You’ve fallen madly in love with your partner, and want to get serious in your relationship – but do they feel the same way?
If you want to move in together, get married, and even have children, it’s vital that you find out as soon as possible whether your partner is on the same page.
Here are a few signs that suggest your partner isn’t ready to settle down:
1. They make disparaging remarks and jokes about committed couples:
Does your partner make fun of their friends for getting married, or joke about how awful it must be to live with the same person for decades?
This is a pretty clear sign that they don’t aspire to a long-term relationship – and they want you to know it.
2. They don’t make references to a shared future together:
Even people who don’t usually like making long-term plans tend to start thinking about the future when they want to commit to someone.
If your partner wants to be with you for years to come, they will use phrases like “When we do X in two years’ time” or “In a few years, once we’ve moved to Y…”
If their long-term plans are vague, secret, or seem to make no allowances whatsoever for your relationship, it’s time for a serious talk about their priorities.
3.They can’t even honor low-level commitments:
If your partner is frequently late, flaky, or fails to stay true to their word on a day-to-day basis, there’s not much hope that they will suddenly become capable of making and following through on long-term plans.
Think about their general attitude – does this person seem like they are really in the right frame of mind to commit themselves to a shared future?
4. They aren’t interested in your ambitions or plans:
If you want to spend your future with someone, it stands to reason that you’d make sure your plans fit with theirs.
So, if your partner doesn’t seem to care what you want to do with your life, there’s a good chance they don’t want you to share it with them.
5. They are not willing to be vulnerable around you:
A lot of us, especially men, are reluctant to show our true selves unless we are in a stable relationship that makes us feel secure.
Most people don’t bother opening up and sharing their innermost secrets unless they want to develop a long-term, committed relationship with the other person.
If you and your partner have been dating for a while and they still seem to be holding back, it’s time to accept that they are unwilling to make any significant emotional investment in the relationship.
6. They are not interested in introducing you to their friends or family, and don’t want to meet yours:
When two people fall in love and start planning a long-term future together, they usually introduce them to their friends and relatives.
If your partner doesn’t want to integrate you into their family or social circles, it suggests that they don’t view you as a long-term prospect.
Unfortunately, a reluctance to introduce you to their friends and family can also be a sign that they are cheating on their “real” partner and you are the other woman or man.
You should also be highly suspicious if they introduce you as a “friend” rather than a girlfriend or partner.
7. They tell you:
If someone tells you,
“I don’t want a serious relationship right now,”
“I’m not ready to make a commitment,”
“I want to keep my independence,”
or some other similar phrase then it’s time for a reality check.
Don’t fall into the trap of hearing only what you want to hear!
For instance, if someone tells you that they don’t want to get engaged “right now,” the important message is that they don’t want to get engaged to you.
Do not push them for an in-depth explanation, and under no circumstances beg for their time and affection.
Your job is not to change their mind, but to focus on yourself and take the information at face value.
If you are still unsure, listen to your gut.
You probably know, deep down, whether your partner really wants to be with you on a long-term basis.
Facing the truth about your wants and needs, and those of your partner, can be tough.
Realizing that the two of you want different things can be heart-breaking.
However, accepting the reality of the situation is the best – and only – way to move forward and find a relationship that’s right for you.