Are you ready to take your relationship to the next level?

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...

0% 100% Complete

Talking about the future of your relationship with your partner isn’t always easy, but, let’s face it, it is necessary.

It can be tempting to simply slide into what seems like the next logical step: you’re in love, you have so much in common, you spend most of your time with each other – why not just set up home together?

But without some kind of understanding about what you’re getting into, you may end up in a situation that you feel obliged to stick with - and without a clear understanding of how you or your partner really feels.

The good news is that, by taking a moment to really consider what you both want, you and your partner can ensure that you’re making positive and realistic choices.  

This quiz is designed to help you both to start that process by allowing you to focus on you and your partner’s values, hopes, or concerns, figure out what may be getting in the way and by presenting strategies to nip potential problems in the bud.

How we can help

If you’re looking for support with your relationships, we can help. Here are some of the ways we can work with you.

Ready to talk to someone? We offer a range of ways to speak with a trained relationship expert including ongoing counselling, 30 minute web and phone chats, and one session therapy.

Find out which service is right for you

Access hundreds of self-help articles including quizzes and videos whenever you need them – free of charge:

Self-help articles

Download the number one app for couples:

Download the Paired app

How you can help

Have you found this advice helpful? Make a donation to help us reach more people and continue supporting the nation’s relationships:


Can't afford to donate? We understand. Instead, we ask that you leave us a 5-star review on Trustpilot.

Leave a review

Did you know you can support Relate while you shop? Participating brands will donate a percentage of your purchase to us. 

Support while you shop

Join our newsletter to get relationship advice and guidance straight to your inbox