Figuring Out If Your Next Steps Align
Every relationship moves at its own pace. Some couples move very fast. Others take their time. But whether you are one to get engaged within a year of knowing someone or if you would rather date someone for seven years, there is no right or wrong. It is all up to the individuals involved.
No matter how fast or slow you get to a serious point in your relationship, we all reach a point where those serious feelings lead to even more serious conversations. The topic of marriage may be thrown around and maybe even kids. And while this can start off as fun and games, it can switch to a more serious conservation. For some, this ends up being a good thing and can really shape the rest of the relationship. Knowing that you both are on the same page can reassure you that your are meant to be and give you both the confidence you need to move forward.
However, if you start to have these serious conversations and realize you are more different than similar, this may raise some red flags. You may start to question if you have a future together after all. In some cases, it is fair to raise those red flags. If you feeling strongly one way or another on marriage and kids and it is a dealbreaker, you shouldn’t be expected to adjust your morals and vice versa.
But if you are not in a position where your preference is a dealbreaker and it is just that — a preference — then you might find yourself willing to compromise with your partner and meet in the middle.
If your partner wants four or more kids but you were thinking one, you may find yourself willing to negotiate. However if they want none and you want some, that can be a dealbreaker. Another question is where you raise your kids. Maybe one of you wants to stay in your hometown, while the other wants to explore and raise the kids somewhere new. Rather than argue in circles, maybe brainstorm places you both would consider living and find what is in common.
The key to compromise is finding that middle ground. It is not always obvious and usually takes in-depth conversation. But if you are serious about someone they are worth the time and effort.
But at the same time, stay true to you and don’t budge if you are passionate about something. If you absolutely don’t want to get married and your partner does, then maybe it is not going to work out. Or if you are pregnant and you want an abortion but they want you to have the kid, the damage of that argument may be too much to bare.
Whether you have been dating for awhile or for a hot minute, you will eventually get to these serious talks about the future and they may or may not sway in your favor. Just remember to meet in the middle when possible, but don’t feel like you have to if you are comprising your own values and altering who you are for someone else. Hopefully a future together is in the cards, but what is most important is your own happiness. If it is together, that is ideal. But if not, your future may lead you to someone else down the line so don’t fear the unknown.