When it comes to relationships and dating, there are many reasons that we select a partner to enter into a relationship with, yet those reasons may not always be the best ones or even the right ones.
As you move forward in a relationship, the question will always come to light: is he or she “the one?” Is he or she worth investing in a long-term commitment? While the tapestry of a relationship is always woven with complexity, there are certain essential questions to ask yourself and your partner as things become more serious that will help you find the answer on your own accord. Let’s dig deep into these highly relevant and consequential elements to see if you have found someone that simply captured your attention for the time being, or if you could have found a potential life partner.
This is usually where any relationship begins, with mutual attraction and possibly immediate sexual energy. The newness of everything is thrilling and fun, and while this can be a great thing if there are deeper levels, many times people can fall in love with simply falling in love. Others fall in “love” simply because it is someone they ultimately can’t have. This can lead to failure and you wasting your time.
The newness of this attraction that drives you wild will ultimately fade to some degree. This is where the attraction must evolve into genuine interest and attraction of the body and the mind. Take note if your personalities complement each other. Sure, the sex may be great, but do you truly get along outside the bedroom? On the other hand, sure, you may have a blast exploring new places or trying new restaurants, but is there no sexual chemistry there? Perhaps you two may be transitioning to being friends rather than true partners.
The balance should be able to last for the long haul if they are truly “the one.”
When it comes to a relationship, some degree of conflict is inevitable. Avoiding conflict or pushing down feelings is just as negative a sign as consistent fighting. Take note of what triggers each of you and how you handle conflict. How long until you come to a peace agreement? Is each party able to admit when they are wrong so a resolution can be achieved? Remember, fights will only carry more weight when things like kids and buying a home together may come into play.
Dealing with Finances Individually and Together
Secondary only to compatibility, money is the main stressor in a long-term relationship or marriage. Ask yourself if you can talk about money openly. Ask yourself if you are on the same page as far as the role money will play on the priority scale.
Your Home Life
Seek out a partner that you can co-habitat with easily. Find someone who you look forward to seeing after a long day at work; someone you know that when you walk in the door you will enter a calm, happy, warm, easy environment. You shouldn’t feel like you’re walking into a war zone.
Your Independent Family Lives
While not everyone has to be a child of parents like the Cleavers, pay close attention to how they interact with their parents and any siblings. Are they all respectful of each other? How do their parents treat each other? If they are divorced, do they at least treat each other in a dignified manner?
Everyone has a past. Get to know a bit about your partner’s past relationships without obsessing. Have they had healthy, long-term relationships before? Why did it terminate? On the flip side, ensure you aren’t the rebound person and that they see and appreciate you for you.
Accepting Intellectual Quirks/Issues
A truly good relationship is made of two Imperfect people supporting each other to move forward in life. While a true psychiatric issue will likely be apparent immediately, there is what is called a borderline disorder such as anxiety, a mood disorder, or an addiction that your partner may be able to hide for some time. If your partner does have a “mental quirk,” are they able to admit and deal with it? If they continually try to hide it and refuse to deal with/accept it, consider getting out before you become the burden ends up on your shoulders.
Remember, you are looking for a true partner, not simply a fling!