It can be easy to put off making a proper commitment to your relationship. After all, it’s so much simpler to just allow yourself to slide into the next logical step without thinking too much about it. But a step by step approach to considering commitment is a much smarter move.
You’re in love, you have so much in common, you spend so much time together – why not simply move in together? Avoiding actually talking things over in detail – what you want, what your partner wants, where you’re heading – means you run the risk of ending up in an unhappy place later on: staying together out of a sense of familiarity or obligation rather than because you actually want to.
A step by step approach to considering commitment is a much smarter move. I know this doesn’t sound very romantic or spontaneous – it’s not a scene you’re likely to see in a Hollywood romcom anytime soon! – but discussing the future honestly with your partner will put you in a much better place when it comes to deciding what to do next.
Issues to consider
There are some basic issues that couples often don’t talk about in the early stages of their relationship - and which can cause problems further down the line. These include:
- What do you both mean by ‘commitment’? You may be thinking of your relationship as a lifelong partnership, whereas your partner may be more ambivalent. A basic understanding of how you each view the seriousness of your relationship is an important place to start.
- Your views on money and finance. Where you each stand on spending can cause major conflict later on if it isn’t properly discussed. Do you like to save whereas they’re happy splashing out a bit? Unsure of whether or not to get a joint account? Tackling these issues early can help avoid nasty rows.
- Your boundaries. How much time do you want to spend together and apart? You may assume your partner is happy spending every waking minute with you, but they may have different ideas. Talking about how much space you each need can help avoid resentment or misunderstanding.
- Are you ready to take the next step? The fact that all your friends have started to move in together isn’t a reason to do it yourself. You should only move forward with the relationship if you’re both happy to do so.
The commitment quiz
Of course, it isn’t always easy to have these conversations – in fact, for some of us, the prospect of talking about the future is about as appealing as having a root canal.
If you’re having trouble getting started, you might find my commitment quiz helpful. It’s a list of questions that both you and your partner can take to gain a better understanding of your attitude towards commitment. Start below...
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