Long-term relationship growth (DILEMMA). What's your approach?

Do you believe in:

a) voicing what you want at a certain point (ex: "I would like us to move in". "I would like us to get to know each other better on a roadtrip". "I would like to be with your family on Christmas day")

b) letting things happen on their own (going with the flow) and never discussing long-term commitment

I'm asking that because my boyfriend is a VERY b)-oriented person, and I'm more of a a)-type person. I feel excitement for the future and I like to know what to expect down the road. I can't expect him to guess what I want in the relationship but I don't want to rush things either. And if I don't do anything, our "relationship milestones" stay steady and I am disappointed (ex: not invited to a family gathering one year, and still not invited to the same event next year).

  • Voicing what you want in the relationship
    Vote A
  • Letting things happen on their own (going with the flow) and never discussing long-term commitment
    Vote B
Select age and gender to cast your vote:
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Most Helpful Girl

  • I'd ask him to attend a similar event on your side of the family. If he attends, great, then he's meeting your people. Then, it should be obvious to him that it would only be an appropriate step to take you to his family function as well. If he doesn't want to attend your family function, that's a pretty good indication that he's not ready for you to meet his. Which is OK, everyone moves at different paces & nothing goes well when it's forced.

    To have things progress naturally is great. However, naturally, one person will be the leader, & the other the follower. This can interchange btwn the 2 of you, sometimes the roles will reverse, but for the most part, people are more comfortable filling a certain role & that is how the 2 of you learn to work together & coexist in a happy healthy partnership.

    So maybe you are going to be the leader in this relationship, or at least, in this PART of your relationship. Leading a guy can be tricky though, it's best to find a very creative way to bring something up, so that in the end, he ends up thinking it was pretty much his suggestion in the 1st place. That may sound manipulative, but I really think it's just a matter of learning how to influence someone, to get the results you want. If the results you want are positive for BOTH of you, meaning you aren't trying to get him to do something against his will that he doesn't want to do, or that could harm him, then that is hardly manipulation, it's positive influence.

    So for example, the road trip: Bring it up when both of you are relaxed just having a nice time together. Something like, "Hey, so I was thinking I'd really like to go on a road trip somewhere."

    He should naturally be curious, maybe ask where you would like to go, or maybe even ask who you're going with. BAM, opening. You respond, "I was thinking of asking Ashley, or Kim, but only if you don't want to go, I'd really like to go with you. Where would you be interested in going?" That leaves the ball in his court, to answer the questions without feeling too much pressure.

    Guys hate pressure, and they hate sneaky surprise questions. So when you've been stewing all day about how you haven't been invited to his family function, it builds up into resentment, and you might have a random outburst and ask him in an angry and accusatory manner, which will catch him off guard, make him feel attacked and he'll get defensive. Once his defenses are up, you are getting no where.

    So keep in mind what exactly it is that you want to accomplish, & make decisions that will get you to that goal. Some of it may not seem natural, but it's the result that is important. If you can try to calmly & peacefully lead him forward in your relationship, you're doing all you can do. If he does not respond positively in time, than maybe you need to consider whether or not this is the right relationship for you. That was quite the rant, sorry, but I hope some of it is helpful to you. Good luck


Have an opinion?

What Guys Said 2

  • at the beginning of the relationship B, then after sometime certainly A.For example I'm at phase A right now :)

  • Invite him to do things, I am a person who tries to plan things, everything. It helped ruined the best relationship of my life. Don't mention family stuff, but a road trip, or things like that aren't bad, and not too pushy either


What Girls Said 1

  • Guys are the kind of people who will not think about this kind of thing at all but then one day they'll wake up and the realisation will hit them like a brick wall and then they'll want to discuss it.

    Try asking him what he wants from the relationship right now and if he's happy with how it is then you could either leave it there or question if he wants it to develop further sometime in the future. If you just ask him about what he wants from the relationship and leave it at that, it'll be enough to niggle in his mind until he seriously thinks about it and decides to discuss it. :)