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Dating in the 21st century is a hodgepodge of possibilities. You may meet someone through mutual friends, at church, at a course you take, or at a party; then there are bars and clubs, of course. And if you have a sense of adventure, you can even sign up for one of those speed dating events.

Increasingly, people are turning to online dating apps to seek matches with people they may be compatible with. The beauty of this is you have plenty of time to chat with someone to decide if moving forward with an in-person meet up would be a good idea.

So, maybe you have found someone who is a great possibility. And you begin dating. So far, things are going well, and you are thinking that a long-term relationship just might be in the making.

Step back for a minute. Before you plunge into a committed relationship, check out these six signs that you are both on the right track.

Do You Have Similar Values?

Your values do not have to be an exact match, but they should be compatible with the big things. Ask the right questions:

  • Do you both have spiritual beliefs, at least in a higher power, or not? How important are your spiritual beliefs in your life?
  • Is money more important than pursuing your careers and dreams?
  • Do you both pursue activities that are in service to others?
  • Do you both prefer a reasonably compatible lifestyle? Urban vs. rural living, for example?
  • What about children? Do you have or want them?

These are things that can cause conflict later on if you both are not at least open to the other’s preferences and willing to compromise.

Do You Respect One Another’s Independence?

Each of you has a life outside of your relationship – career, friends, hobbies, and interests. And many of these things may not include your new partner. Single mature women, for example, may have children, grandchildren, and a circle of friends. Men will have the same or different outside interests.

While a new relationship means couples will spend a lot of time together, that gradually wears off, and they want to return to some of their pre-relationship activities. 

Both of you must be happy to have the other involved in their independent life.

How Do Each of You Handle Disagreements/Conflict

As you continue to date, there will be small and big disagreements – normal and expected. How each of you handles them, though, is an important factor in long-term success.

  • Do you both listen to the other’s point of view?
  • Can you both avoid becoming emotionally “flooded” with outbursts and put-downs?
  • Are you both willing to pursue a compromise when an issue comes up?
  • Are both of you able to apologize?

If one or both of you remain stubborn and dig in your heels, the prospects are not good.

You Aren’t Trying to Change Each Other

This is always a deal-breaker. If you think someone is going to change over time, think again. And if you think you will be able to change to meet their expectations, think again. We are all the sum total of our experiences, our beliefs, and our values. We can pretend to be someone else in the short-term, but that will not work. Each of you has to accept the other for who they are right now.

You Can See Yourself with Them in 20 Years

Once you are over the early infatuation stage, reality settles in. And you come to know each other in the “cold light of day.” If you still feel secure and comfortable after reality sets in, then you are probably on the right path for the long haul.

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You Enjoy Spending Time with Just the Two of You

It’s easy to get caught up in a whirlwind of activities with friends, families, group outings, etc. After all, we enjoy these things. But what happens when it’s just the two of you? Do you like to spend time doing things as a solo couple, planning new adventures, or just being at home with a home-cooked meal and a movie?

So…Are You Ready?

Use this as a checklist and you’ll know.

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