What does DTR mean?

DTR is an internet abbreviation, seen especially from a romantic partner, many times after the “we need to talk” texts.

The acronym stands for the phrase “Define the Relationship” asking a person to describe their understanding about the quality of the said relationship, in order to gain a consensus.

Alternatively, the acronym may refer to less widespread phrases, such as Data Transmission or Down to Ride.


What's the origin of DTR?

As is the case with most internet acronyms, the exact origin of “DTR” is not known.

It started surfacing in the 1990’s and early 2000’s, although its use was predominantly restricted to private conversations and messages, be it on emails, text messages or other forms of digital communication.

Spread & Usage

How did DTR spread?

The acronym was first defined on Urban Dictionary in 2003, with a large amount of entries having been uploaded to the site since then.

The rise of SMS technology in the 2000’s has led to “DTR” appearing in the texts on people’s phone discussions, regarding their relationships.

In the 2010’s, the explosion of activity on various social media sites has further embedded the abbreviation in people’s lexicon.

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