Dating can be a long, gruelling process. It’s almost as if each person is competing against each other in not wanting to seem too eager, but somehow not seeming totally uninterested. Being in relationship purgatory is both thrilling and soul-draining. Not knowing where you stand, but also not having the full commitment of a relationship may well be mysterious and interesting, however, like all things, you will eventually tire of the torment. If you think you’re ready for a relationship but feel something is holding you back, these ten signs are a definite in helping you make that decision.
1. You aren’t nervous anymore
The Buddhist saying goes, when you meet your soulmate you’ll “feel calm – no anxiety, no agitation”. If, when meeting up with your potential partner, you no longer feel sick with nerves, this is definitely a positive. No longer feeling anxious at the prospect of meeting up is not due to the excitement being lost. It is in fact almost paradoxical in the sense that less excitement is more exciting! Less excitement, by default, means you are growing closer to that final step.
2. You don’t look at others
There are only two things in life that human are biologically wired to notice – food and sex. That’s not to say that everyone, regardless of gender and orientation, spends their whole life drooling over others. It means that if you’ve found someone you may be serious about, the fact that other men or women even exist in a sexual way becomes less apparent. You literally won’t even acknowledge the fact that that attractive guy is making eye contact with you from across the train carriage. You might not even notice this one happening, but just ask yourself, when was the last time you looked at someone other than them in that way?
3. Dates become less formal
Okay, so not necessarily all dates should become informal, fancy dinner and drinks is always a plus. However, after a while the line between what is a date and what isn’t a date will become blurred. You may find yourself just aimlessly hanging about at their house, watching TV, wearing sweatpants and doing things that you would normally be doing alone. Alternatively, date will also become more spontaneous. At some point along they way, you could just get a random phone call to grab food quickly or see a show. If you are no longer going on actual, official “dates” then you may no longer be “dating” and be heading straight into relationship territory.
4. They’ve met your friends
One of the biggest steps in any dating process is meeting one’s friends. So far in dating them, they’ve only seen the person you’re allowing them to see. Introducing someone to your friends (or vice versa) is basically allowing them into your entire life. You’re friends are often a reflection of yourself and granting someone access to this circle means you are ready for them to know the real you. This also applies if they introduce you to their friends first. Obviously, this may not particularly apply if you already have the same friendship, although if you haven’t already hung out with said group whilst dating, the first group outing could be a chance to see how they act now, compared to previous times.
5. You ask them for advice
Another sign that you are ready for commitment is when you start asking this person for advice. Not boring, day to day advice, like what documentary would you recommend, but actual, real-life advice with potentially detrimental outcomes. Most of the time, people only ask for advice from people whose opinions they value highly. Asking advice – or being asked for advice – shows that this person has substantial impact on your life. It also means that they have a deep enough understanding of a certain aspect of your life – so much so that their views on it play a part in the potential outcome.
6. They talk about you as a collective known
The collective noun for a group of humans is a crowd, however, the collective noun you are specifically looking out for while dating is “we”. As soon as someone starts to incorporate ‘we’ into general conversation, it’s an indication things are moving forward. Something as simple as “we should go and see this film at the cinema” instead of “I really want to see this film at the cinema” shows that they are now starting to think of you as a couple, rather than a couple of people.
7. They become your best friend
If you find yourself spending increasing amounts of time with this person, without them annoying you, then it’s probably all downhill from here. When something funny or interesting happens and you find yourself reaching for your phone to text them telling them about it, then you now have a best friend too. Mixing being a date with being a best friend (in that order) is basically creating one outcome – a relationship. If you tell this person all the same things you tell your friends – even some questionable stuff – then that’s essentially sealing the deal.
8. You can see a future
This is the big one, at it pretty much goes without saying. If you are now thinking about future plans with this particular individual, let’s just say, you’re in deep. This doesn’t mean planning going for pizza next week, but actual big plans. For instance, planning on travelling with your partner and booking the trip months in advance. Even if you don’t vocalise these with said person, but you can genuinely look into the future with them without any shadow of a doubt coming to mind, then this is it.
Everyone knows how awkward that “in between” stage of just seeing someone and actually being in a relationship can be. If all of the above stages firmly apply, then you’re basically already official. If you’re just waiting for them to say it first, don’t be afraid to bring it up, even just hint at it first to test the waters. Chances are, they’re thinking the exact same thing, and they’re just scared of saying it first too. Pluck up the courage, and make the first plunge. Just go for it. Remember, you’ve already come this far.