There are two seriously awkward conversations everyone will have by the time they’ve reached their 20-something years.

The first probably happened around a decade ago when mom and dad sat you down and tried to talk to you about your sex life. As embarrassing as it might have been to listen to your parents wax poetic about condoms, it doesn’t really compare to that other uncomfortable exchange you will be forced to have about two months into the beginning of every new relationship.

I’m referring, of course, to The Talk, when a new couple determines if a given period of dating has successfully resulted in a full-blown relationship.


Before you arrive at this terribly uncomfortable conversation, you first get to enjoy a blissfully carefree period of romance. Dates one through 10 are optimistic, lighthearted and generally stress-free. However, eventually you begin to realize you might really like this person and that’s when you start to wonder if he or she feels the same way, too.

It is generally considered unacceptable to simply blurt out, “So, are you my boyfriend now?” Instead, you are expected to endure a lengthy period of confusion, caught in between being single and being a couple. I like to refer to this agonizing state of unknowing as dating purgatory. No one wants to be the first to bring up the c-word (commitment), so this desperately coy game of relationship chicken can go on for a number of weeks, and even months, before someone finally utters those inevitable words, “Where do you see this going?”

Is there a better way to approach this difficult yet necessary dating milestone? While they say timing is everything, my most recent attempt at The Talk relied heavily on humour and plenty of wine. After some inaudible mutterings on my part about “being on the same page,” he responded with nervous laughter and somehow we eventually reached the conclusion that we were now a couple.

Obviously, there is no cool, mature way to resolve the question of exclusivity. Asking someone if they want to be your boyfriend or girlfriend is possibly the most childish moment in any adult relationship. Perhaps we could all just make things a little easier by agreeing on some sort of standard dating formula. Here’s what I’m proposing, gentlemen: 10 dates + 4 sleepovers + 1 drunken night out with friends + a toothbrush at her place=boyfriend.

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