Are you getting to the point with the person you’re dating where everyone is asking when things will get serious. Your friends, their friends, maybe even your partner? Before you leap into a relationship, let’s give it some thought. I’m not someone who recommends that everyone end up in a committed, monogamous relationship, because that’s not for everyone. I think that every person should approach commitment with a healthy amount of skepticism until you find the right one for you. With that said, let’s see if you should commit. Here’s Ten Ways to Tell:
1. You genuinely like each other
I know, it sounds a little too simple, but trust me, there are plenty of couples who actively dislike each other. Ask yourself if you genuinely like this person. Do you feel a connection with them? Do you enjoy their company? Would you rather be with them than be alone? If you can say yes to all of those, chances are you genuinely like that person. Don’t fall in to the trap of dating someone because you’re a great fit on paper.
2.You have similar priorities
A friend of mine, like most of my friends, enjoys drinking. He briefly dated a girl who abhorred drinking. To be clear, she didn’t hate that he often got drunk, she hated that he drank at all. I’ll just leave it up to you to figure out whether or not they eventually broke up. It comes down to something that I’ve said before: Be the person you want to date. I’ll take it one step further, the people you date should be a reflection of yourself. Whatever your current priorities are in life, you need to date someone who has similar priorities. If you’re in a club phase, it will be hard to commit to someone who is in their “in bed by 9pm” phase. You don’t need to be at the exact same point in your life, just make sure your priorities aren’t vastly different, or in direction opposition.
3. You’re done sowing your oats
Maybe you never needed a promiscuous phase, or maybe you finished yours up before you met your partner. Either way, be sure that you’re not looking to add any new notches to your bedpost after you commit, unless you’re into polyamory, in which case, be honest about it. That does not mean that you should shut down your sexual exploration, just be certain that all the things you want to try, your committed partner would be open to.
4. You’re not infatuated with someone else
If you’re currently infatuated or in love in someone else, you have no business committing to your current partner. If you’re thinking about committing, but are carrying a torch for a former lover, DO NOT COMMIT. In fact, you should probably either try to get back with said person if it’s feasible and a good idea, or learn to get over them. You should not enter into a commitment if you’re hung up on someone else. You might think it’s a great way to get over a former lover, but it’s not.
5. You don’t have disagreements that can’t be resolved
I’m all for people from different backgrounds and walks of life meeting, building connections, and eventually forming healthy, loving relationships. Now, if you’re from the same walks of life, I’m in favor of that too, but even then, you may have some differences or disagreements that can never be resolved.
Some disagreements can be hashed out, but some are disagreements that fundamentally cannot be resolved. If you and your partner both want kids, that’s great, but what if they want to raise them in a specific religion but you don’t? What if they’re an anti-vaxxer and you’re not? You see, differences in where you want to go on vacation, or whether or not to paint the den pale blue or robin egg blue or nothing compared to whether or not you’re going to baptize a kid.
6. You both want a similar future
Your opinions on where you want to end up in life should align pretty closely if you’re thinking of committing. You should have very similar, if not the same, opinions on what you want out of life in the long-term. Make sure that your opinions on marriage, children, where you eventually want to live, how you want to raise your children, and so on, are in line with each other. Sure, you can disagree about what color your future house will be, but if you want kids one day and they don’t, maybe you should reconsider if you want to commit to them.
7. You’re not settling
I repeat this bit of advice to people a lot and I always mean it: Never, ever settle. Yes it’s harder to get exactly what you want, but why live a life that is full of “Just Good Enough“. Why not fill your life, especially your love life, with what you really want. If you’re thinking of committing because this person seems like the easiest option, you’re doing both yourself and them a HUGE disservice. You’re stopping yourself from finding someone who is more compatible for you, and you’re preventing them from finding someone who thinks that they are amazing. Ultimately, settling is a selfish move. Don’t be selfish.
8. You see a future with them
When you look to your potential future, can you picture them beside you? I hate to get all Job-Interview on you but, when you see yourself in five years, do you see them with you? What about ten? You can’t predict the future, break ups happen, but if you can’t even picture a future with this person, they might not be the right person to commit to.
9. They give you the warm and fuzzies
Of course you like them, but do they make you feel that extra special something that separates friends from lovers? If you find that there is something absolutely special that you can’t quite describe about this person, that’s a pretty sign that you should commit. If you’re not currently in love, could you see yourself one day falling in love with this person?
10. You both want a commitment
The reason that I use the term “commitment” more often than say, relationship, is that you both need to be committed to the relationship. A commitment needs to be something that you both want, and something you’re both willing to work hard at. Couples argue, fight, bicker, nag, but also love and care for each other. Relationships aren’t perfect, but they can be great, if you’re with someone who wants to work at it. If you’re someone who can’t commit to both the good and the bad, you might not be ready for something serious.
Not every commitment lasts, but going in you should be able to give an earnest and honest “YES” to all of the ten things mentioned above if you want to date someone and honestly have a shot at a healthy relationship. I’m not promising that these tips will guarantee your relationship’s success, but they definitely increase the odds.
Good Luck Out There.