How and when do you define a relationship?

Bette is unimpressed! They are going to have to work hard to snag a Bette like you Eileen!!
Bette is unimpressed! They are going to have to work hard to snag a Bette like you Eileen!!

For the record, I’m not a psychologist.  Quite the opposite really and maybe even slightly neurotic.  But I am a girl who learns from her mistakes and when I realize I’m doing it wrong all I want is to find out why and fix it as quickly as possibly by attacking the information like an 18 year-old boy and the new Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition.

I received this question from the lovely and awesome Eileen on Twitter.

Oh, that’s a tough one. When and how do you define a relationship?  I wish I could say the answer was as easy as on the sixth date, bring it up and see how the other person feels about it.  But alas fair Eileen, why would anything be that easy?

It’s more about what you want, and what you are willing to accept.

Typically, it’s always women who want to define a relationship because it gives us a sense of security in a relationship.  We are the ones who have to figure it all out, wrap it all up, and  put it in a pretty box with a nice bow.  Because then it makes sense.  But if you are doing it right, you shouldn’t have to do this at all. Unfortunately, anytime you attempt to put another person in a box their fight or flight response kicks in and they run for the hills.  It’s just human nature.  It has nothing to do with how fabulous you are or not.

So ideally, instead of wanting to define a relationship with someone, you want them to define it with you.

And how do you do that?  Million dollar question!

I’m sad to say people love a chase.  Not only is it okay to remain a bit of mystery, it’s ideal.  I mess this up all the time.  They’ll likely know my entire history and bra size before midnight.  It’s the death bullet.

If you are dealing with men and in the beginning you tell them you are not interested in a relationship, I like to think because a relationship has to be earned, for some reason they are a moth to a flame.  You’ve suddenly become the Moose.  What the hell does that mean?  I heard it explained in one of the best books on relationships I’ve ever read called Why Men Love Bitches.  It’s actually a play on words.  Men don’t want someone who is mean, necessarily, but they certainly don’t want a doormat.  I believe it’s the same with women.

But the book gives the example, if you put a moose head on a man’s front porch he will subsequently say, “ew”.  But if you stick him out in the woods for 3 days and make him hunt for it, he will show up with a Moose head and believe he is the coolest thing on the planet.  It’s about valuing things you have to work for.

I’m not talking about playing games. I am talking about setting a high value for yourself and communicating that.

Which is also why I will ALWAYS agree with Patti Stanger, the Millionaire Matchmaker, who says no sex before monogamy, ever.  Unless, you don’t want a relationship with that person.

You have to be fierce.  And by that, I mean independent.  A full-on Atomic Betty.  What would Bette Davis put up with in a relationship?  I guarantee you, not much.  She’d be like, you want in my life?  Then be in it.  But if you want your cake and eat it too? Hit the road Jack.

Having a full life without a relationship means you can be a whole hell of a lot picker.  Know who you are and what you are willing to accept from people you date.  Set the bar high and make sure you keep it there regardless.  And if you have been seeing someone for a while and don’t know if they are seeing other people still or not, it’s a warning sign.  I would say to that person, if you want to be in my life, I need it to just be us.

Know what answer you are willing to accept before you ask.  And if it’s not the one you wanted be prepared to walk away.  If a relationship is what you want, then know you are worth a relationship and should never think you are worth just being used.  Someone you have been seeing for quite a few dates and they are still seeing others is likely going to string you along for as long as you’ll go.

If you are having to chase someone always wondering if you are the only one they are seeing, get out.  You deserve more.

The same can be true if it is the opposite. Maybe you are seeing someone and they want you to be monogamous and you don’t. I would be brutally honest, I want to see you but I’m also seeing other people.  Then they can walk away if need be and it doesn’t meet with what they want.  People can deal with honesty, however painful, much better than not.  And if you know they want more from you but you are not willing to give it and you continue to string them along for 3 years, because you like the ego stroke and you use them to meet certain needs, then bad, bad things will happen to you. (ok, that one was personal 😉 )

So, in summary…

Be an Atomic Betty.  A mystery.  Independent.  Fierce.  Make them want to chase you.

No sex before monogamy.

Know what you want to begin with and what you will accept.

Get out if you want a relationship and they are already avoiding the issue or still seeing others.

Hugs Atomic Eileen! Wishing you perfect happiness. You deserve it!

Never allow someone to be your priority while allowing yourself to be their option. – Nina Potts-Jefferies

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