So, you're tired of the endless merry-go-round of hookups and casual dates and are wondering whether you're in the right place to settle down for something more serious.
But how do you know whether you're just in a rut or are truly ready for a committed, long-term dating experience with one person?
Here are a few of the key signs your dating life is about to take a more authentic turn.
Very often, singles feel like they are missing out on something if they aren't actively dating. This can be a massive issue for fledgling relationships, with the pressure to make a passing connection something deeper.
Putting pressure on a new romance rarely works, and if you feel like you are happy where you are right now but also have room in your life for a more committed dating partner, it's a good sign you are emotionally mature enough to make that happen.
Being comfortable in your own company and satisfied with what you bring to the table means you bring independence and confidence to dating, making for an excellent foundation for long-term happiness.
Similarly, if you feel like a relationship would add value to your life, but it isn't the be-all and end-all of finding happiness, you're good to go.
That means you don't feel like you are incomplete without another person, and therefore can take a more sophisticated approach to dating. There isn't any desperate need to find romance; you aren't pinning your future on a person you haven't met and are happy to crack on with your plans as you are.
However, suppose you recognize that you are ready to offer something to another person and perhaps establish compromises in your life to make room for their needs. In that case, you are probably prepared for a real relationship.
Another common issue with finding genuine relationships is that it is tempting to create an imaginary person in our heads and then expecting them to magically materialize in real life.
The problem here is that if you narrow down your requirements to such a specific profile, you are highly unlikely ever to meet someone who fits with your dating parameters.
Common sense tells us that real people are never as perfect as our fantasies. Dating is messy, there will be arguments, and you might find that you need to reconsider some of your lifestyles to ensure your partner is comfortable and happy!
If you've set aside that narrow way of thinking, and are open to exploring potential new connections, then you are in a great place to start a more serious relationship search.
It's easy to mistake attraction and intimacy for a connection. Still, most of the time, a sexy romance is not a tangible emotional relationship but more a fun way to add a bit of excitement to your love life.
While having a healthy sex life is great, it isn't possible to replicate authentic connections through a casual dating experience. You need to recognize the value in emotional maturity, compatible relationship aspirations, and living together to progress towards your goals.
When you appreciate that sex isn't the only factor of a real relationship and that partners bring value to each other's lives in many different ways, you can start thinking about dating people who want something more than a no-strings fling.
Finally, you know your own mind. If you decide that the time is right to meet genuine people and try to find real connections that you can build on together for the future, it's best to ditch the hookup apps and start investing time and energy into meeting actual potential dates.
There is no fixed timescale, so it's vital to go at your own pace, rather than deciding when to look for a real relationship based on anybody else's opinion about whether you need to settle down.
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