Once you start dating someone new who gives you the feels, it's likely not going to be long before you start to think about the possibility of being exclusive. And while modern dating rituals allow this period of uncertainty to be dragged out for an excruciatingly long time, sometimes taking things slow before jumping into a commitment isn't the worst thing. There are a bunch of things to know about your partner before making the decision to start seeing them exclusively, and taking your time helps you get to know them better.
Whether you like it or not, chances are you aren't being your most relaxed and genuine self until many months into dating someone. That's not to say the person you're seeing is purposefully being suss, but when you're dating someone you really like, it can be very easy to focus on being agreeable rather than keeping things completely 100. In other words, if South Park is their favorite show and you are really feeling the love juices, you're probably going to avoid mentioning how you think it's one of the most vile shows on the planet. But six months down the line and two seasons later, you're much more likely to be honest about the fact that you hate the show and request that they never watch it in your presence again. And if you're really unlucky, you could end up finding something out months later that could really complicate things. To avoid this, it's never a bad idea to make sure that at the very least, you know these five things about your partner before making your relationship official.
While talking about exes probably won't be the most pleasant conversation, it is absolutely necessary to have it — maybe not on the first few dates, but definitely before you stop seeing other people. Finding out four months in that they are still hung up on their ex is a pretty bad feeling. And if they're acting sketch about talking about their past relationships, then this is definitely a red flag.
And by politics, I'm not just talking about whether they're liberal or conservative — that's not gonna cut it. Especially if you have a set of beliefs that you are particularly passionate about, it's never a bad idea to bring these up and get your partner's take on things. While agreeing on everything is pretty much impossible, knowing where they stand on polarizing topics is a must. Do they think gender neutral pronouns are "silly"? Or that the #MeToo movement is a "witch hunt"? Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but you're also entitled to know if they have some points of view that you (or your circle) might find offensive.
Family baggage is no joke, yo! I once had a friend who was constantly on and off again with her SO, and pretty much every time they would get into a fight, he would go and vent to his overbearing mother who would then call my friend on the phone and essentially b*tch her out. It was truly unbelievable. Family drama might not seem like any of your business, but if it exists in your SO's life, then you best believe it could very quickly become part of yours, too.
This is particularly true if you started dating them during the summer, or during a holiday break. Different schedules is something that can be worked around, but it takes a bunch of effort and planning. So before calling them bae for real, make sure you have an accurate picture of how much they work and how much time they are willing to devote to the relationship.
Finally being able to call someone yours after weeks (or months) of dating can be an awesome feeling. But to avoid blindsiding disappointment later on down the line, make sure you know as much about them as possible.
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