With dating apps like Tinder, Bumble and Grindr, dating in 2019 is more accessible than ever — but it’s also more complicated. Let us be your guide. In the new weekly column, “Slide into the DMs,” our relationship expert will offer you brutally honest and fresh advice. Find a link on thedmonline.com to ask your anonymous relationship question. We’re here to answer all of your burning questions.
What’s the best way to transition from being acquaintances to a relationship?
Take things slow, and just enjoy getting to know each other’s quirks and traits; grab a casual coffee, ice cream or brunch. You have to walk before you can run. Save the red wine, roses and romance for later. Just chill and do something low-key to make sure you even like the person! If y’all can’t hang out and laugh like friends, I’m going to guess that a relationship probably won’t work out . . .
Going out for coffee is so relaxed that the acquaintance will probably think you’re just interested in being friends, which will help avoid difficult feelings later. If you two are on a chill coffee hangout and you discover that the acquaintance isn’t someone you want to date, you can just say, “Well, that was fun,” and move on. Your intentions will just seem friendly and not romantic or over-the-top.
If you don’t like coffee or think these ideas are all boring, why don’t you invite the acquaintance to do a fun activity together? And I don’t mean binge-watching a show on Netflix (talk about dull) — do something that’ll get you engaged with the other person or something that you know the other person enjoys. Perhaps your acquaintance is a big rock climber, enjoys painting, going to concerts or jogging. Appeal to the person’s interests, and he or she will be happy to bond with you over their hobby.
If things are going well after a few hangouts, make your intentions clear to that person. It’s not a big deal to just tell someone you have a little crush; they’ll probably be flattered. If they don’t want to date you, don’t worry, because you’ll find someone else out there who does.
Should my girlfriend go to date parties with other guys?
Alright, first off, there are a lot of questions you and your girlfriend need to ask yourselves:
- Are y’all monogamous?
- Are these other guys friends or “flirtationships”?
- Has she known this guy forever and thinks of him as a brother, or is he trying to take the “date” aspect of the party a little too seriously?
- Do you trust your girlfriend?
- What are your worries about the whole situation?
- What are you comfortable with?
You have to gather all the context clues before you can self-reflect and make a decision. It’s a whole process.
I can’t give you a definite answer to this because negotiating the terms of your relationship are obviously up to you, not me. I’m not the universal court of judgement or anything, and I have no idea what you have or haven’t discussed. No matter what, make sure to think about her perspective. Be empathetic. Maybe the parties are just a fun way for her to hang out with her friends and not anything hot and heavy.
Trust is a crucial ingredient in a functioning relationship, so it’s worth it to talk it out with your girlfriend. If you can’t trust her, you might want to figure out why.
Is she not as into you as you’re into her? Does she have a history of cheating? Has she lied to you before? You definitely shouldn’t feel paranoid when she’s out at a date party; you deserve to feel confident that she won’t cross any boundaries that y’all agreed wouldn’t be crossed.
What’s the most important thing I need to know when trying to work through problems with my long-distance girlfriend? I feel she’s the one, but it’s been so patchy.
You and your girlfriend might want to figure out what specific relationship problems you’re having. Is one person picking up extra shifts or going out every night and inadvertently neglecting the other? Does one person have a new best friend that’s making the other feel forgotten or jealous? Are you in different time zones and one person is fast asleep when the other has free time?
Long-distance is the real deal. Long-distance is like a pre-test to find out if your love is strong enough to transcend daily hugs, kisses and laughs. I’ve done long-distance before, and I think it feels cold, but it makes the warmth of reunification even better. Believe it or not, long-distance can actually be really romantic and starry-eyed if you embrace the truism that absence makes the heart grow fonder.
Enjoy the longing and pining for each other, the FaceTime dates and the silly Snapchats. Instead of thinking of things as “patchy,” you can learn to cherish those rare moments of contact. I’m guessing that finding the time to really talk on a regular basis may be difficult. Perhaps you can carve out a specific hour-long block every week at the same time to FaceTime. Maybe you could plan to call her every Monday after you go to the gym or every Wednesday morning before your first class.
Whatever time you choose, the most important thing is to actually engage with each other. This sounds so obvious, but many people nowadays are just waiting for their turn to talk next in the conversation. Don’t do that!
Ask your girlfriend lots of questions about her day — what did she eat for breakfast, what music has she been listening to, what has she been stressed out about lately — and really listen.
Don’t just call her for 10 minutes while you’re chugging a latte and rushing to get to your next class — you’re going to spill your coffee and burn any chances of connecting on a deeper level than just “hey, how are you?” “good, how are you . . .”