Planning Your Relationship’s Next Step
Remember the honeymoon stage? When everything you did made your significant other smile and vice versa. Butterflies felt real and no one could make you think otherwise. And perhaps the best part of all was that fights were unheard of.
Fast-forward to your now serious relationship, and all of a sudden things are no longer black and white. Instead, they are up and down and everything in-between. Your once-upon-a-fairytale is now a harsh reality of real world dating, and you don’t know how you feel about it. The highs are incredible, but the lows make you question it all. Believe or not, this is totally normal to a certain degree. Don’t get it mixed up though. An essentially bi-polar relationship is not healthy — every couple needs some sort of stability to know the love is still there. If you find yourself in an unstable relationship, it might be best to duck out while you still can rather than endure emotional torment.
However, dating challenges should be expected and welcomed, just not with open arms. No one wants to argue ever, but sometimes arguments can actually make your relationship stronger if handled appropriately. For instance, maybe there is tension building up and talking it out is the only way of moving forward. While confrontation is uncomfortable, sometimes it is the only way to determine the next step of your relationship. And that is the scary thing — these monumental turning points in your relationship can make or break you for the best.
Here are some instances when your relationship may be questioned, and you need to decide to work things out or get out:
Who are we?
Defining the relationship is a monumental moment in dating. Here you decide the fate of your relationship. Is it causal or serious, short-term or long-term? These questions will pop up throughout your relationship and don’t pose a threat if both parties feel the same way. But if there is a conflict, it must be confronted to decide the next steps.
Where are we going?
After dating awhile, “me” starts to become “we” real fast. This is great, but be prepared for a lot of serious conversations that can go north or south in a minute. For instance, you will want to know what is going on at certain points of your relationship like when you are moving in together, geting engaged or married and so on, which is totally normal!
These are questions that should come up as things get serious. The issue comes up when your significant other isn’t ready for this leap. This can mean they just aren’t ready yet, or maybe they don’t see it at all. It is up to both of you to talk it through and determine what comes next.
What are we doing?
Following your “where are we going” question, what we are we doing gets deeper into the future and hits the nitty gritty. These are moments when you want concrete plans on how you will go about things in the future. If you decided kids are on the table, start talking how many. If you don’t want to live in the city anymore, then where are you going? This line of questions confirms you are in it for the long haul, but doesn’t mean it will be easy. You will still not see eye to eye, and you will have to either compromise, take an L every now and then or throw in the towel if a real deal breaker comes up that can’t be overlooked.
Doubt is normal in a relationship. The true testament of your relationship’s strength is how you deal with that challenge. If you see potential to compromise and grow, that is amazing. But if you feel its a dead end, it might be a bittersweet goodbye. At the end of the day, remember to never compromise your core values. Stay true to you and know what you do and do not want out of your relationship.
Born and raised in Northern Virginia, Christina aspires to be a public relations professional in a big city after graduation from James Madison University. In her free time when she’s not blogging away about dating and relationships, Christina loves to go shopping, watch Netflix and play with every puppy that crosses her path.