How many dates before an “exclusive talk”?

• How and when should a couple have a conversation about defining their relationship?

Linda Bloom, L.C.S.W.:

I’m from the school of thought that having the conversations defining the relationship early is better than later. When I met my husband, in the very first week that we were together, I announced to him that I wanted to have children and that if he didn’t want to be a family man to tell me right away because I was already falling in love with him. I also announced that I was planning a career and only wanted to be partnered with someone who was willing to have an agreement to mutually support each other’s careers and raise the children together. He was a bit shocked, but thanked me for being frank. It was a standard set in our partnership that we are open and honest with each other, which has held us in good stead in our 54 years together.

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