So let’s imagine now that you are dating a guy for a little bit, those are proper dates, things seem to go well but you never talked about commitment.
‘Where is this relationship going?’ is the dumbest question that you can ask and it will only make him resent you. Even if he likes you a lot and thinks you could be his long term partner. This is because it sounds like you’re asking him to predict future. He has no ability to do that. He may take you seriously but things may happen on the way. If he knew he wants to propose, he’d do that now instead of telling you that he’ll do that in a bit later. He can’t tell you that he’ll marry you later on if he doesn’t know if he wants to marry you now. Does that make sense?
Moreover, he is perfectly aware that this is not a question that is being asked lightly so you must have thought about it beforehand and yet, you didn’t come up with anything that would sound better from his perspective. Therefore that means for him that you’re a terrible communicator and will make his life hell.
Instead of that ask him how he sees you. You may for example say: ‘We’ve been dating for a bit already and I really like you. I was wondering recently how you see me. Can you imagine me as your long term partner?’ and leave it at that.
He will then see you as a good communicator and will respect you. Because you asked him about his intensions in a non threatening way.