Edited by: Bria R. Hawkins // Follow on IG @briaroche
How do you really know if and when a relationship is getting serious? What are the signs? Of course there are the traditional milestones, like meeting your significant other’s family and friends, holding hands in public, and the ever-daunting social media legitimacy, but I want to discuss some not-so-obvious points in a relationship that help to certify that things are definitely getting serious. Here are my TOP 5 indicators to look out for!
#1 – Trying new things together
This may seem obvious, but couples who frequently try new things together have higher-quality relationships, according to research published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. This can range from eating new foods, traveling to an exotic corner of the world, or simply getting out of a monotonous routine every once in awhile. According to Pella Weisman, a dating coach and licensed marriage and family therapist, “When you try new things together you are creating shared experiences that are new and exciting…That shared excitement is a way to have both closeness and stimulation, which is a great combination for sparking things back up.” (Quoted content was originally published on Bustle.) Relationships are all about bettering and cherishing one another, sharing experiences is one of the best ways to do it!
#2 – Including one another in future plans – mentally and vocally
Including one another in your future plans can unconsciously speak to your ideas of the longevity of the relationship. By considering or speaking about future plans (i.e. homes, trips, kids, etc.) you are actually recognizing where you want to be and if your significant other is a part of that future. When you imagine that dream vacation you have always wanted to take–do you see you SO with you? When life throws those curveballs at you and the rest of your world is shaking–do you find stability in your relationship? Recognizing and voicing these moments are a telltale sign you are in it for the long haul.
#3 – You fill one another in on personal goals
This goes back to including each other in future plans, but what about the you you are working towards everyday? Whether it relates to finances, health, career or any other aspect of your life, it is important you are able to share your personal and professional goals with your significant other. Generally, the person you’re dating is the first one you turn to when you’re glad, sad or anything in between. Therefore, you should have the ability to speak to them openly as a confidant when it comes to all you hope to accomplish in your life. It feels good to have someone in your corner and it is important that this aspect of the relationship is dual–sided if you’re looking for a real one.
#4 – You get mad–and get over it
One of the hardest pills to swallow in relationships is the reality that it won’t be perfect. We are all spoonfed the same “Happily Ever After” bullshit from the time we are old enough to grasp basic worldly concepts. It is always the same story of two–dimensional characters with two–dimensional romantic relationships. What we learn as we grow older, however is that relationships are not linear. They have mass, and texture and form. They must me sculpted and maintained and we are rarely given the proper tools to even fathom where to begin, particularly in areas of conflict. You will get mad at your partner, and vice versa. This is a fact. But here’s the rub, relationships are not deemed failures by the number of conflicts you have, they are deemed failures by how those conflicts are resolved. The hardest times in a relationship are the biggest blessing you can hope for, because these are the moments that show you who they are, but more importantly, who you are. These moments are what elevates something more casual to a committed relationship. Having a relationship that sees conflict and tackles it head on shows you are committed to extending past your comfort zone to commit to something larger.
# 5 – Righting Wrongs
As mentioned above, no relationship is perfect all the time, but what really makes a relationship work, is how you work together. From small misunderstandings, miscommunications, and a general lack of awareness of another individual’s constant wants and needs, there will be times in a relationship where you are not seeing eye to eye. In times like these, apologies may be in order. Apologizes go beyond a meaningless exchange of the words, “I’m sorry.” True apologies are rooted in actions. They require reflection and a willingness to change destructive behaviors. In addition, in order for a true apology to be fulfilled, it must be met with true forgiveness. What does that mean? Forgiveness does not keep score. Apologize and mean it, back it up through actions, but also forgive and mean it. If you have master this skill, your relationship is definitely getting real
Which indicator was surprising to you? Can you think of any signs that weren’t mentioned which you believe are important to consider? Let’s talk about it in the comments!