Figuring out whether your significant other is ready for real commitment can be confusing. But for the most part, if your partner doesn't tell you these kinds of things, then they aren't seeing a future with you. Whatever the case, it's best to know where you stand.
One of the most crucial things to navigate in relationships is making sure both you and the SO want the same kind of partnership. Are you looking for a serious, committed relationship, or more of a casual thing? Although it's best to address these things with direct communication soon in the relationship, sometimes you find yourself in the middle of a partnership that's never been clearly defined. That's where these signs come in handy. (That said, directly asking whether your partner sees a future with you is always an option.)
In general, look for what your partner says about the future. "If your partner doesn’t talk about the lasting relationship future-related things, you may suspect they have commitment issues," says Irina Baechle, LCSW, relationship therapist and dating coach. "Also, if you don’t share private conversations and you don’t feel there is trust between you, consider whether you and your partner can see the future together." Read on to learn more about the specific things that long-term partners might bring up.
1. Let's Plan A Trip Next Month
Invested partners will include you in their future plans. "One sign that shows your partner is interested in a future with you is that they begin engaging in conversations about plans down the road that include you in them," says Maria Sullivan, dating expert and VP of Dating.com. "Topics you will find them discussing could vary from planning a vacation for next month or talking about moving in together next year when your leases are over." Particularly if your partner is an avid traveler, it's a positive sign if they invite you along on their next adventure.
2. Let's Adopt A Pet Together
If you and your partner are both pet people, then this is a big step. "Getting a pet shows signs of commitment and stability, and shows that your partner is interested in bringing your relationship to the next level by allowing you to embark on new experiences and responsibilities of co-parenting a pet," says Sullivan. Plus, caring for a creature together can help you bond like nothing else.
3. This Is What I Want In A Relationship
Most adults should have a pretty clear idea of what they're looking for in a partner right now. "If they can’t tell you what they want in their relationship future in general, it’s a red flag," says Lily Womble, founder of Date Brazen. "They might not want to broach the subject because they can’t see a future with you." Whether they're looking for something serious or casual, your partner should be willing and able to express that to you.
4. How Are You Feeling?
Talking about your emotions and needs is a huge part of any serious relationship. "If your partner isn’t open to talking about each of your emotional needs and how to meet them, they might be checked out of long term possibility," says Womble. They might want something more short-term.
5. How Can We Make This Work?
Partners looking for the long-term will work to overcome the inevitable difficulties that pop up in a relationship. But if your partner says something like "If you don’t like it, you can always leave," then they might not see a future with you, says Alton L. Abramowitz, Partner, and Chair of the Matrimonial Department at SSRGA. They might already have a foot out the door.
6. Let's Make This Move Together
Long-term partners tend to include you in their long-term plans for the future. "They talk to you and include you in big, upcoming changes in their life, be it getting a new job, moving, visiting their family, etc.," says Heidi McBain, who specializes in women's mental wellness.
7. Let's Make A Home Together
Visiting open houses together is a pretty solid sign. "Wanting to buy a house for you both is the very definition of you and your partner having a future together," says Holly Zink, relationship expert and writer for Grapevine. This means you're probably in it for the long haul.