Ever question “is this really the right person for me?” or say to yourself “this isn’t how it is supposed to go…is it?” these are important questions, and luckily we have got some answers for you. First of all, uncertainty is NORMAL, it is actually part of the dating process, so breathe easy, you are in the perfectly right place.
In fact, my mentor the legendary Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus author Dr. John Gray described 5 stages of Dating. From Attraction to Uncertainty to Commitment, Intimacy and all the way to Engagement.
So, if you are unsure about increasing the level of commitment in your relationship, or have any second thoughts about the ones you are dating, consider the guidelines below.
These signposts are less about eliminating doubts, and more about noticing what triggers them and how often they pop up, as well as alerting you to what you require to meet your relationship needs. These eleven signs both reaffirm you are on the right track and nudge you back on track when you sense something might be off with your partner.
11. You Are Turned On
There are so many ways to be turned on, enlivened, feeling fully alive and engaged with life, I just happen to think intimate relationships are the best way to Turn On.
What about this person turns you on mentally and gets you thinking, engages your curiosity? Physically what about them attracts you, catches your eye and draws you in? Emotionally, what feels good about being with him/her? Spiritual turn on, is all about connecting on a deeper level.
Sensually arousal can stand on its own, or elements of mental, physical, emotional and spiritual attraction & connection can feed into your sexual chemistry.
Turn On is really about fully engaging with life, and with the right person, there is a heightened experience of life and all its pleasures.
10. Your Greatness Shines Brighter
We have all heard the age-old “she/he brings out the best in me….makes me want to be a better person”, however that is only half the story of the right partner. Often times in order for our greatest gifts to be revealed, there must be an awakening. Wake-up calls are not always rainbows and butterflies, they might actually be jarring slaps in the face.
Our ideal partner is the best mirror to lovingly show us opportunities for personal growth, new perspectives and most importantly a greater love & compassion toward ourselves. Not only does he/she see us for who we really are, but they also see us for our potential, our latent gifts, and abilities, and they usher our moving towards our next higher evolution of ourselves.
9. Space to Grow
With the right person for you, you get to honor everything in your life in addition to the relationship. It means holding the relationship as a top priority and continuing to make time for the things you love and have been important to you.
So often we fall in love and it starts consuming so much of our time that the passions, hobbies, workouts, and people we loved spending time with, no longer fit. Especially when these aspects are some of the reasons we connected in the first place, removing them can mean losing a sense of oneself.
Honoring yourself in a relationship means creating space for your autonomous life, your shared passions and of course your relationship as a couple.
8. Your Requests Are Honored
Sometimes asking for what we want can be a challenge, therefore it is important to have a partner that we can practice asking for what we want and need in the relationship.
In order to feel safe to make a request or express yourself freely, we need to trust that our partner has our best interest at heart, that they will respect how we feel and what is important to us (our core values) and that we are also willing to do the same.
If we start anticipating “no’s” from our partner, we often stopping asking and either sell-out on what we need, or silently start building up resentments. I always say, asking is not required for a happy relationship, but it definitely expedites getting what you want.
7. Getting Physical
Whether early on the courting process or well into a long-term relationship, physical touch is vital for creating a bond. In the beginning, a simple touch on the hand or shoulder ignites the electricity long before the first kiss.
This has nothing to do with sex, but long before you get in bed you want to know that the chemistry is firing. For many of us physical contact releases more of the bonding hormone oxytocin, which can both put you at ease and spark sexual arousal, quite a delicious combination.
6. Don’t Compromise
One of the worst myths out there is that relationships take compromise. Yuck! Compromise means that someone wins and someone loses and that you take turns in either position.
No thank you. Instead, having a relationship on your terms means that your core values are always honored, and you are clear about your boundaries (anything you are not ok with).
Relationships are NOT about doing something you don’t want to do, especially when it violates your core values. When however you want different things, instead of the individual needs of You versus Me, you go up one level higher to the needs of the relationship and ask “What will be the best thing for the relationship?” The right partner will work with you to co-create a solution that serves both of you and the relationship.
5. Mutual Commitments Before Sex
Now that you are turned on and getting physical, you might be thinking about sex. In my chapter in Love & Coaching co-authored with Dr John Gray I talk about how to navigate sex and dating.
In summary, to mitigate regret, shame, upset or any negative feeling the morning after, I propose aligning your commitments in advance.
If both of you are committed to exploration, fun & adventure than one night of passion may be perfect.
However if one of those parties is interested in true love, deep connection & long term relationship, than there might be some disappointment if things don’t continue to develop after said night.
To find out someone’s commitments ask what is important to them, what they value & what they are looking for out of this sexual encounter.
4. Future Alignment
Beyond being on the same page currently, your ideal partner also has a similar view of what life in the future they want to create.
Which is why as soon as possible, major milestones or potential deal breakers are important to broach before things get serious.
It is much easier to discuss your desires around marriage, kids, and lifestyle before you are in love and not wanting to lose someone.
3. 70% Rule
If you are wondering how much uncertainty is “normal” before any real cause for concern, I give you the 70% rule. In the beginning (before engagement) 70% is the new 100%, at most you can expect to be 70% sure about someone.
Therefore when you think about them, how you feel around them, the possibility of seeing them again or getting to know them better, if about 70% of the time it’s a Yes, than go with it.
Know you are going to have doubts. You are going to fast forward into the future and wonder “are they marriage material?” “is this really how it’s all supposed to go?” and mostly the answer will be NO. It will mostly likely NOT go how you’ve envisioned it (consciously or unconsciously), that is to be expected.
The circumstances of how it looks, how they look, the details of how you get together will probably come in a different package than you thought. Embrace it. As long as the core values and your vision for the future align and the spark is alive, and you think Yes when it comes to them around 70% of the time…it’s Right.
2. Big Fear
Another huge myth is that when the right person comes along, all of your insecurities and baggage disappear and there will be a clear knowing inside that this is the right person for you. WRONG.
Yes, once you are committed and have explored a relationship with someone there will be a clear knowing if they are right to spend your life with, but not early on! In fact, in my experience, the Right person activates our Fear way more than the wrong ones ever could.
We worry about losing them, screwing it up, we worry that we chose wrong and this couldn’t possibly be the real thing (see #3), because we actually have something to lose. With the right person, there will most likely be fear, and it will indicate you are on the right track!
1. Feeling Good
Number one most important guidepost is feeling really good around them. Feeling happy, important, valued, a priority, drawn to come back for more as a start.
Notice I didn’t say “You think it makes sense around them”. The feeling is void of logic, reasoning or thought, you don’t have to explain it, it just is. Follow what feels good and right for you, along with numbers 1 through 10 and you will have the kind of love that fuels you and your life.
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