DTR Assessment

Jan 01, 2007

Do you have a relationship with more connection than clarity?

When a guy and a girl have some level of attraction or chemistry, they often begin to demonstrate evidence of a growing connection. They spend time together. They begin opening up. They begin to show care for each other. They may show affection through touch or things they say or write.

But what does that evidence mean? Things that implied a promising relationship in another day are often just perks expected of a good friendship today. Additionally, many couples at various stages in their relationship now connect in ways that only engaged or married couples did in other times. 

Have you had a friendship or relationship develop to a point where there really seems to be something between you only to find yourself wondering where the momentum went — wondering if you're stuck or even losing ground?

It's the imbalance between the evidence of connection and clarity that can create anxiety in a relationship. Someone who feels a strong connection growing with another person but doesn't know his or her status with that person may feel vulnerable and maybe even taken advantage of.

When the evidence of connection greatly exceeds clarity, it's helpful for couples to have a "define the relationship" talk commonly known as a "DTR." This is a conversation between two people dating or contemplating dating to discuss where the relationship is heading. It can be as simple as, "Are we a couple or are we just friends attracted to each other," to "Is my boyfriend of 3 years thinking about marriage at all?"

DTRs can be scary. Done too soon (before a relationship has had some time to develop naturally) they can convey desperation and push the other person away. But they can also be done too late. People who don't want to mess up the delicate dance of a relationship may put off a DTR as long as possible. They might prefer to just enjoy their connection and hope for the best from each other rather than going through the awkward process of asking what their connection means in terms of exclusivity and the future.

Done right, however, a DTR can save couples months (even years) of heartache. As tempting as it can be to simply enjoy having someone to hang out with, to be a listening ear or to share affection, it's important for your heart, your future and even your spiritual health to clarify what you have and where it's going. Sometimes the best thing that can happen as a result of a DTR is that a couple will realize they don't have a future together and can go their separate ways before getting more entangled.

Here at Boundless, we believe God calls us to date (or court) with a purpose. Therefore, connection should mean something and not just be a source of recreation. It also means someone enjoying a serious relationship should be preparing for the possibility of marriage. To that end, dating or engagement should not be a lengthy purgatory for the relationship.

The purpose of this assessment is to help you see how your evidence of connection compares to your level of clarity about your relationship. This assessment is structured to be helpful both for those who have seen a relationship grow over a period of time but want to know if it's moving toward a more formal romantic relationship and those who want to know if their formal romantic relationship is moving toward marriage.The content on this website is offered as a helpful resource for you, your family and friends, and is designed to help Boundless users obtain information and guidance. The information providers in this area believe the content they dispense is accurate and reliable, but in some instances, the information may represent opinion or judgment. Neither the information providers nor Boundless guarantee the accuracy or completeness of any information in this service area. As such, neither Boundless nor the information providers will be responsible for any errors or omissions or for the results obtained from the use of such information. The information is provided with the understanding that neither the information providers nor Boundless are engaged in rendering legal, medical, counseling or other professional services or advice, and neither shall be liable or responsible to any person or entity for any loss or damage caused, or alleged to have been caused, directly or indirectly by or from the information or ideas contained, suggested, or referenced in this service area. Your participation in this service therefore is solely at your own risk.

We know there's no magical formula for relationships or simple equations to probe matters of the heart, but it's our prayer that our assessment can at least be a tool providing perspective and can help you enjoy both the connection and the clarity that can come from a healthy relationship.

Intrigued? Then begin the test!

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