Do you want to make sure this relationship is the right one for you? Read on for the signs of a promising partnership.
1. Where do I want to end up—and is my partner headed there too?
In other words, are you compatible where key issues are concerned? It might sound fun and adventurous to simply strike out for the horizon, come what may. But if one of you heads for the beach, and the other for the ski slopes, what now? It is far better to get out the "relationship map" and talk it over in advance, to avoid trouble before it arises.
2. What does my partner want from me, and can I deliver?
Of all the warning signs new lovers speed past, neediness is one of the easiest to miss. That’s because it often masquerades as genuine attraction and affection. Be honest with yourself about your partner’s demands on your time and emotional energy. Is it balanced and reasonable?
3. What do I stand to gain?
People who have been single for a while often see only one answer: someone to be with! But there is far more to a life partnership than that. A house is more than shelter and a car more than transportation; and you wouldn’t buy either without considering their benefits. Take time to do that with your relationships as well. Make a list, check it twice. What exactly is in it for you?
4. What do I stand to lose?
Relationships always involve give and take. But some things are easier to give up than others. It might be necessary to move with your partner to a new city for the sake of his or her career. But what if that means giving up your own career in the process? Family and friends? Make sure you’ve identified the “what ifs” before you cross the point of no return.
5. What must I compromise?
Do you and your partner have differing core values that you’d find it jarring or impossible to reconcile? These are foundational beliefs about spirituality, politics, finances, child raising, family obligations, and so on. You owe it to yourself to open the hood and take a good look at what’s under there. Be sure you like what you see.
6. What does my gut tell me?
In our materialist society, we tend to distrust or completely ignore one of our most valuable decision-making tools: intuition. How does the thought of spending your life with a prospective partner feel in moments when you are still and quiet? It’s true that the most reliable decisions are based on information from both your head and your heart. But be sure to listen to what that small voice down deep is whispering to you.
There’s no such thing as loving someone too much. There is such a thing, though, as too much smothering. And smothering can definitely scare someone away.