Once you've dated someone for a while, you may have a pretty good indication as to whether or not you'd like to take the relationship to the next level - but what about when you're unsure?
Deciding whether or not to move forward can be tricky, but it doesn't need to be. What follows are several questions whose answers you must not only know about your partner but also find acceptable for the long-haul so you can decide whether or not to move things forward or breakup.
Additionally, your partner isn't the only one who needs to 'pass' these relationship and compatibility markers. If you yourself have any issues with the following items, it may be wise to investigate your own readiness and ability to be in a serious relationship and discuss your feelings with your partner.
Potential Breakup Concern #1: Are You Morally Aligned?
Morals can include things like a person's character, their level of integrity, and whether or not they are an honest person. While there are many other aspects to a person's morality that are beyond the scope of a short article such as this one, but hopefully these initial ideas will give you enough meaning to move towards an answer.
For instance, someone who lies, cheats, exaggerates, steals or ignores the welfare of others is a person who most people would find themselves incompatible with. Yet how many times have you dated someone who demonstrated some of those red flags, but made excuses instead of doing something about it? Many of us have, but that doesn't excuse doing it now.
Examine your partner's moral code and how it both affects you, and works with you. If there are inconsistencies here, or if you have more questions along these lines, it's time to have a serious discussion with each other.
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Potential Breakup Concern #2: What Are Your Relationship Expectations?
Frequently we'll date people thinking that once they make a commitment, certain aspects of their needs and wants will change. "He'll want to have kids after a couple of years of marriage," or, "She'll focus less on work and more on me once we move in together," are both examples of this kind of skewed thinking.
It's true that people change. But why get serious with a person who is adamant they don't want something you are dead set on having, or cannot accept a part of who you are that isn't going to evolve anytime soon? If your long term needs aren't compatible, it's time to end this relationship and save everyone some long term heartache.
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Potential Breakup Concern #3: Do You Feel The Same Way About Money?
If there is one thing that most couples fight about, its money. Whether one person makes more or spends more than the other, requires a lot of money or just doesn't care as long as their basic needs are taken care of, money can be a huge source of stress between dating couples.
Take a good, honest look at how you and your partner relate when it comes to money, and if you feel your basic nature along these lines is compatible. Or, if you haven't broached the subject yet because you're still in the early stages of a new relationship, then now is the time to start asking information-only questions about each other's state of affairs.
Potential Breakup Concern #4: Are There Any Addictions Present?
An addiction can take many forms, but in this case we're talking about behaviors that negatively affect your partner's work, well being or relationships.
It may seem obvious to avoid a serious relationship with a known drug abuser, but it's fairly common to see people in committed partnerships where one of the members has a dependency on something: pornography, food, gambling, nicotine or even exercise.
If this is the case in your relationship, it's time to walk away. Give your partner at least a year of active recovery time before even considering reconciliation. The reasoning behind the year timeline is to allow your partner to learn how to be dependent on themselves, not on you or their addiction.
Potential Dealbreaker #5: What's Your Sex Life Like?
You don't need to be having sex to have a discussion about it. The healthiest of couples are able to discuss their sexual needs openly with their partner, without it becoming a fight or debate about right and wrong. Issues that require immediate conversations include differences in libido or sexual frequency, pornography, fantasies, masturbation, or sexual fidelity. If the two of you aren't on the same page, its time to face this potential dealbreaker head on and have a talk pronto.