You’ve met someone you like, you spend lots of time together and can’t get enough of each other BUT you’re not sure exactly WHAT you are. You are pretty sure you’re exclusive, but are you in a relationship? Are they your partner? Boyfriend? Girlfriend? The lines can be blurry, especially when you’re dating early on, but, it’s important that you’re on the same page with the person you’re dating. Wherever you want your final destination to be, you both need to be walking on the same path in the same direction. So how do you turn dating into a relationship? Start with these 5 steps…
- Be Happily Single
Confused? Don’t be. I’ve said all along how important it is to be good on your own before finding a partner. It’s not about finding your other half. You need to be whole, they need to be whole. Together you will be two whole people. This will ensure a happy, healthy relationship rather than one that is dependent. You can’t move forward if you still have issues and baggage you’re dealing with. When you’re confident in who you are you will no longer tolerate a partner who isn’t right for you and you won’t settle. How we see ourselves shows the world how we expect to be seen, so be kind to yourself first and foremost. This turns dating into a relationship because desperation is not attractive and when you’re happily single you’ll let things flow naturally.
- Ensure Compatibility – Dealmakers and Dealbreakers
By identifying your dealmakers (realistic, what’s most important, values-based) and dealbreakers (what you absolutely don’t want) you will be able to pinpoint what makes someone most compatible with you. I always say that the best way to meet a partner is by doing things you love to do – such as partaking in activities or lessons in your interests – like sports, cooking or anything else. A relationship and connection are so much easier when you have common interests and value systems. While opposites may attract, they don’t always end up in success because it’s commonality that allows for comfort. You have to be able to relate to each other. This turns dating into a relationship because the more compatible you are, the easier it is to see each other as long-term potential.
- Take Your Time
Sometimes we self-sabotage without even realizing it. We do too much too soon and fall hard too fast. There’s nothing wrong with slowing it down a little and letting things happen when they are supposed to. You get too comfortable, especially if you really get along and you move too fast which often scares people away or leads it to end just as quickly as it began. Leave something to the imagination, have sex when you both know you’re on the same page, give them space, leave something to the imagination … Enjoy the process and don’t think about the outcome. This will also allow you to assess any red flags that come up without your judgment being clouded. Remember, slow and steady wins the race every time! This turns dating into a relationship because when you take your time and let things flow naturally, in their own time, they will be more solid.
Although you love being together, it’s important to have balance. You can’t be too dependent on them nor them you. Having your own separate lives in addition to your lives together will actually make you closer. You will miss each other and have more things to talk about. Again, you’re creating a comfort level together, not being pushy and seeing how you fit in each other’s lives in a real way. If you’re too dependent on each other, it creates an unhealthy balance. You also can’t project too many expectations on them or pressure. This will also allow you to work together as a team better. This turns dating into a relationship because you will have a realistic interdependence which brings a healthier comfort level.
- Open Communication
I would argue that this is one of the most important aspects of a relationship. Communication is the key to happy, healthy relationships. You need to be able to talk about anything with them, especially about each other. If you have anything to say, you should be able to say it freely. How you say it is important too. Always show gratitude and discuss concerns in a constructive way without blaming or accusing. This will help move things forward positively. This turns dating into a relationship because you will be able to talk about where you’re at together and ensure that you’re on the same page headed in the same direction.
Turning dating into a relationship is all about finding the right balance between you and your partner. If you are with the right person for you then things just feel right and fall into place. No relationship is perfect but as long as you’re moving forward in a positive direction you’re ahead of the pack. It takes two to make a relationship work … a firm commitment from BOTH parties. So if they don’t seem to be interested in making things official or “need more time” before committing to just you, then you need to assess whether or not this person is the best person for you. Remember, turning dating into relationship starts with two people walking on the same path in the same direction together.
READERS: Do you have (or have you had) trouble sealing the deal and getting that commitment? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
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Have a dating dilemma? You can always Ask Single Dating Diva a confidential dating question on http://singledatingdiva.com.
Your Sister in Dating Bliss,
Single Dating Diva
Originally published on eHarmony Canada.