Get Him to Commit
REPORTED BY MARY K. MOORE
Sick of having to force him to have the where-is-this-relationship-going talk? Cosmo's traitor to the male species, Greg Gutfeld, reveals how to make him beg for a status report.
When it comes to discussing the future, men can yak up a storm -- but only if the topics are limited to our careers, sports, or the new kung-fu flick we want to go see this weekend. Shift the focus to relationships, and all speech function grinds to a halt. The throat gets parched. Dizziness ensues. We men start loosening our collars: Is it just me, or is it always this hot in here?
Now, the following strategies for getting him to bring up the subject all entail risk: Having The Talk, no matter who initiates it, might either scare him off or cause him to give you an answer you don't want to hear ("I don't want a commitment, but I'd love to continue having sex with you. Okay?"). But come on. You don't want to spend the rest of your life pining for some guy who thinks you're great to share a burger and a bed with but little else, right? The risk is generally worth taking.
Talk Tip 1
Take up extreme sports. Do that, and he may think he's losing you. The point here isn't so much that you risk your life but that you actually create more of a life outside his orbit. Canceling a date because you want to make him jealous is lame, but canceling a date because, hey, you've got your karate classes tonight and your flying lessons tomorrow, is sort of cool. Once there's something competing for your attention, he begins to wonder how much he really matters in your life scheme. All you're doing is filling up your time with cool stuff he might like to do, but you're not including him. He's got to wonder if you're drifting away, and in order to lay claim reasonably to more of your time, he'll have to be explicit about how much time he wants. In other words, he'll have to bring up The Talk.
Risk factor: Low, with regard to losing him; high, when it comes to your own personal safety, especially if you choose a hobby known for producing fatalities. (Hint: No guy -- no matter how great -- is worth scaling Everest for.)
Talk Tip 2
Take a vacation. Jetting off with nothing but a bikini and the promise of a postcard gives him a small taste of life minus you. Plus, the freedom to flirt when you're ostensibly single cuts both ways, and if he's into you, that'll stick in his craw. "When my girlfriend told me she was going on a cruise with three of her friends, I figured, cool -- three weeks of bachelor days ahead," says Todd James* (names have been changed), a 29-year-old New York City public-relations executive. But then he saw how excited she was about the trip. "She kept talking about how they were going to get crazy -- and two of her friends didn't have boyfriends. I doubted Amy was going to sit on the boat drinking pina coladas alone while they hit the town." Long story short: The night before she left, he initiated The Talk. "It was sort of a preemptive strike. I didn't want her to cheat on me," he said. "But it also made me think about losing her, and how I knew those three weeks would be pretty lonely. I did enough running around in college."
Risk factor: Medium to high. If he's a jerk, he may look at this as an opportunity for some bed-hopping, single-guy abandon. He may find he likes it better when you're not around and move to make it a permanent condition. If that happens, he's not worth the price of your return ticket. Besides, if you haven't had The Talk, no one's stopping you from staying on an extra week and having that little vacation fling with a lusty young cabana boy. If that's what you want, go for it.
Talk Tip 3
Act as if you've already had The Talk. In other words, take liberties. Adopt the role of the one and only girlfriend, fiancee, or whatever relationship status you aspire to. With our notorious lack of short-term memory, your guy may assume you two have already had The Talk, but he may not remember exactly when.
So, pick up groceries for him; ask him to do the same. Call him at work and say, "Sorry to bother you, but on the way home, could you buy some cream cheese, light bulbs, and some of those panty liners with wings?" You accomplish two things swiftly: Even if you live in two separate apartments, you've established that there is a "home" to go to (if he doesn't balk at your plea, consider that acceptance), and you've gotten him to share the shopping. Not too shabby.
Risk factor: High. If you're lucky, he might settle into his new cozy life without even noticing it. Or he might feel things are going too fast and say to you, "Jeez, I feel whipped," which is at least the start of something resembling The Talk, right? You can take it from there.
Talk Tip 4
Go out with your pal "Rocco." Men have a problem with so-called guy friends, men with whom women claim to have platonic relationships. In fact, I use the term so-called because guys don't believe there is such a thing as a guy friend, especially when it comes to a girlfriend they care about. That's because they know how they themselves think. They know straight men pony up to women to get laid, not to talk about feelings. Trust me, if your guy isn't a complete idiot, he will definitely feel threatened by your buddy Rocco.
Immediately, Rocco will be the most interesting individual on the planet. Your man will want to know why he's hanging around you. He'll want to know why you're hanging around him. He'll get jealous - we're all good at that -- and soon, he'll demand to meet him. All the while, you should act surprised by your guy's uncharacteristically possessive behavior and, if you like, even a little indignant. But if he feels threatened by another bear in his lair, then he's already aware he has a lot to lose. You're halfway there, and this little trick might get him to defend his turf.
Risk factor: High if Rocco doesn't exist. Wouldn't it be humiliating if your man decided to confront your imaginary friend? And if he does exist and your guy doesn't care, well, you've got to move on to a better strategy. Like, say, dumping him and dating Rocco.
Talk Tip 5
Make a major independent financial decision. Talk about buying a car, a plot of land, a house, or maybe a Cessna. The reason: You're making him aware that you don't need him to move your life forward. And if he asks you why you didn't consult him first about the decision, jokingly say, "It's not like we're married!" He'll have to respond with a request for clarification of exactly what he is to you, if he's going to have any say in your financial matters. That sounds like the start of The Talk.
If you don't have a bundle of green, just fake it. That's what glossy brochures for fancy summer homes and luxury automobiles are for. Simply leave them out on the coffee table (strewn over the remote) to let him know you're making big decisions he isn't privy to. Cool.
Risk factor: Low. The brochures won't scare him off, they will only make him feel a little left out. That's good.
Talk Tip 6
Ask him if he's ever been to Guam. Or New Mexico. Or Phoenix. "I hear they have giant lizards there," you might say, toying with your pasta. "I'd like to live where there are giant lizards." By contemplating a big move -- to another city, country, or hell, another apartment (and out of your shared bedroom) -- you show him you're antsy with the current setup. "We were talking about my job, and I told him I wasn't seeing a future here. He suggested sending resumes around town," says Jenna McCoy, 28, an accountant for a Philadelphia law firm. "He didn't get the hint. So I told him I needed to make a larger change, like maybe to another city, because I was stagnating. The first thing out of his mouth was 'Is it me?'"
"Maybe," you can reply. "I'm not sure." The point is to get him to argue about why it would be foolish for you to bail, or at least right now. This is, of course, when he must talk The Talk. If he doesn't, then you've got your answer.
Risk factor: High. He may call your bluff and say, "See, ya!" Then you will have to move on. No, not to Guam. Just out of his life. Or he may call your bluff and want to join you. The upside: You'll have to have The Talk before you move together to the land of lizards. The downside: You'll have to move to the land of lizards.
Talk Tip 7
Lastly, buy him a compass. Literally pick up a compass at a camping store, and attach a note that reads, "When you figure out where you're going, let me know. I may be here, but I may not. Love, (insert your name here)."
Risk factor: Sky high, but last resorts work because by the time you use them, you've had enough of the clueless bastard. If he walks, he walks, and then you're free to find someone who can talk The Talk.