Have you ever been in that spot with a girl and you aren’t quite ready to ask her out yet, but you definitely like her. You know that spot… you guys really connect. She’s easy to talk to. You enjoy being with her. The fact that she’s pretty hot doesn’t hurt anything. But you’re not sure if you’re ready to make the big leap and full on ask her out. You’re not sure if you like her that much? Then my friend, you are in the Land Between.
Check out this picture. What’s going on here? Are they dating? Maybe not…they aren’t exactly “next to” each other. But he definitely looks like he could be “in to” her. Maybe she’s still figuring it out. But she’s not making an excuse to leave. So what’s going on here? Are they in the Land Between?
Last week I wrote a post about what to do when its time to tell her that you love her. It was something a good friend of mine was going through and it got me to thinking about when that time came for me and Penny. Well…this week I was working on a project with a different friend and he was telling me about some time he had recently spent one on one with a girl that he’s been into for a while. It wasn’t a “date” per-say, but it felt very date-ish. He’s still not quite ready to ask her out, but he’s definitely interested. And he wasn’t quite sure what to make of it. And I remember that time really well for Penny and I as well.
It really is a sort of Land Between. What it doesn’t mean is that it’s time for the big “What is this” discussion. I know it may seem like a good idea to have that Define-The-Relationship discussion at that point, afterall, its a good thing to be on the same page, isn’t it. Sure it is. In fact, I’d say that’s exactly what you want- to be on the same page. To have everything above board and on the table.
We all know the pain of unspoken attraction and the confusion of an ambiguous relationship. But the problem with those sort of discussions, with these DTR’s at this point, is that it goes beyond getting on the same page and forces both individuals to be in the same place. And if they aren’t- then awkwardness ensues.
But how does that work. I mean, look at the progress of relationships, it goes from attraction to dating…right? Perhaps not. Let me toss out a step in between, (thus The Land Between) that I think will help out everybody a lot! It’s a stage that I think naturally exists, but some people want to skip over it all together. That’s no good. That stage exists for a reason. And you want to take full advantage of each stage. Don’t rush through the stage your on (I’d also say don’t linger either, but that’s another post).
This stage is what I call BEING INTENTIONAL. So what does Being Intentional look like? Well, it starts when you find yourself in this stage of- I think I like her, but I’m not sure I’m ready to full on ask her out just yet. I just want to get to know her better. It’s a time when you aren’t exclusively dating, but you do hang out a lot, especially in groups of people. Maybe you’re hanging out with a group of people you wouldn’t otherwise hang out with. You are really just getting to know each other. When you go out with a group, you are intentionally in the same car. You sit near her at the restaurant. From time to time, you may even go out on a date, but for the most part, its not dating by yourselves. The whole point is to get to know her to see if she’s someone you want to date. It’s such a great stage to be on.
And like I said with How to Tell Her I Love You, you need to freakin’ tell her that’s where you are. Ambiguity in a relationship never serves it well. But you also want to make it ok for her to not be there at the same time. That is a rule that will serve you well all throughout your relationship with her.
What does that talk look like with her? It’s simple- but not easy-
1) Pick neutral ground to tell her. You don’t want her feeling trapped in your territory or feeling like her territory has been invaded. It needs to be a safe place for her. Keep it a public place. You definitely want a place where the two of you can talk by yourselves, but not a place where your cloistered in a small room or car. For me, it was in the auditorium at church after most people had cleared out but some people were still milling around.
2) Tell her what you like about her. This is a good way to start the conversation. Is she easy to talk to? Does she share similar interests? I remember when my friends asked me what was the biggest attraction factor I had for Penny, my answer was that she was almost as big of a smart a** as I was. She kept up with me and all my antics. It was so much fun. What is it for you? Tell her specifically.
3) Let her know that you’re interested. Don’t skip this step. This is the clarifying statement and the whole reason for having this talk in the first place. Be really clear. You like hanging out. You see that there is some attraction and it could possibly one day be something more. That’s what you’re interested in finding out. You can end this with, “I’d like to be intentional about getting to know you better.”
4) Tell her how you want to Be Intentional. Tell her what “Being Intentional” looks like to you. This is where you’ll dispel all doubt about your intentions. Tell her you want to be intentional about hanging out around her. Going to the groups she goes to. Sitting near her. Being intentional about talking with her. In other words- taking the actual steps to get to know her better. Not stalking her, just getting to know her.
5) Get her permission. Now this may sound cheesy, but there may be a boyfriend she hasn’t told you about. The words are simple- “Is that ok with you?” She’ll let you know one way or the other. No harm no foul here, you just didn’t know and never-the-less, you guys still clicked, that’s why you needed to have this conversation. Maybe she just got out of a relationship. Or maybe that’s exactly where she is. This is the part where its really ok for her to NOT be there yet.
So what do you do if she’s not there yet- reassure her that its really ok. You just wanted to let her know where you were. You can tell her that you are indeed still interested, and when she is ready, then she can let you know.
The great thing about this is that its a win-win. Cause if she says that its all good, then great. This actually begins your pursuit of her. If not, then you have clarified some things. If she is flirting with you and shouldn’t be, then this will let her know. You also haven’t gone to any weird places yet, so you really still can be friends. And if she does eventually get there, then she’ll know its safe to come back and let you know.
The Land Between- Being Intentional- call it whatever you may, but its a great stage to be in.