When you're fresh out of a relationship, being single can be scary. But then when you've been single for a while, being in a relationship can feel scary.
What if they're not the one or there is someone better out there? What if they're a dirty cheat or a bad partner or you're not ready to be in a serious commitment right now?
If you've been dating someone for a while, there are signs you're ready to settle. To become exclusive. Official. Boyfriend and girlfriend.
I've been single a long time, and before that, I was in a relationship for an even longer time. I've been on dates, dated, had fuck buddies, flings. Basically, I know my shit.
Here are the signs you're ready to settle down with someone.
1. You've thought about becoming official.
One of the biggest signs you're ready to settle down is it's something you have started to consider. Maybe you've wondered about referring to someone as your boyfriend when talking about plans with them, or had a serious internal chat when someone's asked how it's going between you two.
Either way, thinking about settling down is a sign you're probably ready to settle down.
2. You've stopped going on dates with other people.
Dating may be a minefield, but it sure is fun. Being single and dating gives so much perspective, so many stories and more than a few hangovers, and when you're very much single, it's something you should find fun.
When you're dating someone and the idea of finding someone new and going on a first date again seems shudder-worthy, it's probably because you think what you've got is better than what's out there.
3. You're happy just spending time together.
One of the best things about casual dating is the constant entourage of drinks, events, food and activities that you get to embark on with different people.
When you start looking forward to seeing the person, not doing a thing, you probably really like them. Choosing lazing in bed on a Sunday with coffee and someone you care about over cocktails with a stranger on a Friday is a sure sign you want to settle down.
4. You've stopped checking Tinder.
Would you rather text your guy than see who your latest match is? Or only check Tinder to pass time and judge people, rather than find matches and meet them?
Similar to swearing off dating, a disinterest in Tinder suggests you're happy with what you've got – so probably time to make things serious.
5. You're mentally planning future events with them.
If you two haven't made it official, talking about the future can be daunting, but that doesn't stop you from thinking about it.
If you're planning on asking them to an event in a few months' time, or wondering what you'll get them for their birthday, you definitely want them to stick around in your life.
6. You tell them everything.
They're the first person you go to with both good and bad news, and you can't wait to tell them about your day. And you enjoy hearing about their day (even if their job is dull AF). Wanting to confide in someone shows you trust them and care about their opinion, something you probably wouldn't feel with just a fuck bud.
Going ~official~ is scary – even scarier if you're not sure they feel the same way. But it's definitely worth doing if that's what you want. There's nothing better than a relationship with someone you get along with, fancy and want to spend all your time with.
These are all signs you are ready to commit, but deep down you already knew that – or you wouldn't be reading this!