Your stomach clenches around butterflies when you see them. Everything they say makes you giddy. As soon as you get home from a date with them, you immediately start fantasizing about the next time you'll hang out. Are these really signs they're a keeper, or are you just starry-eyed with infatuation after that first date?
There's no doubt that the person you are seeing is absolutely amazing, but whether or not they are actually a good match for you as a long-term partner is a completely different question. You can absolutely fall head over heels for somebody and go on a roller coaster ride of emotions with them, but it's likely, in a long-term partner, you might be looking for someone who has their feet on the ground.
Don't get me wrong: I don't think you can determine fully whether a person is worth keeping around on a first date or whether their desires for the future line up with yours. Very few people actually know exactly what they want at any point in their lives, so it's unlikely you'll be absolutely clear on a first date about what you want. But from the first time you meet them, there still are some signs as to whether the person you are dating might be a good potential partner for you. I know, I know: That doesn't sound as fun as butterflies. But practicality will make the right relationship live longer.
Here's what else is a good sign if you're wondering whether your date is worth settling down with.
A relationship is not like a party. You don't keep the good times going for the sake of keeping a chill atmosphere. The reality is that, deep down, you are two very complicated people who have different needs and desires. And you'll need to talk about them.
On a first date, feel free to talk about your radical thoughts and beliefs. Pay attention to how well your date rolls with them to find out whether you've actually met your match. If you feel like you can freely share whatever you are thinking with them, and it's received with understanding, then the future is likely bright for the both of you.
Of course, you won't be able to completely know what does and doesn't make both of you comfortable on a first date. What you can do, though, is communicate your preferences clearly on a first date and see whether or not your date respects them. If you say that you are vegan, for example, and your date teases you about not eating meat, then it's a sign that they might not respect your boundaries.
It's important to sort out clear boundaries within any type relationship, and you also need to know that you are with someone who will respect your parameters. Imagine agreeing to an open relationship with someone who doesn't actually feel OK about you having sex with other partners. On the flip side, you would never want to be in a monogamous relationship with someone who is going to violate your trust. Lastly, boundaries aren't about what you want to give the other person, but what you actually can provide for them, while still feeling good within yourself. So if your date asks for something that you just can't give them, maybe you can't be in a relationship with them.
I know that I am in a stable, healthy relationship when I feel as single as I did before we met. Now, I obviously don't engage in the same behavior that I did when I was single because I deleted the dating apps on my phone. But I do still feel absolutely free and whole within myself. You can see whether or not you are changing who you are to suit the other person as early on as the first date. You're still getting to know one another, so it's understandable if you do behave a bit differently, but dating this person should not be completely taking over your thoughts.
If you're dating a keeper, you won't be meeting up with the person because you want to hide from your problems. You will feel like you enjoy the time you spend together and are still able to work on all the other projects you want to accomplish. When you feel like you don't have to sacrifice anything to be with somebody, that's how you know you've found the one.
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