How Do You Figure Out Where Your Relationship Stands?


In art and literature, the season of autumn represents both maturity and ripeness. Friedrich Nietzsche once said, “Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.” How do you know whether your relationship with a man will bloom like spring or lead to a cold, lonely winter? You may think the easiest way to find out is to ask. All your friends may tell you to ask him where things stand. If it’s not going anywhere, they may even tell you that you need to ask him for “closure” so you can move on. But is asking a guy where you stand with them ever a good idea?

Another approach to consider is taking a step back and letting him have the opportunity to come to you and to show he’s interested. Will he miss you if you’re gone? If he’s not trying to connect with you in a relatively short period of time, then you have your answer. If he’s not in touch with you in a couple of weeks, then he isn’t that into you. At this point, it’s best to avoid asking anything and move on without him.

Has either of these situations happened to you? Paula and Joan had two very similar outcomes when they talked with the men they were dating to clarify their relationships. Let’s take a look at what happened to Paula first:

Peter decided to try online dating after his marriage ended. When he saw Paula’s picture and profile, he thought she seemed like an interesting person he’d like to get to know better. Paula lived over an hour away from him. But that was OK because he was still getting over his divorce.

After they met, Paula really liked him and called him after their first date, hoping to go out again soon. But their dates were infrequent.

Peter didn’t seem as enthusiastic about their time together as she’d expected. Because of his behavior, Paula didn’t know where she stood with him. She also wasn’t sure if their relationship had a chance to go anywhere significant. She figured it might take him some time to get over his ex-wife. Since Paula liked him, she decided to be patient and wait. At least, at first.

But Paula soon got tired of waiting on Peter to set things up for them to spend more time together. So, she called him and asked him what was going on with them. Where was their relationship going? Paula wondered. When she asked, she didn’t quite get the answer she’d been hoping for. Peter told her he thought she was a nice person but he didn’t feel a “spark.”

What happened to Joan?

Joan and Mike went out once a week for over two months. But then, Mike started moving away from weekend and evening dates to Sunday afternoon or mid-week dates. He also postponed a few times, saying he had out-of-town guests visiting.

Joan enjoyed spending time with Mike and wanted their relationship to progress. But she didn’t understand why things had changed. When they were together, everything seemed fine, but the relationship wasn’t moving forward. Joan suggested they go to lunch one day and talk about it.

On their lunch date, Joan asked Mike what was going on with them. He told her that she was a wonderful woman, but he wasn’t ready to be in a committed relationship. A couple of dates later, he said to her that he had met someone and was sorry, but it wouldn’t be fair to keep seeing her.

Both Paula and Joan could have seen the writing on the wall. These men weren’t showing the kind of behavior that signals to you that a man is crazy about you. They just didn’t want to accept that these men weren’t into them and were slipping away.

Are you going through a similar situation? Understandably, you’d want a straight answer from a guy who seems to be drifting away. But one of the most significant indicators of a man’s interest and commitment to you is his time. If he is making time for you and is setting up dates, that’s really one of the only signals you need to know that he wants the relationship to progress. Maybe the “closure” your friends say this kind of talk can get you is having the man tell you that he isn’t very interested. But is that experience good for your ego?

Only you know what choice is right for you. But consider if maybe you should drift away and let him wonder what happened to the relationship instead. If he isn’t interested, your relationship isn’t going anywhere, no matter what you do, say, or ask. It’s your choice as to what kind of ending you want from that dating experience.

What kind of ending works best for you? Let us know what you think in the comments.


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  • Dr. Susan says:

    Hi Paul,
    I’m glad you liked the article.
    Thanks for your comment.
    It sound like you could be saying that a woman isn’t interested unless she stays, no matter how a man treats her.
    I’m not sure I’d agree with that, but maybe I am misunderstanding your point.
    I’d really like to hear your opinion.

    Dr. Susan

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