How to Declare Your Intentions While Dating

Give her flowers when you discuss your dating future.
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Whether you've only been on a few dates or you're a month into your new romance, declaring your intentions is a must if you want to move forward. Telling your guy or girl what you want, need and expect from your relationship can help to clarify your situation and ensure that both of you are on the same page.

1 Commit It

If you want to take "just dating" to the next level, making a commitment can turn your relationship from casual to close. A commitment includes making a pledge or promise to stay together, according to the article "Love and Romance" on the TeensHealth website. You can make a commitment by saying something along the lines of "I want to be with you, and only you" or by sharing a symbol of your romantic intent, such as matching promise rings.

2 Bring on the Boundaries

Your boundaries -- or what you will and won't do when it comes to your relationship -- are most likely not exactly the same as your romantic partner's. Declaring your intentions should include a discussion about boundaries. For example, if you don't believe in getting physical before you're married, you should explain that this is a boundary that you absolutely won't cross. Be straightforward with your boundaries, letting your guy know exactly how you feel. Continue the conversation and ask what boundaries your boyfriend feels comfortable with.

3 Try Trust

In a romantic relationship, trust doesn't just mean knowing that your girlfriend won't lie or cheat. Trust includes feeling comfortable when communicating your wants and needs and knowing that you can depend on the other person. When you declare your dating intentions, you need to trust that your girl will respect them and feel confident that she will tell you honestly what's on her mind. For example, if you want to make your relationship exclusive, you need to trust that she will openly discuss this option with you.

4 Assertive Approach

Taking a passive approach to declaring your dating intentions isn't likely to get you what you want. Passive people often feel frustration or aren't fulfilled in their relationships because they don't ask for what they want, notes clinical psychologist Leon F. Seltzer in his article "How -- And How Not -- to Stand Up for Yourself" for Psychology Today. Being assertive, while still respecting your boyfriend's feelings and point of view, allows you to clearly communicate your intentions and declare what you are looking for in your relationship. For example, say something such as "I want us to be official and not see other people. How do you feel about this idea?"

Based in Pittsburgh, Erica Loop has been writing education, child development and parenting articles since 2009. Her articles have appeared in "Pittsburgh Parent Magazine" and the website PBS Parents. She has a Master of Science in applied developmental psychology from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education.