When considering settling down with a romantic partner, the feelings can be exhilarating and nerve-wracking at the same time. You may be caught between the excitement of immersing yourself in a committed relationship and the fear of making the wrong decision and missing out on what else may be out there. It’s important to pay attention to your gut feeling when deciding if it’s the right time to settle down.
An important factor to consider is maturity. Reflect upon your past relationships and think about whether you've reached the point where you believe you can handle the various challenges that come with the commitment. Have you shown the resilience and strength that's required to keep a healthy and happy relationship? Before making any kind of commitment, think about the foundation of character traits needed to make a balanced relationship, such as trustworthiness, honesty, dependability, and flexibility. Ask yourself if you're ready to live up to those standards.
The time commitment is also something to consider. Going steady usually comes with an expectation that you’ll be available for both the ups and downs in the relationship, either in person or even just over the phone. Do you have the availability in the present moment to put that level of commitment into this relationship? To get an idea of the give and take that’s expected of a relationship commitment, step back and observe how fulfilled other people are in their relationships that mirror the one you’re looking to embark on.
Money is also a common source of stress in partnerships, so think about the combined financial situation of you and the person you’re hoping to build a lasting relationship with. Going steady usually means being responsible for each other financially, at least to some degree. Consider saving money both separately and together, to ensure that there’s an even balance and both partners’ responsibility is taken into account.
It’s never too late to settle down with that special someone, but sit down and ask yourself these key questions before taking the plunge. Think about whether or not you possess the necessary emotional maturity to sustain a lasting relationship, question if your time and energy is enough for the long run, and ponder the struggles and triumphs of shared finances. Above all else, have confidence in the fact that whatever decision you make will be the best one for you - going steadily or otherwise.