“What Are We?” – When Is The Right Time to Have “The Talk”

Words by Misha Fabian

Dating in the modern age is, in a word, tricky. The movies play it out to be one big fairy tale where everyone magically ends up happily ever after but oftentimes, it’s not the case. Dating takes a great deal of patience and a whole lot of trial and error. It could end up in a hit or a miss, depending on the situation you find yourself in. Plenty of times, one could find themselves either getting more than what they bargained for or left up in the air which could lead to a world of confusion: Ano ba itong ginagawa ko?

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Artist: @uuuu__jin

This is why it’s important to, in millennial speak, DTR. DTR, or Defining The Relationship, is an important step in figuring out where you stand in another person’s life. Oftentimes, DTR-ing becomes the definitive moment in establishing which relationships would remain strictly platonic and which ones would progress even further. However, the question stands- how long should you wait before you DTR? Here are 14 people on when they think you should have “the talk”.

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Credits: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gRUmkYM1gFI

The time-sensitive approach

3 months minimum to 12 months maximum

Consideration of others’ feelings

At least 1-2 months because nobody likes being led on!

When you just gotta feel it out

A month at the very least, perhaps around 3/4 usually. A month after regular hang outs change in a sense with regards to feeling, when it doesn’t feel a hundred percent -platonic-, like something more?

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Instagram: @maria_uve_

Friends first

It’s really hard to tell when you can define the relationship because it all depends on the parties involved. But for me, at least a few months of dating (this would include anything and everything of what you would do with a friend, but you’re flirting) because a relationship also means a friendship.

Straight to the point

6 months

Theone where you make sure your feelings are reciprocated

As soon as you make each other known that you like each other [you’ve made a confession]

This goal-oriented outlook

Until you’ve figured out (and are sure of) what your goals are with bringing up the topic of defining the relationship

Communication is key

I think it really depends on the dynamic between the people. Some people I know define what they are during the beginning, like dating or exclusively dating. But I think that it really depends on how comfortable and trusting these two people are with one another if they are ready to define it! It comes at their own pace, sometimes after two dates or three to figure out if they see something happening between them and the other person!

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Couple holding hands in cafe


When you’re sure of the L word

When I’m sure I’m in love with the person already.

When you find yourself getting attached

When you feel like you’re becoming more invested and when you’ve hung out more than 5 times…

Clarity is key

After consistently going on official dates for some time and seeing that there’s really a connection between the two of you. I think it’s important to define the relationship as soon as possible when there is significant consistency in showing interest in each other, so that both of you are on the same track. Whether you’re both still testing the waters or you’re both ready to be exclusive, it has to be clear to both so that no one gets mislead. Specific time isn’t much of a factor but rather what you consistently do with the time you have (so how many dates you go on in a certain period of time).

Consistency usually shows investment in the relationship (whatever that relationship may be) so as soon as you notice consistency in the efforts to go on official dates.

When you know, you know

There is no formula. It takes empathy and understanding your partner to know when to do so. I’ve only been in one relationship that got past the dating stage, and it took us about four months to get to the stage where I asked if she considered us ‘official.’

Actions speak louder than words

If you find yourself doing things that couples normally do, then it might just be time to DTR. I think it varies from person to person; time isn’t really the best measure for DTR, it’s more of like the things you do or the things you say.

Maturity level as the standard

That is up to you. There is no cookie-cutter relationship. It all depends on what you feel about it. Personally, I feel I may have rushed into my current relationship, but I do believe it has been a very successful one. I guess the best indicator of when it is best to start a relationship is the level of maturity both you and your partner have to fight for the relationship.


When do you think is the right time to have “The Talk”? Comment your thoughts down below!