Before you take a stroll into something official, consider some things. If you can answer “yes” to the following, it’s a green light to become exclusive.
So you’ve met someone who’s grown on you, and you’re thinking it might be time to make it official. Before you delete that online profile, here are a few things to ask yourself to make sure you’re diving in with the right partner.
Are you being genuine with each other?
Can you be yourself with each other? Is his personality aligned with what he shows you and the rest of the world? Does she do what she says and say what she does? If you’re dating someone who struggles with being authentic with you, it can be a challenge to build a genuine partnership. Instead, your relationship becomes a facade. If you’re not ready to let down your guard with each other, it might be a good idea to wait it out before you make that commitment to be exclusive.
If physical chemistry or attraction is important for you, make sure it’s there in the beginning. Frequency, type of sex, who you have sex with… there’s no right or wrong. The key is whether you’re sexually compatible with your partner.
There are a few ways to determine this. Explore what sexuality means to each of you. For some, sex is a way to connect. For others, it is a duty and not a huge interest. For others, it is a playground. Talk about it and find out if you’re on the same page. If you’re a highly sexual person and dating someone who is uncomfortable with sex, this could spell trouble in the long run. It’s also important to have chemistry between you from the beginning. If this wasn’t there at the start, it isn’t going to appear later. If sex is important, you want the flame of desire to be present, or you may find yourself going through the motions of sex and resenting it later on.
Can you trust each other?
Trust is essential. If you don’t have trust, it becomes impossible to grow into a committed relationship. If your partner is dependable and consistent, in actions and words, consider this a green light. If your partner only talks a good talk, but doesn’t walk the walk, take it as a red flag that trustworthiness may not be one of their strong points. Do you continue to share more intimate details with each other over time, and find that you can trust your partner with this information? Growing together in this vulnerable way will help your relationship flourish.
Can you communicate?
Few would disagree that healthy, clear communication is a key to a relationship that will last. Good communication should essentially be clear, calm, and direct. A partner who can openly discuss their feelings, hopes, and fears, and who can handle disagreements without a huge conflict is a keeper.
Are you an intimacy match?
Relationships require intimacy. It’s the main ingredient in a relationship that lasts. Intimacy is the experience of sharing with each other in deep, vulnerable ways. Intimacy can be physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual. Two people who match each other’s needs for intimacy can create a loving, exclusive partnership. When you have a partner who is willing to share their fears, flaws, and strengths with you, and allow you to do the same, you will find peace and security in a relationship.
Rushing into an exclusive relationship before you’re sure can lead to disaster later on. Take your time and make sure this one is a keeper.