Love is in your air, and lately you’ve been floating. The butterflies in your tummy just wouldn’t settle; they are flapping their wings so hard that you feel like a teenager in love for the first time.
Your partner has been talking about the next level of your relationship. Plus, everyone wants to know the secret behind your glow.
Should you tell them?
Are you ready?
Have you crossed all the tees and dotted the Is?
Truth be told, love relationships are a big deal. They are not things you should jump into like a wimp. Should your love relationship lead you to marriage, it will determine the course of a large chunk of your life here on earth. I’m sure you don’t want to spend it in misery.
This is why you need to take time out to ensure that certain things are in order before you conclude that it is time to take your relationship to the next level.
Bearing in mind that you are not doing this relationship alone, there are things to look out for in your partner to ensure they are the best people to do life with.
So I’ll say, ignore your biological clock ticking loudly in your ears and pay no attention to the tons of couple pictures on social media. Ignore how you feel when you see those beautiful pictures and the engagement. Suppress the thought of how the ring will fit you and how handsome you will look in the lovely tux.
What should you do instead?
Pay attention to these 5 things that you should consider before making it official. You’ll be glad you did.
5 Things To Consider Before Making A Relationship Official
1. Commitment Levels
A huge component of the foundation of a love relationship is commitment—that decision that you are going to be loyal to your partner 100%. It means making the decision to go all out for this one person and letting them have exclusive access to areas of your heart that you keep out of bounds for others.
I must add that serious relationships require work; they don’t operate on autopilot. Someone (it would be more beautiful if it were both parties) has got to put in the work to achieve a successful relationship.
Therefore, you need to be sure that you are ready to give your partner the maximum commitment that your relationship requires. You also need to ensure that your partner is willing to give you the same level of commitment. Trust me, a one-sided relationship can be a pain in the neck.
I know this question might seem a bit odd because it should be the first prerequisite for making this relationship official. But you should also ask yourself if you really love this person and if they are really in love with you too.
While love isn’t the only thing that you need to make the relationship work, it is the oil in your heart that will help you make the commitment to your partner and do it happily.
And by love, I don’t just mean the butterflies and blushed cheeks. I mean the choice to accept someone’s flaws and strengths and to do everything right for them.
2. Vision and Goals
Your relationship would wander around on the ocean of life if it had no compass and no map. What’s the collective vision and goals for the relationship? Where do you both intend to go together? Where do you see the relationship in a number of years?
To have a collective vision, the individuals in the relationship must first know what they are about. Have you discovered your purpose? Do you know where you are going in life?
If you don’t know where you are going, you won’t know who you need to follow that is headed in your direction.
On the flip side, is your partner visionary? Do they have personal and professional goals that they are pursuing? What are their long-term and short-term goals?
You need to know what the vision is because it is what gives your relationship meaning and something to live for.
3. Financial Stability
One of the top three problems that relationships face is finances. This goes to say that love relationships need money to work.
I’m not talking about being materialistic and selfish. I’m talking about being able to afford the basics both now and in the future.
So, do you and your partner have a job? You’ll agree with me that that’s pretty basic. There are bills to pay and mouths to feed. So you can’t afford to not have an average-paying job.
Let’s take a little step further: do you have investment plans? Have you discussed joint accounts and how money will be spent?
Some relationships hit the rocks really hard because some of these things are not discussed before the relationship goes deeper.
4. Personality check
Let’s say the next level for your relationship is getting married. Let’s also assume that you are 30 years old (it could be more or less) at this time and will go on to live till you are 100 years old with your spouse.
That means you’ll have about 70 years to live with your spouse.
Having known them for the duration of your relationship so far, do you believe you can do these 70 years with this person?
Are there flaws that you can live with, or is it something that they find hard to manage in the long run?
No human is perfect, but there’s the barest minimum you expect from the person you want to make things official with. Are they kind? Are they respectful? Do they value your time and company? Are they goal-getters, or are they laid-back? How do they treat and speak to strangers, people they are not responsible for or accountable to? It will give you insight into how you will be treated.
Have you worked on your own flaws? You don’t want to get married only to be a bone in your partner’s throat. You’ll only end up making your marriage miserable. Begin now to deal with things that can be changed.
Do you both possess qualities that you need to make a happy home? The outward appearance and attraction are great, but if this person’s character stinks, you need to pause and think about what you value more: looks or character?
5. Expectations/ Baggage
People get into relationships with a long list of things that they expect from their partners, but they never make the time to discuss them with them.
And then, when these expectations are not met, the relationship or marriage ends because of irreconcilable differences. You’ve heard that phrase? Well, I believe it means that the ideas and expectations these people brought into marriage were not met, and so they became angry and bitter.
The man could expect that whomever will be his wife will make fresh meals each time there are to eat. She could also expect that her husband would be responsible for all the bills, while he believes that each person should contribute to taking care of the bills as partners.
You can’t take things to the next level without settling these things.
So to avoid irreconcilable differences, discuss your expectations with your spouse and allow them to tell you about theirs.
Another thing you need to bring out in the open is to make sure you have dealt with all the baggage from the past.
A man’s past and childhood shape a man’s future. You want to be sure that they have dealt with the trauma and hurt from their past and have healed. This is so important because they’ll do a lot of things in the relationship based on what happened in their past and childhood.
Do they have things that could affect your relationship? Are you both open to discussing anything?
If you have considered these things and are satisfied with the answers you got, then I believe that congratulations are in order. Enjoy your relationship!
But if you find things that you are not comfortable with that leave you unsettled, and you have discussed them over and over again, it seems like there’s no good. If one or both of you are willing to compromise, you should consider whether it is a relationship that should become official or end. The choice is yours!