Why does he keep dodging the 'are we a couple' questions?

Why does he keep dodging the ‘are we a couple’ question?

Dear Rachel, I’m writing you because I find myself in a very similar situation to this question you answered. I’ve been seeing this guy for 2 months now and it’s kind of complicated, meaning he’s a very difficult man, but awesome if you have the patience to deal with him. Apparently I’ve been very patient so far. 

We both have very busy lives, we work and travel a lot with our jobs so the little time we have, we try to spend it together. But I have no idea where we stand. I kept implying what I’d like and need and what I don’t, and mentioning things that I only do if I’m in a relationship and so on. At a certain point I asked him directly where we were going and he told me to just go with it. He is not calling us a couple but we’re not seeing other people, we’re spending time together at each other’s homes… just like a couple. He acts like we are, but he won’t put a label on it. What should I do to find out what’s going on? Johanna

A little patience is great when you’re dating and someone wants to take it slower than the other – it shows you have faith in that person and the potential bigger picture. But being too patient for too long can, I think, set up an unbalanced dynamic that ensures one person is sitting pretty while the other’s left hopping on one foot and thinking, ‘What about me? When is it my turn to have my needs met?’

Here’s the thing: your guy wants to keep it casual right now, it seems. Maybe because he’s keen to take his time getting to know you, or because he’s typically slow to commit – which aren’t necessarily bad things. Of course, there’s the possibility that he’s a game-playing commitment-phobe, but most would not come out and say, ‘Oh by the way, I have a massive problem with commitment. MASSIVE.’ (How big a time-saver it would be if they did!)

At two months in, it’s probably a wee bit early to try and lock something down definitively. You should of course be getting into the nitty gritty of who you both are and what you want – in a subtle, no-pressure way. And I would also try to forgo any leading questions for a month or so; ie, where do we stand / are we a couple / am I your girlfriend (you get the drift).  Just enjoy your time together, take your foot off the gas and in another month or two, you can lay it on the line. If he’s not keen to get serious, you’ve had a great time thanks, but it’s time you started seeing other people. It’s really that simple. Or it should be. Because relationships are about compromise and if someone wants it all their way, they’re perhaps not quite as awesome as you once hoped.

Love, reality chick

Freelance journo, blogger, self-appointed advice-giver and co-author of Get Lucky. If you've got a dating or relationship issue, feel free to ask a question. (PS. You can also find me at The Mama Files and Letter To My Ex).


  1. Wacky 6 years ago

    My feeling is around 3-4 months is when things get clearer so some more time could be a good idea.

    If however you feel intuitively it’s going to be too hard to get what you want, I’d walk.

    I’ve been there, done that, and I wish I’d walked sooner! Good luck! 🙂

    • Author

      Agree Wacky – I too have learned the hard way about hanging in there waiting for something that will never, ever come. Some things just aren’t meant to be!

  2. Lisa 6 years ago

    I personally think four to six months you start to get into relationship questions. Much before that, and you’re still in romantic gloss.

    • Author

      Fair point Lisa. However if I can throw the cat amongst the pigeons for a minute, what if someone’s 39 and wants kids? Waiting six months to find out something has legs is maybe a bit too long to twiddle your thumbs. Not that I know if that’s Johanna’s situation. I just think sometimes, when time is not on your side, you’re entitled to get answers to these questions by about 3 months so you can move on if things aren’t right…

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *