Boyfriend Material eventually has to become The Boyfriend.
You've decided once and for all to take it to the next level and send Mr.
Boyfriend Material to real-life coupledom.
You can charm the pants off anyone with your sugar lips and defuse most potentially deadly showdowns with your razor-sharp wit.
Still, somehow, when it comes time to initiate the relationship conversation (read: turning Mr.
Boyfriend Material into The One) none of that makes a damn difference.
You're left tongue-tied and nerve-racked.
That's because that couple-status report inevitably puts you in the clichéd nagging-woman-pointing-at-her-stopwatch position -- and him on the utmost defensive.
Someone is bound to get freaked out, hurt or misled.
Because the check-in is a necessary milestone in any growing relationship, you'll have to face the music at some point.
We've come up with a plan for making the commitment conversation a lot easier on both of you, and it's actually effective.
When you kiss Mr.
Boyfriend Material you get goosebumps.
And at the end of each date, you both agree to do it again...
But since your status with Mr.
Boyfriend Material is loose, "soon" sometimes turns into days or even weeks.
Your goal is to establish some sort of romantic rhythm with Mr.
Problem is you're afraid that upping the ante will cause him to fold his hand.
Here's the nudge.
There's something he likes about this breezy setup or you'd be seeing him more often than you do your manicurist.
Most likely, he fears sacrificing his time for steady dates with you.
So ease his anxiety by stressing how much is happening in your life, the concert you saw last week or your friend's margarita party, and you'll zap any jitters he has that dating you will chip away at his independence.
You'll also become a more valuable commodity.
Looking to be an exclusive couple? Dying to get engaged? In a perfect world, all romantic relationships would sail smoothly from sort-of-dating to madly-in-love.
More often than not, though, the road to Coupleville with Mr.
Boyfriend Material is dotted with commitment detours, ones that your man seems unable to navigate.
Who doesn't want to get closer to a man you're crazy about? But pushing for a tighter bond is a tricky task.
After all, many men are perfectly happy keeping things between the two of you the same...
So how do you give your love a nudge without causing him to jump ship? Things may feel serious with your man.
After all, your Friday-night dates often turn into 48-hour get-togethers, and his rottweiler recognizes you when you walk in the door.
But since you haven't had the official "talk" yet, you have absolutely no clue if you're his one and only...
or if he even wants you to be.
When the mood is relaxed, find out for sure whether Mr.
Boyfriend Material is seeing someone else by casually asking, "Don't the other women in your life get jealous that you spend so much time with me?" If he just shrugs, follow up with a playful "So, how many are there? I need to know what I'm up against.
" If he admits he's dating around, don't freak.
You just need to communicate calmly and clearly how long you're willing to be one of several.
Boyfriend Material will eventually be The Boyfriend if you know how to work it.
Either way, he's yours for the taking.