Whether you’re single or just starting a new relationship, it’s still OK to think about the future. Having a personal sense that you’re ready for a relationship is more than just knowing you’d like to meet someone. Serious relationships take work and it’s a good idea to know that you’re up to the challenge before you start looking.
Here are some questions to ask yourself before you decide to get serious with someone.
Are you carrying any emotional baggage?
A good start would be to know that you’re over any past relationships and don’t harbour any feelings towards an ex-girlfriend. Bringing unresolved issues to a new relationship is a sure sign that you’re not ready to start anew.
Do you have a positive self image?
If you’ve been single for a while and found it difficult to meet people, it might be worth considering how you feel about yourself. Do you enjoy your own company? Do you have a positive self-image or are you critical of yourself? If you don’t like being by yourself, a new relationship won’t solve this problem. Instead, it could compound your feelings of negativity and make it hard for you to be happy with your new partner.
Are you married to your career?
A more practical aspect of being ready for love is having the time to start looking. If you’re at a demanding stage in your career or you have other commitments, you might not be up to taking on the task of looking for a partner as well. However, online dating websites like eHarmony can make this task easier by providing simple steps to meeting a match. By using a personalised online search, you can easily find people to connect with who share your interests, values and aspirations.
Are you mentally ready?
The introduction of friends and family is inevitable in a serious relationship – this can sometimes be a stressful experience. The taboo of dating within Asian communities can result in pressure to ‘legitimise’ your relationship with some form of official commitment. Most couples get around this by keeping things on the ‘down-low’, though this comes with its own kind of stresses and strains. Being in a happy relationship may be worth all the secrecy but you do need to eventually prepare for the pressures that come with introducing your girlfriend to your parents.
Are you financially secure?
Do you and your girlfriend split things 50/50 or is there an expectation on you to take financial responsibility? There can always come a point in a relationship where money becomes an issue because one party usually earns less than the other. Knowing that you are financially secure will give you the confidence there are no problems on your part and, more importantly, being able to discuss money matters with your partner is a major bonus.
Questions to ask her
Once you’ve met someone you really like, it’s time to find out whether you can go the distance together. If you’ve been dating for a while and the subject of the future hasn’t come up, it might be time to raise it. It might feel nerve-racking but you’ll need to find out whether your date is looking for a serious relationship. It’ll be better in the long run to find out the truth either way.
If the answer is ‘yes’ then it’ll be easier to talk more freely about what they might be looking for. Are they open to marriage? Do they want children? Are they looking for a long-term companion but not a family? Depending on what it is you’re looking for, you can tailor your conversation around your plans for the future. By getting everything out in the open, you’ll know for sure whether you can make a commitment.