Aside from attracting good men, one of the challenges in dating is moving a casual relationship to a serious one. Going from casual to committed isn’t always so simple. But it comes down to three simple things:
Trust and respect
Trust is one of those things that takes weeks, months, years to build and one second to break. The best relationships are built on trust and respect. So how you show this in the early stages of a relationship matters. For example, if he cancels on you because he forgot he made plans to hang out with his friends a few weeks back, give him the benefit of a doubt. Same goes when he wants to hang out with a few of his platonic friends. If he values quality time with his friends and family or needs solo time to recharge, show him that you respect his needs. People get into relationships when they know their lives will be enriched by it. By showing him that he can have his life AND a life with you, you show him that his life will just be a little sweeter.
How many times have you engaged in a conversation but have had 5 other thoughts running through your mind? You say uh-huh, nod and make all the right noises to look like you’re listening but you’re not. Your partner can tell when you’re not really listening and over time this can be incredibly frustrating. If you’re not actively listening to your partner during the early stages of a relationship, it’ll be really difficult to understand what they need to feel fulfilled in a relationship.
Date someone for who they are, not for their potential
When you date someone for their potential, you’re banking on the fact that they’ll change, that they’ll be a better version of themselves 6 months, 12 months down the track. But there’s no guarantee that they’ll change. In fact, if you actively try to change a person, it could make them feel judged and unloved. And if they don’t change, you end up frustrated. Nobody wins. At the core, most people just want to be loved for who they are. If the tables were turned and someone was dating you for the person you could become, how would you feel? How would you feel if you found out 6 months down the track that you had to change who you were to make your partner happy?
These are 3 simple things that help you move a casual relationship to a serious one. If you want to deep dive and learn what makes a man go from casual to committed, check out the 7 step guide to understanding men and commitment.
How to move a casual relationship to a serious one: the full programme.
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Iona is a Wellness Coach specialising in relationships and dating. She works with single women to write their own love stories.