The move from a short-term to long-term relationship is not one to take lightly. It points to a much deeper level of commitment. Not to mention all the logistical and emotional changes necessary to combine both of your lives. Although it can certainly enhance both of your lives, it can also be a challenge.
How can you be sure you’re making the right decision about entering a long-term relationship? Do these four things first:
- Get the perspectives of your partner’s friends and family
- Talk to your own friends about your relationship
- Make sure you’re both on the same page about important matters
- Double check that your partner isn’t hiding anything from you
Talk to the Other Person’s Friends and Family
You don’t have to be best friends with your partner’s siblings. But you should be relatively well acquainted with the people who’ve known your partner for years. They’re likely to be honest with you about where your partner excels, as well as where your partner is still working on becoming better.
You should also be having these talks with your partner, of course. Communication is incredibly important in a healthy relationship. However, your partner’s loved ones can offer new perspectives about the way that person grew up.
Sometimes, your partner’s family won’t be in the picture. Your partner may have had to cut out toxic family members, or perhaps they live all the way across the country. If your partner isn’t able to introduce you to family members, talk about why.
Even if family isn’t an option, get to know the other people your partner holds dear today, regardless of the relationship.
Talk to Your Friends About the Other Person
While you talk to your partner’s friends, you should also talk to yours. Because they’re also on the outside looking in, they can offer their own unique view on your situation. They can tell you if they have a bad feeling about the person to whom you’re going to commit. Listening to your gut is important, but your friend’s intuition probably won’t be as clouded as yours.
Of course, a gut feeling is sometimes wrong. You shouldn’t ditch your partner because one of your friends has a bad feeling about the relationship. However, if most of your friends are telling you that they’re worried, it’s time to think a little more critically about what’s going on.
Make Sure You Both Have the Same Plan
“Long-term” means different things for different people. You may think that a long-term relationship means that marriage is on the table. But your partner could want to wait a few years. Not addressing that beforehand means you’re both likely to be upset. Don’t take anything for granted. When you have the talk about moving into a long-term relationship, lay everything out openly.
Lay out a plan for marriage. Is that legal piece of paper important to one or both of you? Would you rather have a civil ceremony? Do you feel uncomfortable with marriage?
Talk about kids. Do you both want them? How important are kids to you?
Discuss boundaries. What do you consider cheating? What social media habits are you uncomfortable with?
Don’t just assume that you can change the other person’s opinion somewhere down the line. Talk it out now.
Check Out Your Partner’s Past
You need to make sure that your partner is safe to be around. Although it’s important to do this as soon as you move into even a casual relationship, it’s even more important when you decide to make things more long-term. If you’re going to be around each other all the time, it’s good for you to know that the other person doesn’t have a criminal background.
You can get public records information on most adults in the U.S. Perform a criminal records search to see if you can find information about trouble that your partner may have had with the law. This could include domestic violence charges or sex offenses, both of which could be deal-breakers when it comes to a long-term relationship.
Moving into a long-term relationship can be nerve-wracking for a number of reasons, but those reasons shouldn’t relate to your safety. Open communication and a little extra research can help you move into your new relationship with no fears.
For more tips and advice on relationship matters, be sure to check out the PeopleFinders Blog.
Photo credit: Björn Wylezich – stock.adobe.com