When it comes to turning a relationship into a serious commitment, at times, people become unsure as to whether they really love the person they are dating or if it is simply attraction. Many aspects come into play, and things need to be looked at from a realistic point of view.
If you find yourself in such a predicament, the first thing you need to ask yourself is why you love your partner and assess the reasons for which you are still with him/her. You also need to ascertain how connected you feel to your partner, how much you are willing to sacrifice for them, how much you are willing to change for them, and whether you are sure that your relationship is deeper and more meaningful than a mere infatuation.
All these aspects need to be addressed before you take the next step as this decides a major portion of your life, your future. You need to be absolutely sure that you want to build a life with that person. When it is the question of your future, going in for blind love is not a good idea. It is always better to take a practical look at things rather than getting swayed by emotions.
It happens at times that people are taken over by emotions of love, bliss, and happiness and lose the sense of reason and practicality when making a decision to spend their entire lives with one person. However, a few years down the line, reality sets in and they come to the realization that they are not compatible with their partners. This is a situation that can be avoided. Also, it is never a good idea to build a relationship based on fear, insecurity, or pity because it is an unhealthy one. After a while, unhappiness begins to fester, resentment crops up, and the relationship runs its course.
There are a few aspects that need to be taken into consideration while choosing a partner for a long-term relationship. Some of these aspects are mentioned below.
Your Idea of a Perfect Partner
This is the most important thing that you need to think about. First, decide what you want in your partner. Think about what qualities you want that person to have, their personality, morals, values, interests, and looks, although that is secondary. Have a proper image in mind.
Also, when you do meet someone, never be quick to judge. If something about that person interests you, give them a chance. Some people are very outgoing by nature while some take time to open up. Thus, do not form conclusions based on just one or two meetings. However, if you know that you are not compatible with that person or know that a relationship is not possible, then it is better to back off in time.
For a compatible relationship, the couple should have some common interests. There should be some shared hobbies that you can indulge in with your partner. Most importantly, it should be something you both enjoy. When one partner plays along simply to keep the other happy, it seldom works out.
If two people have nothing in common, it usually so happens that one person ends up sacrificing for the other partner, out of love and to make their partner happy. However, everyone is human and expectations are bound to crop up. Thus, if one partner feels that he/she is sacrificing his/her desires and interests but is not getting any reciprocation, it can lead to resentment and bitterness. Many times, people who are in a relationship live completely independent and parallel lives. To avoid such problems and issues from cropping up, it is always better to analyze whether you and your partner have some common interests that you can share with each other.
Ambitions and Beliefs
It is very important for every person to preserve their individuality. Change is good, but changing yourself entirely just to fit your partner's idea of a perfect better half is never advisable. You should make your ambitions and life goals clear to your partner before making a deeper commitment.
If your partner's family holds a different set of beliefs from you, it may lead to problems in the future. Hence, keep the communication open. If you wish to work after marriage and are not intending to be a stay-at-home mother, then let them know. Also find out what they expect from you. It may so happen that they want someone who will stay at home and take care of the kids instead of having a job. Thus, make sure that such major lifestyle issues are addressed beforehand.
Another important aspect that you need to consider is whether your partner's intellect matches with yours. Living with a person you cannot connect with on an intellectual level can get boring and frustrating. There needs to be some good mental stimulation and valuable conversation.
Thus, you need to figure out if both of you are on the same wavelength. Ask yourself whether you can talk to your partner about anything under the sun, whether they are capable of having a conversation, whether they understand what you say, if they pay attention and are interested in what you have to talk about, and whether you find the conversations interesting. Communication is a key element to a happy and long-lasting relationship.
Analyze both your spending habits. See if you like spending on the same things and check your general attitudes towards money. If your beliefs about spending are different, it can create major issues in the future. If your partner believes in spending on what they love whereas you tend to be a bit more cautious, or if your partner believes in investing and saving whereas you believe in living luxuriously, it can lead to huge differences down the line.
Always be very open and honest about your feelings towards monetary issues. Be open about whether you have any debts that could affect your financial position, and ask your partner to do the same. Hiding such major things about yourself invariably leads to misunderstandings and bitterness.
Respect is a given in any relationship. It is one of the fundamental components. If you do not respect your partner or your partner is disrespectful towards you, it is better to let go. If your partner does not talk to you properly, constantly criticizes you about what you say, do, or wear, says that you are no good and that you will not be able to survive without them, or such other demeaning things, and if this is a constant feature in your relationship, it is best to leave. Make sure that you and your partner have that basic respect for each other.
This is another fundamental component of any happy relationship. If you or your partner do not trust each other, the relationship is doomed from the start. It is rendered completely meaningless. If one person is insecure and needs to know where their partner is and what he/she is doing at all times, it means that the trust is missing. Such relationships are invariably bound to fail. Thus, be sure that you trust your partner no matter what. If you have even an inkling of a doubt, take your time and clear it before going ahead.
This is a deal-breaker for many people. Talk this issue through with your partner before thinking about a future together. Be absolutely sure about whether you want to have children in the future, and ask your partner to think it through as well. If you both have different views, give the relationship another thought. Never go ahead thinking that either you or your partner will eventually have a change in opinion. As having children is a major decision, if you and your partner are not on the same page about it, it is best to rethink about a future together.
Know Your Partner Completely
Before plunging into a relationship, make it a point to get to know the other person completely. Talk to your partner and find out about their past, what makes them the person that they are, if there were any major events that shaped or changed them, and most importantly, if they have any issues that have not been faced or dealt with. If you think that this may cause problems in your relationship in the future, express your concerns to your partner. If possible, try to find a way to work around the issue together.
Know Who You Are
Just like you should get to know your partner completely before making a long-term commitment, also do some introspection and get to know yourself better. Find out what kind of a person you are, what you like and dislike, how you want your life to be, and if there are any issues of your own that you need to deal with. Although difficult, try being objective and see if there are any issues that you think may hamper your relationship with your partner. Accept these and try to make the appropriate changes in yourself. You can also take your partner's help.
Everyone has a goal in their life. Make sure that your goal is complementing that of your partner's. If you want to work or study abroad but your partner wants to settle down permanently in one place or vice versa, it is good to clear it out with each other before taking the relationship further. Talking it out and coming to a decision beforehand is better than facing complications later.
Choosing a life-partner is not a small thing. It needs a lot of consideration and careful thought. Although reviewing and deliberating over so many aspects is not a walk in the park, it is always better than facing and having to deal with unpleasant situations somewhere down the line.