Relationships progress at different rates. When a relationship is beginning, many people make an active effort to try to take things slowly. Who you choose to date can be the most important decision you make in your life. The wrong partner has the chance to sabotage not only your life, but your own sense of self. No matter where you meet someone, there are clear signs that you and your partner may be becoming serious.
What dictates the ‘seriousness’ of your relationship can be largely traced back to how you spend your week and how you view your partner. Are you with them more often than not? What kind of conversations are you comfortable having as a couple? You are not going to go in depth on career aspirations and lifestyle compatibilities on date one, but it may become a huge part of your future and something that gets discussed over time.
There is nothing wrong with realizing your relationship is now ‘serious,’ as you should hope that your relationship feels incredibly fulfilling. Your partner does not become your entire life, but they certainly are responsible for a large portion of your happiness on any given week. If you do realize that your relationship is serious, make sure you are asking yourself if it is a healthy relationship. It can be easy to stay with someone due to convenience, but that is not fair to either party. By asking yourself certain questions about your future, you should hopefully be learning more about your partner and how you both view your life together. Make sure you are properly prepared to put in the effort needed to make a healthy, serious relationship work.
10 They're Your Best Friend
I have a lot of really amazing friends in my life. That being said, there is nobody that I love like I love my girlfriend. She is my best friend, and for you people out there in a healthy relationship, I hope your partner is yours too. You spend more time with your significant other than any other person, and it's important that you not only love them, but genuinely like them as well. Too often we stay with people out of convenience and not because we love that person like they deserve. It is something truly special when there really is nobody you would rather spend time with than your partner. They should be the person you are most excited to tell good news too, and the most supportive person during the tougher days.
9 They Leave Things At Your House
Sure, it may start with a bobby pin or some pajamas, but quickly it can evolve into full on hair-product assault on your shelves! Your relationship may be more serious when you look around and realize that your closet is now a shared space for two people. This does not necessarily mean that you are both living together exclusively, just that they are there often enough to need said items. The relationship may also seem more serious when you start getting excited to see little knick-knacks in your living space that you and your partner have picked out together. As you start to share a living space it can be a huge step towards imagining your future together.
8 Talks About The Future Are Calming
Your future together should be the most exciting thing. I do not know what my future holds, but I know the most exciting thing in it is my girlfriend. There may be some scary things ahead in your life, but you also do not know what they are. As much fun as the anxiety of the unknown can be, your partner should be that calming force when you think about your future. Similarly, it should cause both of you to feel incredibly optimistic when you discuss your future together as a couple. You should feel as if you have a partner that understands your life goals, and you understand hers and together will work together to achieve things that you never could have done alone.
7 You Have Less Time For Friends
I do have an initial disclaimer; I do not condone cutting friends out as a result of a relationship. Friends absolutely have their place, but your significant other also takes up a solid majority of your time now. It may not be intentional, but suddenly some of your nights are dedicated to getting a good cuddle on to some Netflix. No matter how social you are, you may also start finding those nights are your favourite. It is incredibly important to remember that if your friends do come to you and state that they are missing you or you're changing your identity, that you hear their concerns. That does not mean stop seeing your girlfriend, but it does mean making sure your friends know they are valued and respected.
6 They Know Your Friends
It is one thing to bring your significant other to mutual friend events. It is another thing to start seeing your relationship becoming more serious and your partner significantly invest time in those friendships that they are making. It can be a strong sense of security if they are able to have one on one hangouts with some of your friends. Your partner should be, in your eyes, someone amazing, so it can be great when you start to see your friends start to see why you feel the way you do. It also shows a great deal of confidence in your relationship that you both can feel comfortable with your partner intertwining with your friend circle. That may not be a desirable thing if you have only been dating for one month, but can be really great to see as your relationship gets more serious.
5 You Know Their Family
Sometimes this does not happen on planned occasions! I have had relationships in the past where you expect to go over, pop in and grab something quick, and then all of a sudden you’re meeting the parents for the first time. It was a good thing I was in a Batman shirt so they knew I was instantly mega-cool. It is a huge step to start meeting your significant other's family, and even more so when they start becoming your own extended family. You are now opening the door to the question of ‘what ever happened to ???’ if you breakup, so I hope you are ready for that!
4 You've Binge-Watched Series' Together
Now, granted it may depend on the series, but it is a significant commitment to get through an entire series as a couple! That is hundreds of hours of cuddling and general close contact. Lets hope you both enjoy brushing your teeth. If you don’t think your relationship is serious now, just take the crash course of binging Breaking Bad. Binge-watching series together can also be a great way to show your significant other a TV show that you really enjoy that they may have never seen before. I cannot express how much fun it is to now be able to drop Seinfeld references to my girlfriend, who as of 5 months ago, had never seen an episode (we're now wrapping up Season 9).
3 You've Discussed Long-Term Life Goals
I have had many first dates over my life, but not everyone I have met knows my goals and aspirations in life. Your relationship may become more serious when you start talking about how your career goals intertwine with your partner's. Do you have to move somewhere for employment? How much do you both hope to earn? The fact that you can start opening the door to some of these questions shows your level of commitment to the other person. It is also critical to know that if your future goals do not intertwine, that you figure that out before your relationship becomes more serious and thus harder to break off. You won't know the answer to those questions if you do not feel confident enough in your relationship to ask the tough questions.
2 You Live Together
You should not live with someone very shortly after you start dating them. It takes time to really feel out who someone is, and the decision to live together can be a big one. It can also be a huge step in realizing the person you are with is the person you want to see every single day. Whatever you do for work, if you get to come home to your partner, that feeling when you walk through the door should make everything worth it. If you have reservations with living with your partner, ask yourself why that might be. If there are questions you need answered about your relationship, make sure you ask them before you guys get your lease party on.
1 You Know You Want To Marry Them
If you are questioning if your relationship is ‘serious’ but also thinking about asking the question, then I do not exactly understand your reasoning. That being said, there is no bigger commitment (short of marriage) to one another than the act of getting engaged and the knowledge that you want to marry your partner. This is not a decision that should be taken lightly and should not come as a blindside to your partner. It is the calmness and sureness of asking if your partner wants to marry you that should be the most exciting part. You now get to spend your entire life with who you think is your best friend, does it honestly get any better than that?