Saturday, April 22, 2006

The DTR Talk

Students have been describing a new phase in their ambiguous courtship ritual: the "define the relationship" talk. They dread it.

They hang out. The group does things together. Two people start "talking" (or are "at the talking stage"). Some kissing may happen about here. Or more. Possibly with alcohol involved. While still hanging out, and doing group things, and talking.

At some point, the couple starts to wonder if they are a couple. Often, he is enjoying the ambiguity, especially if the kissing and more is included. Usually, she will crack first. She will say, "we need to define the relationship." Then an earnest and often uncomfortable conversation follows, which, she hopes, will result in clarity.

How will she know for sure if they have moved up to boyfriend and girlfriend?

He lists her that way on Facebook.


Anonymous said...

How does the "DTR talk" compare to the older process of deciding to "go steady"?

Anonymous said...

Ok, since this is Saturday and not one of your more heavily academic days, can I can assume this is a joke? Or am I so out of touch with the relationship patterns of my own college children that I am missing the unique romantic qualities of Facebook? This seems remarkably similar to the jr. high patterns of my youth when we depended on someone else (a walking, talking version of Facebook, I guess) to convey important relationship information! It was always easier to send someone else out to say "xx likes you" and get their response than to say it yourself. Those big conversations weren't any easier 30 years ago than they are today, but it just seems very odd to have the computer be the intermediary!

Gruntled said...

Alas, this is no joke.
When people can use physical contact (say, anything past kissing) as the bright line for things that happen only in a serious relationship, the initiative to define the relationship will usually come from him -- if he wants to go any further, he has to commit. This is the tragic flaw of the "hook up first" strategy.

Going steady is what whoever calls for the DTR talk hopes will happen (usually her), but may not. It depends on how the talk turns out.

Anonymous said...

This is so true! I'm a college senior and I had to laugh when I read this because this is exactly what happened in my last relationship. We had the dreaded DTR talk and he listed me as "in a relationship" on facebook. I thought it was a little immature, but what better way to show your entire campus that you care about someone in today's technological society? Once again, I'm in another relationship and we're at the stage right before the DTR talk....ugh... here we go again!