Going from Dating to a Relationship

Initially in the dating process, seeing more than one person is perfectly acceptable (do make sure that all parties are aware of this situation, though!). Eventually, however, you need to decide which person you want to continue in a relationship with. When you see that your feelings are being reciprocated, be honest about your intentions and communicate clearly. Remember, lasting relationships stem from great communication, regardless of whether they're dates, friends, or colleagues.

Discovering whether someone is as enamoured of you as you are of them isn't always as straightforward as it sounds. Circumstances masking how much of a mutual attraction exists (or doesn't) include people doing the following:

✓ Sending the wrong signals

✓ Not being able to read the signals you're sending out

✓ Not being honest about their feelings for fear of rejection

✓ Not expressing themselves clearly mn

For these people, establishing whether you're out of dating territory and into a relationship is going to take time. Don't wear your heart on your sleeve, but be candid; if the feeling's mutual, it helps your date to open up.

Working out if they're 'the one' and you can stop flirting for dates can be a challenge. Some people set such high expectations for relationships that they're doomed to a lifetime of looking and feeling short-changed. But if you're realistic and pragmatic about love, you may realise that 'this is it' right in front of you.

Knowing if you're in it for the long term

Sharing similar values and beliefs is the basis of a great long-term relationship. Ask yourself if you:

✓ Want similar lifestyles, for example type of home, pets, work-life balance.

✓ Both want children, and when, how many, and so on.

✓ Have a similar approach to work and careers, that is, working to live or living to work.

✓ Share the same attitudes toward family and friends, for example the amount of time you want to spend with them and how much you value them.

✓ Enjoy similar leisure and holiday activities.

✓ Have the same attitude toward spirituality, for example you're both atheist or share a compatible religion.

Clearly, if he's a mummy's boy workaholic who doesn't want kids, hates DIY, and doesn't know one end of a lawnmower from the other, and you have an aversion to in-laws, a love of house renovation, a ticking body clock, and a two-acre lawn, the relationship's not going to last.

Opposites do attract, but having values and beliefs in common provides a better basis for a future together.

Managing minor irritations

Nobody's perfect, not even you, so give and take are important in a relationship. Once you accept that a completely perfect mate doesn't exist but you've found one who's pretty close, you just need to manage the things you find less desirable about them to keep your relationship ticking along nicely.

If they really can't change the things that annoy you about them, it becomes your problem not theirs, and you have to find a way to deal with it before it becomes a wedge between you.

Don't make all the minor irritations a battleground. Save the arguments for the really important stuff. When something annoys you, completely ignore it.

Sharing a little love every day

Never take for granted that somebody knows how you feel about them. To build a strong relationship, get into the habit of showing and telling them you love them every day. Family and close friends also need love, so show them, too.

Physical contact is very important for human beings. Give them a hug when they don't expect it and a little kiss when you're passing to keep your physiological bond strong.

Continue reading here: Reducing the Risk of Rejection

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