Affairs of the heart are often messy because the participants in a relationship either don't take the time or are too shy to fully investigate where the relationship is headed. Be proactive and discuss what you want out of a relationship and ask your partner if they want the same goals. Don't waste time on a relationship that is not headed in the right direction. Find out if you are being led on or if you are in a serious relationship with prospects of a marriage.
Go ahead, ask questions about your partner's motivation for marriage. Ask him what age he thinks is a good age for marriage. If he says 10 years from now and you want to get married soon you will know that the relationship is not for you. Also ask your partner if they believe in love lasting forever. Some people are very cynical about marriage and want to avoid it. Find out if your partner even believes in marriage.
Listen carefully to the comments your partner makes about other marriages and relationships. If you want kids and your partner makes critical comments about women who have children like, "She used to look so hot and now she looks like a mother," perhaps he is not the right man for you. (That comment was uttered by a boyfriend of mine when I was in my 20s.)
Keep close tab on your feelings. Does your partner make you feel great? If someone treasures you and plans a future with you, they will nurture you and help you feel your best. If they are overly critical and make odd comments about you they may be stringing you along. Observe carefully the actions of your partner. Does he go out of his way to make you feel special and to plan events for the future? If so, the relationship probably has a future.
Ask if your friends and relatives like your partner. Sometimes other people are more readily able to spot someone who is just using you. Your friends and family love you and are protective of you. If they tell you someone you are dating is bad news listen to them; they have your best interests at heart.
Bring up your future together and see how your partner reacts. Does he withdraw or does he approach the topic enthusiastically?
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- Have fun while dating but also take time to evaluate your future with your partner. Spend as much time evaluating your partner as you would evaluating a new job.
- If your partner is violent or verbally abusive end the relationship.
- Use caution when dating someone new. Give yourself time to find out who they are before being alone with them.