What is a “serious relationship”?
If there is such a thing as a serious relationship, then there has to be its opposite: an unserious relationship.
So what exactly would an unserious relationship be?
It’s a relationship that has a shaky foundation. It’s one in which things get a bit dicey. At least one person in the relationship thinks of it as insignificant.
The tricky part is that not everyone agrees on what “serious” means. For some, having sex is enough of a qualifier. That’s the case for me. But that isn’t what some people mean when they talk about “getting serious,” is it?
For many people, a serious relationship is all-encompassing: It’s romantic, emotional and sexual. But when the relationship is purely physical, it's not really a relationship at all. Which, again, is funny, because even a sexual relationship has physical and psychological effects. (OK, maybe “funny” isn't the best word.)
From what I’ve seen, everyone’s goal seems to be to find a partner and stamp the relationship with the “Seal of Seriousness.” Everyone’s hustling.
But how do you know if the person you’re dating is the right person for your serious relationship? Well, there are some questions that you can ask yourself to decide if this person is the “serious one.”
Of course, nothing is certain, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't still try for the winning horse.
1. “Where do you see this going?”
If your relationship is at the point of getting serious, it’s best to know how serious.
If you’re with a guy, don’t ask him if he plans to “put a ring on it.” Try to be stealthy. Figure out if he actually wants things to get more serious. If you’re dropping hints and he’s responding positively, he might just be trying not to hurt your feelings. I’m not saying this is necessarily the case, but it might be.
Either way, it's good to know where your boyfriend stands and where he hopes things may eventually lead. And if that's not something he's open to discussing, you have your answer.
2. “What’s your 10-year plan?”
Or, if that’s too big, “What’s your five-year plan?”
You don’t even have to be asking about the relationship. This is about finding out more about your boyfriend’s goals. What does he want to do in five years? Where does he want to be? Does he plan on staying where he is or moving sometime in the next five years? Sure, things don't always pan out, but it is good to know what your man's goals are — and whether they align with yours.
You need to figure this stuff out early on in the relationship. Just because you want to get serious doesn’t mean you should. Asking these questions — even if they’re hard — is often the only way to find out the truth. When the paths you want in life diverge from each other, it’s better to spare yourself the heartache and keep things casual.
3. How much do you care about me?
Hopefully you already know the answer to this one. To be honest, this is a question that I’d recommend you ask indirectly. Why? Because when you ask your boyfriend this, he might tell you what you want to hear — which may not be the same thing as the truth.
If you want to know how he feels about you, just take a look at the way he treats you. That'll tell you more than any question ever could.
If he treats you poorly, then he doesn't care for you. Even if he says he treats you well, the evidence is right in front of you. At the very least, he doesn’t treat you well enough. But if he treats you with respect and gentleness, then you know that his feelings are sincere.
4. Are you ready to get serious?
If he isn't ready to be in a serious relationship, then things won’t work out. End of story. Is your man truly mature enough to be in such a relationship?
And don’t just rely on what he says. Again, this is another instance in which actions speak louder than words. You should know your boyfriend well enough to know if he has it in him to be a loving, caring, loyal and present boyfriend.
For your peace of mind, you can ask him directly — sometimes being direct is the way to go — but I’m betting you already know the answer.
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