Relationships can often be a little confusing. If you're coupled up, at some point you'll probably have a talk with your partner about where you see the relationship going. Maybe you talked about it when you first met and got it all on the table, or maybe it's something that's looming over you both until you feel ready to talk about it. Either way, defining the relationship can be tricky, especially when it comes to talking about your future together. Seriously, how can you tell if you're even ready to talk about your future? You don't want to scare your significant other away by bringing it up too soon, but you also recognize that you probably shouldn't waste your time with someone who isn't on the same page as you.
According to experts, talking about the future typically doesn't happen out of nowhere. "When it’s time to talk about the future with your partner, it usually won’t come as a huge surprise," Julie Spira, online dating expert, tells Elite Daily. "If you’re good at communicating with your partner, you’ll have had several conversations about your goals for the future, and whether it includes moving in together, getting married, or having children."
However, even if you've had those conversations about the future, there are other things you can look out for that might just mean things are getting serious and it's time for an even bigger talk about where things are going, and what you can expect.
Additionally, you might feel a gut feeling that tells you you're ready to talk to your significant other about the future. "If you use your intuition and think about where you are, you’ll know when the time is right," life coach Nina Rubin tells Elite Daily. "Instead of surveying everyone you know, check in with yourself. If it’s not the right time, you can repair. A simple discussion should not derail an entire relationship. If it does, this is not the best match for you."
Additionally, if you're really ready to talk about the future, Rubin emphasizes that you'll be able to be your true, authentic self. "You can tell when you feel like you can be yourself when you don’t need to hide things," Rubin says.
Finally, Rubin says that if you and your partner truly enjoy being together and aren't afraid to make plans, you're probably ready to discuss the future together. The two of you are "spending lots of time together," Rubin says. "Neither of you shies away from planning trips or discussing 'one day.'"
If you think you're ready to talk about the future with your bae, Rubin suggests taking "baby steps." It might be helpful to find out "if they want to be exclusive, if they imagine sharing a life with one person (or are into polyamory...best to know), if they believe in marriage, if parenting or children are something they’d like to do," she says. "Nothing has to be linear, but these conversations are important."