The most dreaded question on the face of the Earth?  This is the question that all of the commitment phobia people hate to hear.  (I say people instead of men because I have recently met quite few women who have cringed at the conversation of marriage.  Plus I don’t want to throw my guys under the bus all alone.) This means the absolute end of all the fun.  Those four little words can change the dynamic of a budding friendship in the blink of an eye.  Now the real key is not that the question is asked but more importantly…….the timing. 

 No woman wants to feel like she is in a relationship with a man that is going nowhere and that is a dead-end.  And as we all know, the end of the road for a lot of women is marriage.  I mean really, no woman asks that sort of question just to hear a man say that it will end in us being lovers, friends, companions or any other substandard Euphemisms.  And rightfully so!  If that is a woman’s goal then she should not aimlessly follow a path not knowing if it will lead there.  But the truth of the matter is that normally if you have to ask then it is going absolutely no where.  Men have ample time to explain to a woman what he feels and how he feels.  It is often expressed not only with his direct words to you but also his actions.  As possessive as many men are, you should not have to worry about him asking you to be exclusively with him.

  1. You meet a guy that you think is really nice and seem to have a good feeling about it.  Don’t ask that guy the day after your second date with him when you are going to meet his parents!  This will only make him look at you as an annoying psycho.  What makes you think that after two dates that you and he are going to be together?  I mean seriously, some people have had more social interaction than that with their mailman.  How often have we known people in our lives that we started a comfortable speaking rapport with, only to no longer speak to them for whatever reason?  Relax and just enjoy the good time and let your feelings develop naturally instead of like a pumped up baseball player of steroids.
  2. Never ask a man what his intentions are with you directly prior to sex.  Well at least not if you want a legitimate answer.  Why wait so long?  Or maybe I should ask why engage in sex so soon?  Either way, this is the absolute wrong time to bring it up.  At this point you have a man hot and bothered and he is like a hungry sports agent that will tell you anything to seal the deal.  Often times, guys feel like women can ask this question at this moment on purpose, hoping that it will illicit the desired response instead of an honest one.  The problem with that is that while you might twist his arm into saying what you want to hear, it certainly does not equate to him actually meaning it.  So often women can be fooled into believing a man’s words.  But when under duress we know that people are prone to say anything.  Take this analogy……my father asked me once as I was around 8 years old if I could handle the whole banana split by myself without wasting it on the carpet.  Mind you he had it in his hands about to give it to me.  The only reason that I even know what the hell he asked me is because he repeated it to me as he smacked me with a newspaper as he saw me vigorously trying to get the stain out of the carpet.  The point is that I was saying yes before I even knew what was being asked.
  3. Never ask a man was his intentions are directly after sex.  Much like moment #2 this is the absolutely wrong time to ask this question.  Once again this is a moment when a man’s judgment is not so sound and quite impaired actually.  To bring up the issue at this moment will create a tense and frustrating moment as you are clearly blocking the man from his much needed siesta.  And also it is just not the right time to talk about it.  A man needs to absorb the moment so he really cannot say what he wants because he may not know.  But to be brutally honest about it……at this point he may have gotten all that he wanted and does not want to risk his health and well-being by telling the naked woman lying next to him that he is perfectly satisfied with the plateau that has just been reached and that he required nothing more.

 Now I know some people are waiting for me to announce some pinpoint accurate time to ask about such things but I can’t do it.  There just is no specifically perfect time to ask.  Just specific times when you shouldn’t ask.  If I had to make a suggestion I would say to make sure that you ask after you have at least known someone and dated for three months.  At least after three months, you have had enough contact with someone to warrant asking something like that and not having them dismiss you like some sort of bothersome worry wart.  However, the conversation should maybe be started with a different question.  Maybe people should learn to start that conversation by asking, “Have you been seeing anyone else since we started dating?”  This gives a person a chance to be upfront if they want to go another way with the relationship.  Plus it puts you in a position to ask follow-up questions if you feel like getting more information.  But if you don’t like what you hear, you get to move on with that information and act accordingly.  It is certainly a fine line to walk.  Being that person who wants to know where things are going, but not wanting to say too much too soon.  Hmmm….this dating thing shouldn’t be this stressful.

Personal Anecdote……only because I feel like I can share with all three of my readers

I once asked a woman who I had been on numerous dates with if she was seeing anyone else.  She smiled at me and giggled a bit and responded by saying, “Why?  Does that matter to you?”  I responded by telling her that I was curious and just asking…….making conversation while we waited for dinner.  She took a small sip of her chardonnay and said, “I’ve been out on some dates.”  Now at this point we had been going out for a few months and having a nice time but I certainly wasn’t monopolizing her time.  I thought that she was somewhat into me.  And she very well may have been.  But when I heard her say that I thought I better not ask her about us cutting back other people to see if we had a future.  Actually that wasn’t my first thought.  My first thought was, “Damnit I should have asked her about this before I committed myself to this dinner.”  Then my next thought, sadly, was me counting up how many dates we had been on and how much money I had blown!  Did I mention that I am a bit frugal with money?  Not Cheap!  Frugal.  But ultimately I was happy that I asked the question.  We made small talk over dinner and even split a rather gross desert that we were dying to try out. And as dinner went on I started to feel a little better.  Better for now knowing where I stand.  Better for getting a clearer picture of where we were going.   A picture of how fast we were or were not moving together.  I never went out on another date with her after that.  I slowed down our communication from daily phone calls to once a week and work time email chat.  I think that by me asking some pertinent questions after a sensible amount of time in a very comfortable setting for us both it allowed me to get a straight and honest answer and also to not commit the cardinal sin of dating.  Being that pushy person who has no sense of proper timing.

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