26 September 2012
9 questions to ask yourself before you get serious
by Fran Creffield
So you have met a match you really connect with, been on plenty of dates and now its time for that all-important question – do you want to get serious with this person?
For some people a relationship just moves onto a deeper level without any firm decisions really being made. But if you want to ensure you don’t drift into deep waters you might later regret, it’s good to take time to ask yourself some simple questions before you get too serious.
Are you on the same page?
You might think it is time to move on but does your match? This is the first thing to establish before you go any further. If the answer is ‘yes’ you can go on to talk about what ‘getting serious’ means for each of you.
Are you compatible?
The chances are that if you met on eHarmony then you are, but it is always worth talking things through before you make a big commitment. If you have very different political or spiritual aspirations they may not be affecting your relationship at the moment but they could potentially in the future.
Are your family and friends supportive of the relationship?
It is really important that a relationship is supported by the people closest to you. There will be all sorts of pressures on you as a couple in the beginning as you negotiate each others boundaries and you will both need support from outside the relationship from time to time.
How do you deal with conflict?
It may be that you haven’t had any disagreements between you or seen each other stressed or upset but sooner or later you will and it’s important that you feel that you have strategies for dealing with it and that you are not tiptoeing around, scared to upset each other.
Can you fulfil each others needs?
This might seem like a strange question but there are often things that go unsaid at the beginning of a relationship that it would be much better to have a conversation about. One of these is what each of you needs from the other in terms of love, time, commitment and support. By talking openly about what you need you will each have the chance to decide if you feel you can deliver before you go any further.
Can you trust them with difficult or private matters?
To move forward into a serious relationship with someone you should feel like you can trust them with your heart and be open and honest with them about things that you would normally keep private from other people. This can include things like your attitudes and habits about money and issues concerning sex and sexuality. We don’t normally talk about these things with friends or family but if you are going to get serious with someone it is important that you can with your partner. Talking openly about things helps to build trust and will help prevent conflict or misunderstandings from happening in the future.
Is your heart free to give?
The best reason to get serious with someone is because you really want to build a life with them because of who they are and how they make you feel. Far too often this is not the case. Sometimes people get seriously involved in relationships not because of what is happening in the here and now but to try and heal, or escape, from the hurt of something that happened in the past. If you are still hooked up on someone and using a new partner as a type of sticking plaster it is unfair as you are likely to be comparing them with your ex and may never really be fully committed if you believe they are second best.
Can you see yourselves growing old together?
Although it is important that you live in present you need to be able to fast forward a little and see yourself in the future with this person before you get serious. If you can’t see yourself together in a year, or 5 years because you know your plans are different from theirs it is ok to have fun while it lasts but keep it light and make sure you both know where you stand. Trust your instincts on this one. Take a quiet five minutes and allow yourself to really imagine being with this person for the rest of your life. How does it feel?
Are they your number one fan?
Before you get serious with someone ask yourself how you treat each other – is it with love, respect and consideration for each other’s feelings? Do you care about each other’s dreams and encourage and support one another? These are really important questions because they show the level of connection and trust that is already between you – when it is solid and you know they have got your back, and you theirs, the question of whether you should get serious or not becomes an easy one.