So you’ve met some recently and you’ve both been getting on great. The butterflies are fluttering and you’re constantly telling your mates about them. But how do you know that you’re ready to commit to a long-term relationship with this person? Are they actually ‘the one’ or ‘the one you wish you never met’?
To help you figure out what could be a pivotal turning point in your life, Motto has compiled some advice courtesy of a number of relationship experts which should help you make up your mind.
The publication listed five questions you should ask yourself at the beginning of any relationship which should go a long way to determining which direction it’s going to go.
Of course, issues of the heart are generally quite varied and these won’t apply to everyone but we’re sure one or two might help:
1. Am I Being Honest About What I Want?
Meredith Goldstein, advice columnist for The Boston Globe says that we should be afraid of scaring people off with the ‘big questions’.
‘Recently a woman wrote to me about a relationship she’d been in for two years; she had just learned that her boyfriend didn’t want to have kids. She’d never asked—and now, at 36, she’s wondering, Do I stay or do I go? Age can be an important factor.’
Goldstein adds that asking someone on a first date if they want to have children makes perfect sense, particularly as you enter into your thirties.
2. Am I Being Genuine on Our Dates?
Dating coach Evan Marc Katz believes that we shouldn’t go into dates with an agenda.
‘A good date is like sitting next to someone on a plane—just a natural conversation. Be yourself and don’t stress too much about impressing or being impressed. Afterward, you can evaluate the experience. Ask yourself, Did I have fun? Was I attracted to him? Was I comfortable? Was I being myself? The answer to all those questions has to be yes. If it’s not, there’s no need to pursue the relationship.’
3. What Does My Gut Say?
Playwright Halley Feiffer feels it’s important to ask if the person brings out the best in you.
‘I’ve dated people who made me want to be kind, generous, patient, and sweet. And I’ve dated others with whom I ended up gossiping for three hours about people we both knew. The latter can feel naughty and exciting, but ultimately it’s toxic. It’s also a sign that you probably don’t have much in common.’
4. What Do My Friends Think?
Ty Tashiro, author of Awkward: The Science Of Why We’re Socially Awkward And Why That’s Awesome, reckons that we can read too much into the ‘halo effect of a new partner’ and often our family and friends are better judges than we are.
‘Relationship researchers have found that family and friends actually do a better job of predicting whether a relationship will work out—and a better job of rating a partner’s individual characteristics, like kindness—than the other person in the relationship. In statistics, we say that it takes three data points to make a trend. So ask a diverse group, “What do you really think?” Then aggregate the answers.’
5. What Will Happen When We Don’t See Eye-to-Eye?
Author Rachel Macy Stafford thinks that you don’t have to agree on everything but to be aware of particular warning signs.
‘Say you’re on a walk and see a homeless person. If you feel compassion but your date says, “That guy needs to get a job,” you might think, Hmm. The real question is: Can you have a healthy dialogue about your points of view? Differences of opinion often come from experience and upbringing. For a relationship to work, you need to be able to express your viewpoint while being open to listening to an opposing one. If you can be peaceful about big topics, you can come to an agreement about loading the dishwasher.’