Welcome to !Hola Papi!, the advice column where John Paul Brammer helps people work through their anxieties, fears, and life's queerest questions. If you need advice, send him a question at email@example.com.
I've only been out for a few years, and in that time, my dating life has been, well, not spectacular. It took me a while to feel comfortable and start putting myself out there, and honestly, I'm still unsure about the whole thing.
But I've been seeing this really great person for a few months now, and by all indications, it's going well, I think? We talk a bit everyday and go on cute dates once or twice a week. It's been fun and I really like spending time with them! The problem is I have no idea where things go at this point. I'm awkward about communicating my feelings and questions, and so are they.
Is there a certain point where you're just supposed to look the other person in the eye and ask, "What are we to each other?" If so, how do you even know when that point is? Am I gonna doom things by asking? Am I gonna doom things by not asking?
I'm so confused about what happens now and don't know what to do.
Hey there, LL!
Let me make sure I've got the facts correct. You've been going out once or twice a week? How many weeks has this been going on? Are we talking a few or, like, months here? It doesn't substantially change my advice, but I like the idea of you already being in a common law marriage and asking me if you're in a relationship or not.
In any case, you have to ask the dreaded "What are we?" question at some point. I suppose you could avoid it, and if you're both incredibly conflict averse, you could end up in a fun situation where you never define anything and just sort of continue to offer each other support and intimacy well into old age. That'd be a fun premise for a TV show.
But I think a more reasonable thing to do would be to get dinner or something and say, "Hey, I've been having a great time hanging out with you. I wanted to know where you feel like this is going." It's an entirely appropriate conversation to have. Knowing where their expectations are will help you calibrate your own so you can adjust accordingly.
Now I do want to prepare you for one thing: You might not necessarily like their response. It's a real possibility that they will say something you didn't expect or something that will disappoint you. I don't mean that good news is out of the question or that dread is assured, but I think it's always healthy to clear your mind before entering a difficult conversation. Take a deep breath and give the universe space to be the deeply chaotic unpredictable hell beast it tends to be. It's nice to be prepared!
Oh, and another thing: Asking isn't going to "doom" the relationship. If asking for clarity is what ends your relationship, then it was already doomed. You were on the bus to Doomsville all along; you just didn't want to look at where it was going because you were enjoying the ride.
All that being said, I think this could be exciting, LL. It's an opportunity to take a relationship to the next level. They could very well say they feel the same way you do. It's a distinct possibility! And I really hope it happens because someone should be locking it down around here. But no matter the outcome, I do believe it's better to know than to hang around in the dark.
Con mucho amor,
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