So you want to know if your relationship is serious. It is no longer sufficient to assume that traditional labels such as “boyfriend,” “girlfriend,” or even “partner” are sufficient to confirm your exclusivity status. Aside from the more obvious actions of living together and getting engaged, some things never change, and chances are if your relationship has any of the following 11 characteristics, you're in a committed one.
1. You spend a lot of time together
When two people spend a lot of time together, it is one of the first signs of commitment in a relationship. Outside of normal working hours, and with all the things you could be doing in a day, there isn't usually much time to spare. And, because time is one of the few commodities that none of us can reclaim, the fact that you and your significant other choose to make time for each other on a regular basis shows that you're both committed.
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2. You buy things for each other on a regular basis
I had a friend who told me she knew she was in a committed relationship when she found herself in line at the grocery store with more items in her shopping cart for her partner than for herself — and they weren't even living together. Such acts of thoughtfulness can range from the seemingly insignificant to the extravagant, such as purchasing matching jewelry. Whatever the purchase, you're probably in a committed relationship if you keep each other in mind to the point where you consider them in your regular purchases.
3. You are given a key
Remember when handing over a key to your house wasn't such a big deal? No, neither do I.
This rite of passage into a committed relationship is so well-known that entire movie scenes and magazine articles have been devoted to it. You're in if one or both of you have keys to the other's house. How many people have keys to your house, after all? Chances are slim, but if they do and they aren't your parents, it's a sign you're in a committed relationship.
4. You do not shy away from social media shout-outs
It's no surprise that in this day and age, one of the first signs of commitment is a public announcement on some form of social media. You've seen them all: the infamous couple's selfie, the heartfelt note posted for all to see, and hashtags like “me and my baby.” These public displays are usually a good sign that things are going well and that you're both comfortable enough to show your affection to the rest of the world. Such public demonstrations can only mean “we're committed, and we want everyone to know.”
5. You both sign contracts together
Going into a major contract (other than marriage) with someone, such as purchasing property or a car, is a sign that things are getting serious between you and your boo. Contracts are significant because they are generally much more difficult to get out of than they are to enter, so most people exercise caution when signing on the dotted line and expect to be committed for an extended period of time.
6. You Take a Vacation Together
Vacations usually last several days and can sometimes last several weeks, so if you're going to bring company, make sure you really like them. You're also creating memories that will last a lifetime. People who take vacations together generally not only enjoy each other's company, but are also happy to make memories together, so taking vacations together is a good sign that you and your love are truly committed.
7. You Mention Bodily Functions
You most likely do not discuss your groin injury or irritable bowel syndrome at the dinner table. Those discussions are usually reserved for medical appointments and the odd amusing story. However, if you can talk about intimate bodily functions with your lover, you're probably more than just casual friends; especially if typically private and personal conversations become commonplace between the two of you.
8. You and your partner make long-term plans for the future
When you consider that the average life expectancy is between 70 and 80 years old, and that one-third of that time is spent sleeping, the fact that you and your sweetheart discuss how to spend the hours you have left together is significant. When you're single, you can make decisions based solely on your desires. However, in a committed relationship, it is important to understand what the other person wants to do and where they see themselves in the future. So, if you and your partner are making plans together, there is a good chance that your relationship will last.
9. You Disseminate Passwords and PIN Codes
Passwords and PIN numbers may be the final frontier of the few things we have complete control over these days, with the limits on the amount of personal privacy any of us has. So sharing this extremely private information is not something to be taken lightly or with casual friendships. While experts agree that sharing passwords can strengthen relationships, this is a sign of dedication because it demonstrates complete trust. So, unless you're in a committed relationship, it's best to keep your passwords and PIN numbers private.
10. You Go Out of Your Way for Others
Being a good world citizen includes caring for other people, which may include going out of your way at times. But when going out of your way for your beloved becomes less effort and more this-is-just-how-we-behave, you've found a keeper and are fully committed. Going out of your way could include taking your lunch break to run an errand for them, rearranging your travel plans to ensure they have the time off to join you, or giving up your car to ensure they arrive on time for that meeting (and vice versa, of course). Anything less, and there is no guarantee that you are in a committed relationship.
11. You Make Decisions Based on the Situation of Others
Has your friend given up their favorite candy bar due to your peanut allergy (no kissing for you), or swapped out their meat-loving pizza for your vegan one? You can be certain that they are committed when they begin to change their routines and behaviors in response to your beliefs, situation, or circumstance. Who else does that, I mean?
Regardless of how long a relationship lasts, it is up to the people in it to convey love, respect, and trust. However, if yours has any of the 11 characteristics listed above, you've found yourself in a committed relationship.
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