Your Relationship is Heading Where? Ask Yourself These Questions

By Janie McMahan, MA, LMFT

Is he the one? Is she?

You may come to a point in your relationship where you wonder about your future together.

Are you ready to put more effort into your relationship? Or does it seem to be going nowhere?

It’s not always easy to know what’s next. And deciding if you can commit to someone for a long time is a deeply personal decision. How will you make it?

Analyze Your Relationship to See If You Have a Future Together

Taking a step back to look objectively at your relationship is an important step. It’s important to know what’s next for you both – a long-term commitment or going your separate ways.

Ask yourself:

  • Do we trust each other? Trust is essential for real love and a successful relationship. That means you can be apart comfortably. You may long for each other, but not too much. You don’t feel happier when you’re away from your partner, nor do you feel completely insecure.
  • Are we in the same boat? Of course, that doesn’t mean you agree on everything. It means you must have the same goals, the same view of your future. When one of you wants to live carefree without children and the other wants to settle down and have a big family, there’s no long-term potential.
  • Do we have respect for each other? It means liking the essence of who your partner is, without wanting to change them. You can look past their little quirks and accept them for who they are, including their flaws. As a matter of fact, you’ve contemplated introducing them to your parents.
  • Can we talk openly? You can’t have a good relationship without good communication. So, you should be able to speak openly about what is on your mind and tell them things you won’t tell anyone else.
  • Are we equals and share equally? This includes putting the same amount of work into the relationship, neither of you taking or giving a lot more. You should also both be comfortable accepting and sharing things willingly. Never should you feel obligated to do something for your partner just because they did something nice for you.
  • Can we agree to disagree? You have to be able to disagree and get over it without holding a grudge. That includes listening and taking your partner seriously, even when you think they’re totally wrong. Your goal is to work out your differences in a respectful and kind manner. Be supportive during hard times, stress, and bad moods.
  • Do we enjoy being together? You should appreciate sharing the simple pleasures of life – like laughing together. Your partner should attract you, and not just for their physical attributes. Chemistry is an important ingredient in a healthy relationship. Though, it has little to do with physical beauty.
  • Are we comfortable being ourselves? That means you don’t mind showing your weaknesses to your partner. It also means, when things don’t go right, they’re the ones you go to for comfort. And it means you feel like yourself around each other, without the need to edit thoughts or feel anxious and self-conscious. You pretty much understand each other, even without a word.
  • Do we bring out the best in each other? – Certainly, your partner can’t be everything for you. But they should be able to complement the best part of you. Being with them should make you feel like a better person.

The fact is, relationships are complicated. They may begin happily, then become negative or stale without your realizing it. Thus, there is no easy answer to figuring out future potential. But if you take a moment and reflect on these questions, you may be better equipped to prepare for whatever is next.