3 Signs You Want Something More Serious Than A Hookup Buddy & You're Ready to Be Official
How do you know when it's time to go from hooking up to home for the holidays together? One expert says you just have to look out for these three signs you want something more serious. I spoke with Aoife Drury, a psychosexual and relationship therapist, who believes you'll know it's time to update your relationship status based on a few subtle differences in your thinking and your dating tactics. Most notably, you become less focused on instant gratification and more concerned with making sustainable plans for a future with someone.
This shift in thinking might have something to do with a recent milestone in your life. Maybe you've just graduated from college or accepted a job in a new city. Either way, you sense that your one-night stands are a thing of the past, much like your 8 a.m. classes, and you're ready to trade in your morning-after attire for a weekend bag and a serious commitment.
It's important not to confuse this readiness for something more with loneliness or boredom. Getting into a relationship for the wrong reasons is never a good idea and you'll only end up hurting yourself (and your partner) in the long run. If you can check each of these things off, you really are ready to go steady.
You're happy being single but you want something more.
Weird as it sounds, Drury says you'll know you're ready for a relationship when you are totally happy and comfortable doing you. "If you’re not happy being single, you won’t be happy in a relationship," she adds. "The most important aspect is that you’re already comfortable being single and hanging out solo. It often means you have a strong sense of confidence and self-worth, which are two vital components for a relationship."
Because you are confident in who you are and where you're at in your life, you won't be willing to settle for just anyone. You also won't turn to your relationship as your sole source of happiness in life. This is a healthy position to be in. It suggests that you're emotionally capable of holding your own and that you're ready for a serious relationship with the right person.
You stop looking for someone to complete you or make you feel whole.
That's right. You're ready to go looking for your other half once you stop thinking of them as your missing half. Drury warns that the idea of an "other half" suggests that you, as a person, are incomplete. If this is not at all how you feel, then your head and heart are in the right place. Someone who is ready for a relationship is someone who understands that a significant other should be a partner.
On the other hand, Drury tells Elite Daily, "If you [still] think you need to be in a relationship in order to be whole, you need to look at why the thought of someone else makes you happier than you do. Make sure you’re not trying to fill a void left behind by a breakup or some other setback. Instead, you should be dating because you’re ready to move on and meet new people."
You've let go of any emotional baggage from your past relationships.
"Taking baggage into a new relationship from the get-go can be destructive. Issues such as distrust, abuse, and self-esteem damage from past relationships can greatly impact new ones," Drury says.
If you can confidently say that you've worked through any anger, disappointment, or resentment from your past relationships, you are much more likely to pursue a fulfilling relationship with someone new.
Drury's most important piece of advice to help you navigate this transition in your love life is to proceed with caution. Don't rush into anything just because you're tired of being single. It's better to ease into things so that you can assess your comfort level periodically and bring things to a halt if you need to.
Getting into a new relationship is scary but it can also be incredibly exciting. You don't want to miss out on a fun journey just because you were too focused on the destination.