How to Move From Dating to a Relationship

by Contributor

When you have been dating someone for a while and are ready to start making a commitment, it's time to move to the next step: a true relationship. For some this can be scary: loss of some independence and more work at ensuring each other's happiness. But anyone who is in a committed and blossoming relationship can tell you that there is nothing in the world quite like it.

Talk to your partner about their feelings. It's important to understand where they are in their own emotions so that you both can make the most informed decision. Are they ready to make the relationship more exclusive? Does he or she still want to keep to casual dating? Find out.

Expect to put more time and energy into your relationship. Once you make the move to committed status, it's safe to say you will need to focus more of your attention on your partner, being there to support them in their endeavors while also working together to keep the relationship growing.

Understand the need to make sacrifices. Even the best relationships aren't perfect, but when two people are willing to look at themselves and see what they could do to improve their own contribution to the relationship, magic can happen.

Let it happen naturally. Trying to force a shift from dating to a more serious relationship will always do more harm than good, and if you pressure someone you will actually only end up driving them away. If your partner is initially resistant, drop it for a few weeks and revisit it at another time.

Be friends first! Something people often overlook on the quest for a relationship is the importance of truly knowing and understanding someone. If you're friends with someone--truly friends--then it's easier to make the switch to a dedicated relationship.

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Tip

  • Be honest with yourself about the long-term potential of your relationship. This can be hard to do, but it can help you decide whether it's even wise to move from dating to a relationship. If there is any doubt, then you may want to keep it casual.

Warning

  • Don't rush it! If you've been seeing someone for a few weeks but want to move to a relationship then that shouldn't be a problem. But if you've only been with a person for a few days, it's almost never a good idea to ask about having an exclusive relationship.