The DTR Talk

I received a request recently to write about when to have the DTR Talk (Define the Relationship Talk). I have to admit it was an intimidating request, but the more I thought about why I didn’t know how to write about it, the more I realized those very reasons are what make the DTR Talk so daunting. Here are a few thoughts that came out of my jumbled musings:

There’s no real formula for choosing when to have the DTR Talk. Every relationship is different, and everyone handles relationships differently. Do it when the time feels right for you and for the relationship (or non-relationship) you’re in. There are three pretty good indicators for when this might be:

  • You’re feeling really good about the relationship (or the possibility of the relationship) and want to see if the other person is feeling the same way
  • You have no clue what’s going on between you and other person and need to figure out whether or not this is going anywhere
  • You have good reason to believe the other person has feelings for you that you don’t have for them, so you need to clarify things a bit so feelings don’t get hurt

Even though it can be ridiculously hard and uncomfortable, I am a huge believer in saying what needs to be said over hiding feelings. I’m not always as bold as I’d like to be, but I have had to strap on a pair occasionally in order to tell a guy I’m into him and need to know if he’s into me too so I don’t continue to hope something might happen between us. Unfortunately, you need to be prepared for the possibility that that boldness won’t always be reciprocated. I should know. The last few men I’ve had the guts to have the DTR Talk with told me they were totally into me when they really weren’t, which became very apparent through their actions (remember the old adage that actions speak louder than words? Yeah, still definitely true today). One of those men just really liked the attention he got from me, and the other was just hoping I’d sleep with him if he strung me along long enough.

My point is that the DTR Talk is always a risk, but it’s a risk worth taking. Did I get hurt when those two guys lied to me and strung me along? Hell yes! But I don’t regret telling them how I felt because I know I gave it a shot instead of hiding behind my fear of rejection.

My advice to anyone trying to muster the courage to have the DTR Talk is to give the relationship a chance to develop before trying to define it. I talk about taking your time with relationships in my post Is Romance Dead?, and I think that principle applies more than ever when it comes to defining relationships. One of my male friends jokingly said the best time to have the talk is at the point of orgasm (he then proceeded to act this out for my edification, which I wish I could share with you all because it was pretty funny). After having a (semi)guilty laugh over that, I realized he wasn’t really far off the mark when it came to how it really goes down these days. Many people don’t really think twice about taking the relationship to the next level, then are blindsided when the other party says they were just looking to have a good time.

I’ll leave you with a blog post from the pickv blog ( is a dating website based on matching people by favorites), which is appropriately titled The DTR. Enjoy.

Love and heart-to-hearts,



~ by Mika Doyle on September 3, 2010.

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