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Navigating Romantic Relationships, Part I

By: Bridgette W. Gottwald, LPC, NCC

My clientele ranges from age eighteen to people in their forties and fifties, so romantic relationships come up in just about every session. The dating world can be confusing, and many clients wonder what to do when they are ready for the next step, but the partner fails to commit and wants to wait and see how and where it goes.

Navigating Romantic Relationships: What If They Aren’t Certain About a Relationship with Me? 

So, you have found yourself in a bit of a situation with your current love interest. The woman or man you have been seeing for several weeks now has expressed interest in you and you want to move forward. You’re finding yourself curious as to whether they want to keep it casual or pursue a serious relationship. All you want is definition and clarity, right? When you muster up the courage to bring up this conversation with the other person, they say: “Let’s see where things go – I’m not sure yet.”

Lack of Definition

Needless to say, this probably isn’t the answer you were looking for, and you are finding yourself just as confused as you were in the beginning with the lack of definition. The good news is that you are not alone. Many people just like you have found themselves in the same quandary, which has likely left you wondering what should I do now? First and foremost, as much information and opinions as your co-worker, best friend who has been in a relationship for a decade, or Mom might provide you with, there is no way to figure out where the relationship you are currently in is going if you don’t talk to the other person about it directly. Yes, that does mean having that awkward “So, where do we stand and what are we?” conversation, but would you rather have a difficult conversation for several minutes or continue to ruminate about the relationship status? Take your pick! 

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Although I think that things are completely dependent upon context, I believe it’s important to be weary of the fact that this person is reluctant to make things official and likely has some sort of reason for stringing you along without fully committing. It seems as if it would make for an easy let down. Perhaps this “let’s see how things go” could create an easier exit strategy if things don’t work out. Or maybe the other person is waiting for something better to come along, even though they are content with the relationship. Perhaps the convenience is something they don’t want to pass up on for the time being. If someone wants to see what else is out there before making the commitment, you might want to consider the importance of self-respect and being with someone who truly appreciates you and is certain about their relationship with you.  

Some Things to Remember 

  • You have a say in this, too – don’t forget that 
  • When asking the opinions of others that you are close to, realize that you will get feedback and answers based upon their life, worldview and experiences, not those of your own.  
  • Don’t ever convince yourself that you are crazy, needy, annoying, or unlovable – you are just a human being, in a vulnerable place. You care about this person and want to believe that you are not the only one in the relationship that wants to move forward with things. 
  • You are responsible for your life and the choices you decide to make. If you find yourself in a relationship that isn’t making you feel good about yourself, or isn’t adding to your life in a positive way, you might want to re-consider. 

Dating isn’t easy, and finding a life partner is one of the biggest decisions you will ever make in your life. Remember that there is no timeline and the most important thing you can focus on in a given situation like this is what is best for you and your personal needs.


Gottwald, B. (September 2, 2020). Deep Soulful Love. He wants to see where is goes – what should I do? – 6 relationship experts share their tips and insights. Retrieved from:

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