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Once you’ve gotten to know someone better you may want to take your relationship to the next level.
A serious relationship requires more involvement, planning and commitment than a casual one. It is for couples who have been together for a while and want to dedicate more of their time to building a more meaningful relationship. You start a serious relationship by sharing your feelings and intentions to see if you both want the same thing.
In this article, you will discover what a serious relationship involves and what it takes to make it work. Should you have any questions along the way, at the bottom of this article you will find a way to get professional help and advice.
What Is a Serious Relationship?
Characteristics of a Serious Relationship
- A serious relationship is about your intention
- It’s a long term relationship
- Partners have common interests
- Financial stability
- Sexual satisfaction
- Brings joy to each others’ life
- Plans for the future
- Enjoying time together
- Dedication, working as a team
- Appreciation for each other and the relationship
- Good communication
- Care and support
- Plans to build a family or have children
- More predictable & less uncertain
What Does a Serious Relationship Involve?
The key factor of a serious relationship is commitment. The more serious the relationship, the greater the commitment from both partners to each other and to their relationship.
A serious relationship involves the commitment of the partners. This provides the reassurance for both of you that you will always have someone to rely on. Because of this, it’s difficult to end a relationship and be self-sufficient and independent again, knowing you won’t have someone to rely on.
When you are considering a serious relationship be honest with yourself. If you are weary of having a serious relationship try to understand the reason. Is it because you want to spend your time, money and energy with yourself or is it because you are afraid of commitment and deeper connection?
The general perception of a relationship is that you have to be:
- Willing to compromise
- Try to please your partner
- Struggle through difficult times
However, the reality is that your relationship can be as wonderful as you want it to be. But, in order to make it so, you need to learn to navigate your relationship and manage your emotions and expectations.
In a serious relationship both partners know about each others life beyond their relationship (e.g. their history, family, previous relationships, values, beliefs, future plans, preferences, goals and ambitions).
Types of Serious Relationships
- Exclusive serious
- Open serious
- Polyamorous serious
An Example of a Serious Relationship
You’ve met someone online or in real life. After spending a few months together you discovered that you are getting on really well. You have similar life goals and share similar views when it comes to having a family and raising children.
After having an open and honest conversation about having a serious relationship, you move in together. Sharing your personal space for extended period of time can be challenging. So, you get to explore the life together and learn to recognise each other’s preferences.
If your relationship is to be healthy, happy and successful you need to be able to see each other’s point of view and be excited to meet each other’s needs.
Serious vs Casual Relationship
A serious relationship implies a complete involvement. You will be giving a big amount of energy, time and dedication to the person or people in the relationship and you are likely to expect it in return. The more you put in, the more you expect to get out.
A casual relationship, on the other hand, is a lighthearted interaction with an idea of having fun and a freedom to do what you want when you feel like it.
Pros and Cons of a Serious Relationship
Pros of a Serious Relationship
- Security and comfort
- Financial stability
- Social acceptance
- Reassurance of knowing you are not alone
- Plan for the future
- More predictability
- High level of commitment
- You can introduce your bf/gf to your family and friends. You can attend social events as a couple
- Learning about yourself and getting to know another person at a deeper level
- You get to learn more about yourself and how you are able to handle the challenges
- Over time you may develop flexibility to accommodate yourself and your partner
Cons of a Serious Relationship
- Less personal freedom
- You will have less time to do what you feel like and you will have to consider the other person in most of the things that you do
- If your relationship is serious and exclusive you close to new experiences with other people for the time you are in this relationship.
- High demand of time and attention.
- You will have a relationship with more routine and do more monotonous activities as you spend most of your time together
- You will tend to rely on your partner and vice versa. Decrease autonomy and an increased dependency
- Compromising time and hobbies
- It is harder to end your relationship if your feelings changed and want to move on
- Compromising your feelings and preferences because of commitment
- Higher level of effort
- Have to keep to your promises
- Harder to end
- Harder to change
- Serious relationships come with more expectations from your partner, family, friends and the society in general
- Harder to comply to the expectations of peers and society
- Dependency (co-dependency)
- Putting your relationship first
- Having to consider the other person
- Too much dependency
- Losing independence, being less free and more restricted in your decisions and life choices
- Too much comfort and being closed from connecting to other people and the world outside of your relationship
Is a Serious Relationship Right for You?
A Serious Relationship Is Right For You If:
- You are seeing a future together
- You want to plan a life together, have a family and children
- You want someone to rely on
- You want to share most of your time with one person
- The social status of a serious relationship is important for you
- You want a fully committed relationship
- You are open, honest and trust each other
- You are able to solve your disagreements in a healthy way
- You met someone who has all the attributes and qualities that are important for you in a partner
- You are ready to prioritise your relationship above other things in your life
- You are ok to open up emotionally and create a deeper connection
A Serious Relationship Is Not Right For You If:
- You are not ready to commit to one person
- You have other personal priorities in your life
- You are not looking to create a deeper bond or emotional connection
- You or your partner are not ready for a more serious relationship
- You are uncertain about your current relationship
- You have constant arguments
- You just finished a serious relationship
- You haven’t taken the time for yourself after a break up
- You or your partner are unsure of their feelings towards each other
- You have different values and beliefs
- You don’t get on that well to form a more committed relationship
Starting a Serious Relationship
How to Find a Serious Relationship
You may set out on a mission to meet someone with the idea of having a serious relationship from the beginning. But more often than not, a serious relationship is something you develop over time by getting to know another person at a deeper level. You also need to be ready to share your deeper self, which may not always be easy.
Before Starting a Serious Relationship
A serious relationship requires a higher level of compatibility. This includes your:
You need to know what is important for you and what essential characteristics your potential partner needs to have for you to spend a long time together.
What to Expect from a Serious Relationship
- Maximum commitment
- Long-term relationship
- Making plans for the future
- Deeper emotional intimacy
- You don’t expect it to end
- Eventually, you will start taking each other for granted
- Be assumed to attend together all social events with family, friends and work
How to Start a Serious Relationship
- Meet someone with whom you get on well and have fun together
- Get to know each other better and develop trust
- Build enough understanding to resolve disagreements and differences in opinions
- Consider your feelings for each other and your circumstances to see if you are ready to make a commitment
- Move in together to see if you can maintain romance and connection amid the every day chores
- Talk about your future to see if what you want is realistic
- Make a plan to achieve your common relationship goals
- Make sure your relationship contributes to your personal lives and development
Having a Serious Relationship
Reasons to Have a Serious Relationship
- Emotional, physical and financial support
- Social recognition
How to Talk About Having a Serious Relationship
- Understand what it means to have a serious relationship
- Express your feelings and desires
- Take time to hear your partner’s feelings and needs
- Share your intentions and expectations
- Agree on how you will handle your differences
How to Maintain a Healthy Serious Relationship
It takes commitment and dedication to maintain a serious relationship. A healthy relationship contributes to your life in many different ways and should be fun and exciting.
Trust and effective communication are the cornerstones of any relationship. However, if you choose to stay with someone out of duty and obligation, rather than the desire to share your time with them, your relationship can become boring and monotonous. Such relationships don’t bring much joy to people’s lives and at some point are no longer worth it.
How to Handle Problems in a Serious Relationship
Problems are part of life. Learning to handle problems in a healthy way is an integral part of personal development. When it comes to relationships, on top of your personal issues you are now having to deal with your partner’s issues.
Ideally, with enough trust and understanding you would be able to hear each other out, look at your situation from different angles and come up with a solution that works for both of you.
Rules and Boundaries in a Serious Relationship
What Are Relationship Rules?
Rules are agreements you have with your partner on different aspects of your relationship.
Rules in a Serious Relationship
The more serious your relationship, the more rules you end up having.
But rules don’t have to be negative and burdensome. They are there to help you navigate your relationship and stay on a healthy path as life gives you different challenges.
What to Do in a Serious Relationship
- Get to know your partner better.
- Keep working on your own personal goals and ambitions.
- Leave enough time to be with your friends and family.
- Allocate enough time for your personal development, hobbies, and career.
- Have a conversation on how you would manage your finances.
- Discuss your future plans and living arrangements, and the things that will make your relationship fun and exciting.
- Discuss whether or not you would want to have a family and how you will you bring your children up.
- Welcome each other’s expression of feelings and needs, particularly if they change.
- Maintain trust and open communication.
- Agree if your relationship is open or exclusive.
- Get to know your partner better rather than trying to change them in order for them to fit into your limited understanding of who they are.
- As you are spending lot of time together make sure you are keeping up with your personal life goals and ambitions.
- Leave enough time to be with your friends and family.
- Allocate enough time for your personal development, hobbies, and career. If your goals change and your original plan is no longer your priority make sure you discuss it with your partner before making any final decisions.
What to Avoid in a Serious Relationship
- Trying to change your partner or the things you don’t like about them.
- Stop doing the things you love.
- Forgetting about your own personal growth.
- Compromising on your personal goals and ambitions.
- Staying together because of duty and obligation.
- Avoid sacrificing things that are important for you in the name of the relationship.
What Are Relationship Boundaries?
Boundaries are your personal limits that are based on your preferences.
What Boundaries Should You Have in a Serious Relationship
- Clearly express what you want and expect from each other and this relationship.
- Don’t impose your interests on one another.
- Respect each other personal space and goals.
How to Set Boundaries in a Serious Relationship
- Understand your personal preferences for different aspects of your life and your relationship
- Share your preferences with your partner.
- Take time to hear your partner’s preferences.
- See if you prefer different ways of doing things.
- Find a way to achieve your goals, while staying within the boundaries of your preferences.
Common Problems and Solutions in a Serious Relationship
- Your goals no longer align
- Sexual boredom
- Losing appreciation and getting used to each other
- You or your partner struggle to fulfil the other’s needs
- Other aspects of your life take priority over your relationship
1. Your goals no longer align
While your personal goals may differ, your relationship goals should be the same. If your relationship no longer contributes to your personal goals or you no longer see your relationship the same way, it’s time to reassess.
Reflect on your original goals, how they changed and what was the reason for this change. Once you get clearer on what’s going on, you can talk about it with your partner to give them a chance to contribute to the resolution.
Personal insecurities directly affect your relationship. One way to deal with it, is to get to know your insecurities better and share them with your partner. The latter is only possible if your partner is willing and interested in hearing you.
3. Sexual boredom
Being with the same person for a long time, almost inevitably results in sexual boredom. Rather than just getting on with it, it’s worth addressing this problem in a way that works for both of you.
You have many options to spice up your relationship that vary from trying different things in the bedroom to opening your relationship up to other people. The latter may be an open relationship, polyamorous relationship, swinging, etc.
4. Losing appreciation and getting used to each other
Getting used to each other is another inevitability that comes with a long-term serious relationship. Unfortunately, the more you get used to each other, the more habitual your relationship becomes and the less you appreciate one another.
If you find yourself in a monotony of a boring relationship asking yourself why are you even together, one thing you may consider is to separate for a short while. It doesn’t have to be a full on break-up, just some time apart in the form of a holiday.
5. You or your partner struggle to fulfil the other’s needs
In a serious exclusive relationship, there’s a high pressure of expectation on one person to fulfil all of the needs of their partner. If we are honest here, it’s quite unrealistic. So, most couples end up living in denial that results in suffering, cheating and a toxic relationship.
If you are feeling unfulfilled in some ways, the best thing you can do is talk about it with your partner. Doing so, will get them involved into finding a way to resolve the problem, sparing you from guilt and the belief that you have to solve it all by yourself.
6. Other aspects of your life take priority over your relationship
It’s a given that the longer you are in a relationship, the more life challenges you will face. The question is if your bond is strong enough for you to face these challenges together or will you chose to cut your partner out of it.
In my view, as long as you are together, you should help and support each other whatever life brings your way. If you’d rather face it alone, then ask yourself why are you in this relationship anyway.
Signs and Red Flags in a Serious Relationship
Signs of a Healthy Serious Relationship
- Your relationship is prosperous and healthy
- Your partner met your friends and family
- You have made a plan for your future together
- You are comfortable to show your true self to your partner and vice versa
- You are living together or planning to
- You maintain close contact, you share more personal things
- You are comfortable discussing your past, your history, and your previous relationships
- You are fully open and trusting with each other
Red Flags in a Serious Relationship
- Afraid of commitment
- Not fulfilling the promises made
- Not introducing you to their family and friends
- Constantly canceling dates
- Changing plans at the last minute
Ending a Serious Relationship
When to End a Serious Relationship
It’s time to end a serious relationship when you tried to make it work but it did not. You’ve invested time and energy and had certain expectations. But, if your expectations have not been met, then you end up feeling disappointed.
When this happens, you can try to understand the sources of your disappointment to see if you can change your perspective on things. However, your relationship may genuinely come to an end if your feelings or objectives changed.
Signs Your Serious Relationship Is Over
- You no longer enjoy your time together
- You argue more often than not
- You no longer have the patience or willingness to hear each other out
- You are no longer interested in learning about your partner
- You enjoy your time apart more than you do your time together
How to End a Serious Relationship
- Discuss how you feel
- See what’s not working
- Try to find a way to fix it
- Try to spend some time apart
- Reflect on how you felt when apart and decide if it is what both of you want
How to Move On After a Serious Relationship
After ending a serious relationship, it’s worth taking some time for yourself. Use this time to reflect on your personal life and your relationship. See what worked well and what didn’t. Recognise what you could have done differently and in what ways you would prefer your partner to behave.
The more you can take away from your past relationship, the less mistakes you will repeat to learn what you want and expect from a potential future partner. As well as from yourself in an ideal relationship.
A serious relationship means that it is important for you. You are ready and willing to dedicate a big part of your life to building this relationship. It involves commitment of your time and energy.
When you commit to a relationship, you are expecting yourself to be with this person regardless of your feelings or circumstances. While such commitment provides a reliable support. It also means that you are setting yourself up to continue a relationship even if you lose interest in each other.
In a serious relationship, you dedicate your time to develop a relationship with a particular person rather than spending the time and energy getting to know different people in an attempt to find someone you like.
Being with someone in a serious relationship provides you a sense of security and comfort. As well as giving you a sense of relaxation, which allows you to enjoy more. A serious relationship is a reliable source of support.
You decide how serious is your relationship together with your partner based on what it is like and what do you want it to be. It’s not about trying to live up to socially established benchmarks and expectations. It’s about you building your relationship the way you want.
Help and Advice for a Serious Relationship
Tips for a Serious Relationship
- Keep your relationship interesting
- Don’t take your partner for granted
- Treat each other with love and respect
- Support each other every way
- Be involved
If you need professional help and advice, get in touch and we’ll be happy to help!
Frequently Asked Questions
How long before relationship is serious?
As long as it takes for you to build enough trust to share your deeper feelings.
Does a serious relationship mean marriage?
Marriage is one form of a serious relationship, but it depends more on your involvement and commitment.
Can a casual relationship become serious?
The longer you are in a casual relationship the more serious it becomes.
When should relationship get serious?
When both of you spend a lot of time together, develop feelings for each other and think of the future together.
How to find a serious relationship?
Serious relationships tend to develop from a casual interaction and get to know each other better and realise you are a good match for each other.
Is our relationship serious?
Your relationship is serious if you are spending a lot of time together and comfortably share your fears and insecurities. As well as thinking of a future together.
How to tell if a serious relationship is over?
Your serious relationship is over if you no longer enjoy talking with each other and being together. And neither of you are willing to find the way to get your relationship back on track.