At first, this article had the title “are we ready to get married?”. But a few seconds later I realized that less and less people decide to actually get married and more people decide to just live together, buy a house together, sign a partnership or have kids together. Are these people not seriously commuted? Despite of what your grandma might thing, of course they are! Are you and your partner ready to join the “seriously committed” ranks as well? Let’s find out.

Are you on the same page?

Unfortunately it is quite a rare thing for two people to decide to seriously commit at exactly the same time. Women tend to be ready to take the next steps sooner than main. It might be because their biological clock starts ticking or because women are often doers, who like to set goals and achieve them. Many men are more thinkers and dreamers and can be intimidated but this practical approach of “getting things done”. Of course, the exact opposite is also possible. In some cases women want to focus more on their career or feel that it is not time to give up their freedom yet, while their partners feel that it’s about time things got a bit more serious. All sorts of variations are true for queer couples as well. So, in case you are not on the same page yet, what should you do? Talk talk talk. Discuss how you see your future. Maybe both you and your partner want a family some day, but on a different time frame. Maybe both of you want to move in together at some point but that “point” is different. As long as your long term goals coincide, you can work out the time frame and compromise. But if you want seven kids and he wants none, then maybe it is better to start looking for someone else.

Have you dealt with your past?

As strange as that might sound, both people with a lot of relationships in their past and people with just a few of them can have important things to deal with before a serious commitment. People who have many exes need to clarify to their partner if they want to keep contact with them and why. If you have stayed friends with an ex and your current partner wants you to stop seeing him, would you be ready to do that? Some people manage to keep their exes in their lives but for the most part, it usually causes insecurities to the new partners. Discuss openly about it and see if you can work things out. Now, in the case of people who only had a couple of relationships or flirts, committing to a serious relationship might seem like an end to all opportunities to enrich their sexual life. If you feel that you would like to have more experiences before starting something really solid with your partner, you need to be honest about it with them. Maybe you can keep it more relaxed for a few more months or years. Keep in mind though that if they are not comfortable with this concept, they are free to leave.

How are things financially?

You might be having lots of fun with your partner and they might be the most interesting person in the world. Unfortunately, these qualities do not pay the rent. If you and your partner decide to move in together or -an immeasurably more serious commitment- have kids together, you need to have the money talk. Can you both contribute equally? If one of you works and the other stays at home, how are they going to contribute? By doing the shopping and taking care of the house, for example? And if you decide that one of you will be a stay at home parent, if you brake up, will the other person support the non-working ex, until they find a job? These are not very sexy or romantic discussions, but if you get them out of the way, you will feel confident, secured and protected in your relationship. And that is a great start!

If you feel that you are ready to take the next step but these questions got you thinking, don’t worry. Relationships evolve and grow together with people. You might not be ready today, but who knows about tomorrow?