Will it turn into a serious relationship? Here’s what to look for when it’s still early days.

serious-relationshipDating is a hit-and-miss process. We can never know if those first few dates will turn into something serious. But that’s the nature of human relationships in general – we have to invest time to see if we can connect with someone on a deeper level.

However, many times we end up spending way too much time and energy on people who will never become our partners. We wish to believe they like us as much as we like them, so we ignore the signs it is not going in the right direction.

It is not easy to tell whether you have real potential with someone until you get to know them. It takes at least a few months – and in those few months you need to be seeing each other at least every few days, in real-life, not online.

But if you want to get better at filtering out the people you don’t have much chance with, here are some signs to look for early on.

Recognising them will save you from getting emotionally attached – and getting your heart broken – by those who are really not worth your time, energy nor tears.

Are they looking for a long term relationship?

It’s an obvious question, but one we so easily overlook. We tend to presume that people we meet want the same things we do, if they seem attracted to us. In this case, don’t assume – ask this question as early as possible. They may act interested, but you can’t be sure if the nature of their interest is the same as yours.

If you don’t feel like asking it directly – inquire about their life plans, relationship history, lifestyle, dreams, aspirations, passions – all those things can tell you whether a stable relationship is one of their life goals, and if they want it any time soon.

Don’t be afraid they will walk away – if they are indeed looking for a long term relationship, and they think you could fit the bill – they won’t have a problem telling you that. In fact, they will be glad you asked.

If they say no – believe them. Don’t stick around hoping they will change their mind. It may hurt to walk away – but it will hurt even more if you keep going back to the person who doesn’t want you the same way you want them.

Do they want to date you exclusively?

In the era of online dating, when we talk so much through messages, chats and apps before we see each other – it’s very easy to hide the fact we are simultaneously dating multiple people. And oftentimes, we don’t even have to hide it. It has become completely acceptable to date few people parallelly and weigh your options as we go.

Well, if you are sure you want them – make sure you know they are sure too. The fact they show you affection and tell you how much they like you doesn’t mean they are not saying it to someone else, as soon as they get off the phone with you.

If your relationship is purely online – you won’t be able to tell, so get it into the offline world. If they resist that – and come up with multiple excuses, complications and delays – they are not serious about you.

Purely online relationships are not real relationships. No matter how many words of love you texted each other – until you meet in person – none of it is real. There is no guarantee you will work as a couple, there is no way for either of you to know if the other person is telling the truth about their life.

And again, don’t be afraid to be honest about your feelings and wishes. If your date feels the same, they will be over the moon. If they don’t – at least you know where you stand.

If you want to have a committed relationship, you have to find a person who wants the same, at approximately the same time you do. Otherwise – you were simply not meant to be.

Are you compatible enough to last?

As said, it’s hard to tell from the very start. If the attraction is strong, it’s easy to get your hopes up and ignore the red flags.

But attraction is one thing – especially the butterflies-in-your-stomach kind, and sharing a life with someone day in day out for years – is something completely different.

If you just let your emotions (and hormones) guide you, they will most likely cloud your judgement about anything else that is important to you in a relationship.

Come up with a list of requirements you must have in a life partner. That list doesn’t have to be long or very detailed – it should only contain things that are truly important to you. Like – honesty, reliability, trustworthiness, kindness, integrity and such.

Think about character traits: what they believe in, how strongly they believe in those things. How they relate, behave, how they treat others and themselves.

Especially how they behave. What they do is always more important than what they say.

When making the list – look for the values you live by, ways you want to be treated, how you want to relate to your partner. Not just in the next few weeks of fun exchanges and dates – but in the years you want to spend with them.

Many of those values will be those you will already have in your other relationships – with people you love the most, people you admire and look up to. People you know you can count on, who treat you with respect and kindness.

This list is your filter. That’s why it should be populated with only those characteristics that are your must-haves. If your date is missing even one of them, that is a sign you won’t make it together.

This essential character criteria will help you pick the right choices in love. You will understand what truly matters to you, and that will change who you get attracted to.

You will still choose with your heart, and you will still fall in love – but you won’t be doing it blindly. You will make better choices, because you will look for the right things – those that have true potential to make your love last.


Can you tell if someone will be a good match for you early on?

What is on your “must-have” list?

Thank you for sharing!

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4 Responses

  1. Klaudia says:

    I know if there is any potential when I look at their profession and education level. I also like to know if they have any children.

    I can’t even get to the date stage. I end up approaching men who are not interested in me. The ones who do approach me, I don’t see any compatibility with them.

    • Petra says:

      That’s OK, but you should be looking for character traits too, and probably first – education and profession doesn’t say much about a person when it comes to how they date and carry their relationships.

  2. Zaney says:

    Petra, I’ve been trying this approach for years and it has never worked. I am currently 3 years into a relationship with a kind, unselfish man who has so much integrity I often can’t quite believe it. However, I feel bored, there’s no spark and I just feel as though I’m going through the motions and not terribly attracted to him. I have found it impossible to find a man I’m attracted to on all levels AND who has the traits you mention. I’m 36 and want kids……do I settle for the nice guy and succumb to a life of no chemistry or roll the dice knowing I may well find hot passion with a completely unsuitable man who doesn’t have the qualities to make a good husband life partner. Never easy and a heartbreaking situation to be in sadly……

    • Petra says:

      Hmmm. Probably you’ll have to rethink what you want from a man and relationship. Stable and reliable doesn’t have to be uninspiring and without chemistry. Maybe you’ve been going for the safe, stable guys to avoid heartbreak and drama? Safe and secure is fine, but it’s not for everyone. You might be a bit more adventurous than that, but going for a great love adventure requires being brave and taking some risks too. First – ask yourself – are you ready to spend the rest of your life with the man you’re with? Regardless of your age, biological clock and the hassle of a breakup, what’s in it for you in the long run, if you already see your relationship as stale and you’re not attracted? What kind of family will you be raising from those emotions? What kind of life will you be leading with a man you don’t really love? Finding the right person requires us to try and fail until we find that nizagara spark, the real thing that makes us fall in love and stay in love for many many years. You will know when you find it. Good luck!

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