Angela: I have taken a girl out a few times on a date and we have never had a conversation about the nature of our relationship. How do you casually bring up a conversation about becoming exclusive?

Casual conversation is asking someone if they prefer red or white wine for dinner. 

Asking someone to enter into a committed relationship with you and only you is not casual – far be it for me to tell you the whether or not you are ready for exclusive status.

Some couples know after the first date that they’re ready to take the plunge, while others need a considerable amount of time together. If you know she’s it for you, congratulations.

In order to move this party to “girlfriend” status, the best route is direct.  Tell her she’s the one you want to cuddle with on the couch and take home to your parents or whatever it is you are feeling that’s rattling around in your head about her. Whatever it is about this girl that is so special, whatever makes you want to hold her hand is public – that’s exactly what you should preface with before you say, “and I’d like you to be my girlfriend,”

P.S. I have a litmus test for moving a relationship to exclusive status: if you can’t hold her hand in public, you aren’t ready. 

I am starting grad school in a few weeks, and I'm worried that I’m not going to meet any guys. How can I make sure my workload doesn't take up my social life?

Prioritize. School is obviously going to take a considerable amount of your time, but it won’t take up all of it.  There will still be time for a life. Since your time will be spent hitting the books rather than hitting the social scene, creating an online dating profile would be a great opportunity for you to put yourself out there without taking time away from your studies.

Do you have a question for Angela? E-mail!

About Angela Lutin:
Angela Lutin is Essentially Angela. Blogger, Advice Columnist and Dating Guru for the social media age—decoding modern love one tweet, text, and like at a time. Angela’s dating advice column, "The Naked Truth," appears exclusively each week on and in each issue of Boca Ratonmagazine. Her work appears regularly on the Huffington Post. She can been seen on MTV’s "Made" and Bravo’s hit show, "Millionaire Matchmaker." Crafting personal dating makeovers for her clients, Angela also maintains a private practice, which turns the romantically challenged into the relationship-inclined. Follow Angela on Facebook or Twitter.