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During my undergraduate years I, at one point, dated with the specific intention of wanting a girlfriend. Because I’d transitioned to college (and somehow equated that with adulthood), I thought it was time for me to settle down and find a nice young lady to build a life with. I remember once, during that period, I had a conversation with several of my peers and gave them my take on relationships and why I wanted to be in one. A young lady whom had been the object of my affection (unbeknownst to her) told me what I was saying was “scary.” She told me I “can’t just walk up to women telling them [I] wanted to be in a relationship. [I] was too young to know what I was doing and wouldn’t be taken seriously.” I found her position odd, but as I grew older I began to understand she wasn’t really talking about me. She was talking about herself. There are women who believe they must conceal their desire for a relationship from a man — lest they scare him off — and I must say I’m completely puzzled as to why they’d keep that a secret.

Ladies, if you meet a guy and you like him enough to want to be in a relationship with, say so. You don’t have anything to lose. Seriously. And here’s why: If you want to be in a relationship with him and he wants to be in a relationship with you, you win. If you want to be in a relationship with him and he doesn’t want to be in one with you, you still win. How? Because now you know exactly where he stands in your life and where you stand in his. A large part of the problem with men and women in relationships is a lack of communication for what the other person wants. Speaking up early can bring clarity to an easily clouded situation.

On the flip side, I can see women saying “well if he wants to be in a relationship with me, he’ll let me know. Why should I say something first?” And that’s a legitimate question. Here’s the thing. If you tell a man what you want and where you want a situation to go, that’s all you really have to do on your part. As a woman, if you wish for a man to lead the relationship, stating what you want hasn’t taken that power away from him. It simply provided both him and you with an option. Now that he’s aware of your feelings, he can act on it, or not. Also, now that he’s aware of your feelings, as a woman, you can pay attention to his actions afterward in judging whether being with him is something you’re interested in

I’ll admit that this is a decidedly male take on what women should do if they’re involved with a man they want to be in a relationship with. Given its 2014, I have no issues with women speaking on the things they want and how they want them to be done. I truly believe people only treat other people how they allow themselves to be treated, meaning, if a woman wants an actual committed relationship from jump, she should say so lest she be treated in a manner that isn’t aligned with what she wants. If you happen to scare a man off with that request, thank him. He likely did you a favor. I’m a firm believer that we all have to take control of our lives and the things that happen to us, particularly when we’re dealing with interpersonal relationships. So, ladies, if telling a man you want to be in a relationship makes him run away, shrug your shoulders and pat yourself on the back. You likely just saved yourself a great deal of time, money, and stress.


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