10/24/2012 05:37 pm ET Updated Feb 02, 2016

Put Your Big-Girl/Big-Boy Panties On!


A straight friend of mine recently came to me for advice. She was encountering something that happens to my gay and straight friends alike. She had been dating a guy for several months, and everything was going great, but she didn't really know where she stood in his life. When I asked her whether they had had the "boyfriend/girlfriend" talk yet, she replied, "Oh. I don't want to scare him away!"

Listen up, kids. CharlieTheMatchmaker has some tough love for you today. There comes a time in every relationship when you must sit down and ask, "Now that we have been dating for a while, are we officially a couple?" If you do not have this conversation, you are never going to know where you stand. And for those of you who share my friend's fears of scaring away the other person, I have one thing to say: If you have been seeing someone for a while and they walk away because they did not want to go to the next level in the relationship, then they did not deserve to be dating you in the first place.

For months my friend was asking me, "Should I take the chance of losing this great guy by asking him to be my boyfriend?" I finally had to sit her down and say, "Girlfriend, put your big-girl panties on and tell this man that you want to make it official and be introduced as his girlfriend! And tell him that he is such a great guy that you want to be able to introduce him as your boyfriend!" This is the same advice that I give to all my clients in my matchmaking business. I now tell my female clients to put their big-girl panties on, and I tell my male clients to put their big-boy panties on! It is perfectly acceptable to sit down and have an honest, open discussion with your significant other about every stage in your dating process. If you never have these conversations, then you are left floating in a pool of questions, unsure of how important you are in the other person's life.

And trust me, most of the time, it is a load off the other person's mind when you initiate the conversation, because they have usually been wanting to ask the same questions! It works, trust me! This is the message I got from my friend the other day: "IT WORKED!!!! I took my big girl panties out for a test drive last night, put my foot down, and got a straight answer from the man. Now I officially have a boyfriend!"

The moral of this story is to never be nervous about having an open and honest communication with the one you love.

Your friendly neighborhood matchmaker,