I know that I'm not the only person who has tried to DTR and failed. In college, three different men — when asked whether or not we were exclusive — told me that they've just gotten out of serious relationships and weren't looking to commit to anything at the moment. One guy even answered the question of, "Are we officially dating?" with, "I'd prefer to be single for spring break, but maybe we can talk after that." I never knew how to talk about wanting a committed relationship, because it seemed as though the only response I ever got was rejection.
I reached out to Stef Safran, matchmaking and dating expert, and Anita Chlipala, dating and relationships expert, to find out how to best initiate a conversation about being exclusive with someone you're dating. "I think most people want a committed relationship in the long run, but sometimes you want to see what else is out there," Safran says. "Conversation is key, and you need to discuss what your needs are in the relationship." Whether you want to call someone your SO or simply want to be with someone who isn't sleeping with other people, here are some ways to navigate this awkward (and potentially frustrating) conversation.