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Ask E. Jean For DearSugar: When Should I Have the Talk?

Dear E. Jean,

Quick question: I just started seeing somebody pretty great. I want to know when is the best time to ask him how he feels about the relationship? In other words, how long should I wait before we have “the talk”? I don’t want to screw this up! P.S. I’m 28. —Eager to Know

To see E. Jean's answer,


Miss Eager, My Elegantrix,

Because many males suffer from ED — Emotional Dickheadedness — I have two answers for you. Choose whichever fits your personality:

  1. If you are a saucy, super-witty, confident woman who can grab a chap by his metaphorical whirlygigs, look him in the eyes and say: "How much do you love me?" Don’t wait. Just flat out ask him.

However —

  1. If you’re like 99 percent of us — if you’re a little demure, a little vulnerable, a little scared by what he might say — then give it time. Asking a guy to “talk” about his “feelings” destroys the mystery. And when you destroy the mystery, you kill what attracted you to each other in the first place.

To see more advice from E. Jean visit Elle magazine and

Join The Conversation
JaimeLeah526 JaimeLeah526 9 years
I agree 100% with E. Jean. You can't ask a guy this because that takes it from the fun carefree thing you're doing into a big bad scary relationship. This is something that comes much later when you're exclusive and have been together for a while. If he likes you then he'll continue seeing you and things will only get better.
geebers geebers 9 years
I am anti-talk but that is because I consider myself confident and sassy and I already know what I want and expect he is on the same level. You know when you meet a good guy. If you are really unsure and freaking out- then either you need more time or you need to see the signs. A talk is not going to solve that. If you REALLY must know- fine -go for it. But realize that sometimes guys say the wrong thing when they dont mean it and you could be ending things with a guy who was just blind-sided by the TALK. No matter what -28 is not that old and even if you were 40 ask yourself this "Am I happy with him right now?" if the answer is yes- what does a talk solve?? nothing.
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
Marci Marci 9 years
I agree with winniecooper. Just enjoy what's going on right now and don't try to fit it into some kind of relationship category. 'The Talk' is a girl thing, and I'm not sure what that's about. Just let things unfold and have a good time.
winniecooper winniecooper 9 years
STOP! Don't do it! This is a wonderfully exciting time right now. ENJOY IT for what it is at the moment, please!!!
Lyv Lyv 9 years
I'm 100% with citizenkane! Is there any reason AT ALL for a "talk"? I mean, you seriously can't tell how he feels just by analyzing the obvious - the way he treats you, how often you meet, what kind of things you do together, body language, common interests, etc. etc. ?
kmh5424 kmh5424 9 years
I don't know. I would just ask. Bf and I had the talk about where things would go if we liked each other before we even went on our first date. Well, we liked each other even then. But I also told him when I wanted to spend more time with him. I did wait for him to say I love you first. Not that I didn't, but wanted to make sure he was on the same page.
Jinx Jinx 9 years
"whirleygigs?!" Seriously! :rotfl:
citizenkane citizenkane 9 years
virtual insults are my specialty.
tomatoshirt tomatoshirt 9 years
I don't really do casual dating, so I often ask "where is this going" very early on in the relationship...If two people are not on the same page, I don't see the point of continuing it. I am 24, but I don't like to waste time. I asked my current bf the question on the second date, but then I knew I want to be with him for the long run. ADORE HIM! =)
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 9 years
I dunno. Personally, I would never bring it up. Just not my dating style. I let the man bring it up, similarly like letting him say,"I love you" first.
EJean EJean 9 years
Thank you, Citizen Kane, You always write exactly the right words to make me feel very very very badly.
yiddidea yiddidea 9 years
Having a real, honest conversation with someone you are dating will not "destroy the mystery" in your relationship. It may actually reveal new things about the person that you never knew they were feeling. Game playing is the quickest way to "destroy the relationship". That being said, if things are going well I would just go with the flow. Have fun while you are in the Honeymoon phase of the relationship. This early on the only reason to question him would be if you are feeling unsure of his true feelings or if there are trust issues involved.
MyssCC914 MyssCC914 9 years
Ughhh! The dreaded "talk"! :( I'm in a similar situation where I've just been too nervous to just come right out and say it. Waiting for him has gotten us absolutely nowhere! Some of my friends suggested I drop a few hints here and there that I want something more serious with him. But, let's face it, men are dense! If your message isn't explicit enough they just don't get it. I guess you could drop a few hints (without being too pushy) and pray for the best. Good luck, girl!
citizenkane citizenkane 9 years
Sorry, and I meant horrible advice from E Jean, not my fellow sugars!!
citizenkane citizenkane 9 years
Horrible advice. Don't bring it up until there is a reason: like someone else asks you out. That way you don't scare him off by asking too quickly and you actually HAVE a reason to ask. If you ask just out of the blue, it wil look desperate. There is a SATC episode about this... Why do feel the need to put lables on everything? That is just my opinion....
jillerin457 jillerin457 9 years
Agreed - there is no need to rush! I think if it's going well, you won't have to wonder soon enough.
BeachBarbie BeachBarbie 9 years
Guys love the chase..wait till he brings it up. And in the mean time don't be in such a rush. Enjoy the ride. :)
plasticine1 plasticine1 9 years
"the talk"? what "talk"? why hasnt anyone ever told me about "the talk"?
WhatTheFrockBlog WhatTheFrockBlog 9 years
I agree that you should give it a little bit of time, but not because you'd be destroying some mystery. Relationships should be about honesty, not mystery and game playing. But if, as you say, you "just" started seeing him, I'd give it a few months. If the relationship is still very new, you both should wait a month or two to see if you're still feeling the same way when the relationship isn't quite as new and exciting.
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