sensitivity as possible.
How do you feel when you hang out (and don't sleep together)?
If you're friends or in the same social circle with a hookup partner, you might occasionally hang out without going home together. Are you full of rage when this happens? It might tell you something about what you want. Just cool down before you start thinking about asking to define things.
Are you rebounding?
When was your last relationship? You might not care, but your partner might -- and more importantly, they can tell. No one wants to DTR when they feel like it's about another relationship.
When was their last relationship?
Likewise, you don't want to take advantage of someone else's vulnerability after a breakup just because you like spending time with them. If you push for them to DTR before they're ready, you'll seem like you care more about a commitment than where they're coming from. That lack of consideration would be a turnoff for anyone.
Are you willing to wait for them?
There's nothing wrong with wanting a relationship and making that clear, but if the other person has said they're not ready to DTR, that's the end of the discussion. If you're willing to wait, set your own boundaries about for how long. If your willingness to continue on without a label is open-ended, maybe question why you're gunning for a definition in the first place.
How do you feel when you spend time apart?
Communication when you're not face-to-face is crucial in considering whether having the talk is worth it. If they're a ghost when they're not in front of you, then what you have is already defined, even if it's not set in stone. If you're thinking about each other and communicating that when you're apart, there's exciting potential for DTR.
Do we live in the same city?
Long-distance relationships can be romanticized by the bond you build just through talking. The intensity of that communication can push people to define a relationship sometimes even before they've actually met (we've all seen "Catfish”). Think about how practical a real day-to-day relationship would be before you broach the subject.
Do you work together?
Workplace romances often occur as frequently as they're discouraged. Like DTR with friends, it's a delicate discussion with coworkers. Carefully consider what you want and what the cost-benefit analysis is of continuing things, with and without a definition. Then you can talk about it with respect ... and consideration of each other's jobs.
Am you OK with being alone?
If you're a little too seasoned at having the talk, look at how long you stay single between relationships. If you're jumping from one relationship to the next, consider going it alone for a bit before you get into yet another DTR discussion. It will give you perspective and break up the serial monogamy.
Have you seen them at their worst?
Falling hard for someone is dangerous when you haven't seen what you're going to land on. If you haven't witnessed their full emotional range (or at least heard them fart), you might not have enough information to responsibly DTR. Trying to force these real moments before you're both ready is not intimate, it's gross. Be patient until you know what you're really dealing with.
Have you been yourself?
Opening up to another person can take awhile, but there's no expiration date when in comes to DTR. So ask yourself honestly if you've had enough time to get comfortable being you. Give yourself time to get to that point before defining things. Neither of you wants to get into a relationship based on false advertisement.
Watch “Guy Code” TONIGHT at 11/10c on MTV2