Most people are well aware of the different stages of relationships, even if they aren’t always clear-cut. It first starts with dating, then defining the relationship, then moving in together, and then marriage. What many people forget, though, is that each step is equally important.
After all, if your relationship isn’t rock-solid at every level, does it make sense to try and make it to marriage? The answer to this question is: no, it doesn’t. So, before you go ahead and put yourself out there, here are some points to consider.
Are You Truly Ready?
This is the first thing you will need to figure out. See, some people only want to move on to the next stage of a relationship because they think it is expected of them. For instance, some men and women may feel uncomfortable dating someone for years and not having broached the subject of marriage yet.
However, you need to remember that the only timeline you need to follow is your own. So, consider whether moving on to the next level is right for you and your partner. If you are perfectly happy where you are, you may want to put off any big decisions until later on.
How Much Do You Know About Your Partner?
This may seem like a ridiculous question until you begin to think about it. The thing is, it can be quite easy to fall in love with someone without knowing too much about them. Their personality, charisma, and even attractiveness alone can be enough for you to go completely gaga over them.
So, quiz yourself about some of the fundamental things you should know about a girlfriend or boyfriend. If you come up blank for most of these questions, then it is clear that there is a lot that you aren’t aware of. As you can imagine, remaining in the dark regarding your partner is not going to work out well for you. Not in the long run, anyway.
Your first move, of course, should be to talk to them and try to find out a little bit more about their interests and pasts. If this doesn’t seem to be working out, it is time to do a little digging yourself. There are sites that will help you find people online as well as discover important details about them. This way, you should be able to figure out if there are any warning signs that you need to know about.
Are You On the Same Page as Each Other?
So, you are considering the possibility of the next stage. Before you start taking the necessary steps, you need to know if your partner is on the same stage as you. Otherwise, it is fairly redundant trying to move up when it only means that you will be leaving them behind.
To figure this out, determine if both of you appear to be moving in the same direction. Do you try to spend time with each other as much as possible and do you both make each other a priority? Also, are your fights mild and are you able to come to a satisfactory solution at the end? Last but not least, are you both equally comfortable with one another? Again, these questions aren’t easy to answer, but they must be asked.
Are You Comfortable With Talking to Your Partner?
How do you feel about talking to your partner about moving onto the next level? If the very thought of it makes you nervous, then this may be a sign that this is not the right move as of yet. After all, there is a good chance that you are nervous because you aren’t entirely sure how he or she might respond.
On the other hand, if you have no trouble broaching the subject, this is a great sign. It means that you are comfortable or confident enough in your partner to have no qualms about talking to them regarding your relationship.
Of course, just because you are nervous doesn’t mean that you should stay quiet. If you feel like you need some clarity regarding your relationship and where it is headed, then a heart to heart may be just what you need. In any case, at the end of the conversation, you will know the answer to your question.
Understand That Progress Won’t Fix Problems
If your relationship is struggling, moving in together or adding a ring into the mix will not help. Sure, a major change can help to distract you from your problems, at least for a while. Once all of the excitement has died down, though, these issues will remain. In fact, they may even escalate if they weren’t addressed when they were just minor complaints.
Due to this, you should focus on why you want to move onto the next stage of the relationship. If you think it is going to lift you out from your funk, think again. You will be better off addressing your relationship problems head-on and sorting them out right now.
On the other hand, if you want to move ahead because you have fallen even more in love with your partner, then you are on the right track. If you are certain that the next few steps forward will only strengthen your relationship, you can be sure that you are making the right decision.
Are Your End Goals the Same?
When you are taking the next step, it is easy enough to get caught up in just this future stage. At the same time, you may want to think about what comes after as well. For instance, let’s imagine that you and your partner are considering moving in together.
Fine, but how do the two of you feel about marriage? Now, if this is something that neither of you is interested in at the moment, it means you currently have the same goals. Nonetheless, if one of you wants to be married in the near future while the other does not… well, that can be awkward.
Understand, you should never move onto the next level, simply by assuming your partner is going to change his or her mind about a particular point of view. Sure, they might, but it is just as likely that they will stay exactly the same. Thus, it is their current mentality that you need to base your decision on.
As you can see, moving onto the next stage may not be as easy as you had imagined. However, this doesn’t mean that it isn’t something you should do. Rather, the points given above should help you determine whether this is the best decision for you to make.
When your choices are based on facts, it is a lot easier to do the right thing for yourself and your relationship. In turn, this guarantees you a much happier future as well. So, while there might be more than a few tough questions here, don’t hesitate to answer them. You may be thankful that you did, many years from now, when you look back on your situation.