When Should I Have a Serious Relationship?

Happy couple.
PeopleImages/DigitalVision/Getty Images

Are you wondering if you’re at the point in your life when you should start looking for a serious relationship? Have you had fling after fling and are now debating if you should begin searching for the real thing? If you’re trying to figure out when you should embark on the journey toward meeting “the one,” there are five key questions that you should ask yourself to determine if a serious relationship is the right choice for you right now.

What is a serious relationship? In order to understand if you’re at the place in your life where you’re truly ready to have a serious relationship, it’s important to know what this kind of connection with someone else actually entails. In the most basic sense, a serious relationship is one in which you’re completely committed to your partner, you’re totally open and honest with one another, you trust each other deeply and you’re on the same page not only in terms of your values and ethics, but about your future together as well.

How do I know if I’m ready for a serious relationship? While there’s no specific age, milestone or turning point that can clearly signify when you should have a serious relationship, you should look internally and be completely honest with yourself about what you truly want and feel at this juncture in your life.

1. Do you want to be fully committed to another person? If you’re wondering if you’re truly ready to have a serious relationship, you should be excited about the prospect of totally committing yourself to someone else.

In other words, if you’re longing for both emotional and physical intimacy, then a serious relationship can be a rewarding option for you. However, if you’re more interested in dating different people and enjoying relationships that have no strings attached, then you’re not yet ready to have a serious relationship.

2. Do you know what you want in a partner? When you’re truly ready to have a serious relationship, you should know what attributes and qualities you’re seeking in another person. Specifically, you should understand what your non-negotiables are and what characteristics are must-haves in a potential partner. For example, is it imperative that your partner shares your religion, political beliefs or even your affinity for yoga? Once you know what you truly value in another person, you’re laying the groundwork for finding a relationship of value in every respect.

3. Are you done making excuses? In many instances, people shy away from finding a serious relationship because they don’t believe that they have the time or energy that this kind of relationship entails. For instance, many people who have demanding work schedules are deterred from looking for a serious relationship because they feel as though they’re unable to devote the appropriate amount of attention to another person. However, when you’re really ready for a serious relationship, you’ll be done making excuses that are preventing you from going after what you truly want. In fact, you’ll be able to prioritize and strategize so that work responsibilities and outside commitments don’t prevent you from having a deep connection with someone else.

4. Do you feel pressured into having a serious relationship? When you’re really ready to have a serious relationship, it’s because it’s something that you truly want. In fact, this type of life-changing decision has to be one that you make on your own. And if you’re being pressured by your partner, your family or your friends to make this kind of serious commitment before you’re ready or interested in doing so, you’re setting yourself up for failure in the future.

5. Are you willing to take a risk? Lastly, it’s important to understand that pursuing a serious relationship means that you have to take a risk. Specifically, not only are you fully opening yourself up to someone else and making yourself emotionally vulnerable, but you’re also putting your heart on the line. However, without taking this giant leap of faith, you’ll never be able to enjoy the closeness that a serious relationship can bring since part of you is still heavily guarded.

The good news is that when you’re truly ready to pursue a deeper connection with someone else, you’ll be able to take this kind of risk and enjoy the rewarding relationship that you want and deserve.