4 Dating Behaviors That Mean Someone Wants A Life-Long Partner
When you first start dating someone new, it could take anywhere from a few dates to a few years to know if they're the person you want to spend your life with. Compatibility can take time to suss out, and a desire for commitment isn't always easy to communicate for some. It's normal for you not to know right away that the person you're dating is "the person" for you, but according to relationship experts, there may be dating behaviors that mean someone wants a life-long partner that could indicate they're serious about settling down.
It's no huge secret that relationships can be tricky. Even when a couple is in love, they may be on two different pages as to what they want out of their union in the long run. Maybe one partner wants to get married ASAP, whereas the other can't think of anything they'd rather do less. Timing and perspective play huge roles in whether or not a couple can really make it work long-term, but so does intention. Thankfully, the signs your partner is looking for a life-long SO can be quite clear. Below, four expert-backed dating behaviors you might notice if your partner wants something serious.
1. They Introduce You To Their Social Circle
Dr. Martha Tara Lee, clinical sexologist, relationship counselor, and owner of Eros Coaching, says a sign your SO is life-long partner is "if they introduce you to their friends and want you to like them" or "if they introduce you to their parents and want you to like them."
When you're serious about someone, you don't just want them to meet your loved ones — you want them to mesh with them as well. "This is because you will be that much more invested in them and the relationship, so you will want your friends to like them and vice-versa," relationship expert Trina Leckie previously told Elite Daily.
2. They Ask You To Spend Major Holidays With Them
Another sign the other person is looking for a life-long partner is if "they ask to spend more time with you over time and for longer periods of time," Lee tells Elite Daily. A key sign is if you're spending all the major holidays with your partner — and that doesn't just mean one during cuffing season.
“If you and your partner spend landmark holidays together, you’re showing the kind of commitment to that leads to a long-term relationship," relationship expert April Masini previously told Elite Daily.
3. They Ask You to Move In
If they ask you to move in together, Lee says you can pretty much bet they're serious about you. Of course, everyone is different, and there is no "right" amount of time after which moving in is appropriate. Sometimes, you'll feel comfortable moving in with your SO after dating for years. Other couples get good enough vibes from each other to move in after the third or fourth date. But few things say "long-term commitment" like signing a lease together.
4. They're Dropping Not-So-Subtle Hints
Apart from literally taking you ring shopping, Lee says some signs your partner wants to be with you long-term include them asking you questions like, "What you are looking for in a life-long partner?", "What do you think about having kids?", "What you see yourself doing in the long-term and where?", and "Are you interested in marriage?"
"When someone is looking for a serious partner, his or her questions will go beyond the superficial," relationship expert Susan Winter previously told Elite Daily.
What To Do If You Notice These Signs in Your SO
You can begin to address the dating behaviors you've picked up on by asking your partner how they feel about the relationship, both as it stands currently and where it could be headed. "From their answer, you can infer what is on their mind. If they are evasive or say they haven't thought about it, it is a sign that they are less than enthusiastic about a future with you," Lee says.
On the other hand, your partner might be more excited at the prospect of a life-long partnership than you are. If you feel like you're not looking for a life-long partner right now, tell them. "Be direct about it," Lee says. If you're not direct, Lee adds, "You might be dragging things out and hurting them deeper in the long run."
A way she recommends talking to your SO about it is to say:
This isn't easy for me to say, but I need to be honest with you. I'm feeling [insert how you're feeling here] about a life-long partnership because [XYZ reasons]. I feel it's best that we [insert whatever solution you think is best here].
Lee acknowledges, "This might actually have already come up in the beginning of the relationship when both of you had little to lose, and were upfront about what you're looking for. If this has changed for you, it is alright, too," Lee says. "But you owe it to yourself to let them know."
Whatever it is you're feeling, take time to talk to your partner about it. Figuring out whether you and your SO are end-game can be difficult, but with some patience, conversation, and joint problem-solving, you and your partner can find a solution that works for both parties.