Have you been dating someone but are unsure of whether to turn it into something more serious?
It can be hard to tell whether they’d make a great partner, potentially for life, or whether your emotions are clouding your judgment.
I’ve been in a number of relationships where I didn’t look for the signs below and simply went with the flow, only to regret my decision six months or a year down the line.
So, don’t make the same mistakes as I did.
Here are 10 ways to quickly tell if a relationship is worth pursuing:
1) Mutual respect
A relationship without respect is not worth even one minute of your time and effort.
Let’s say you’ve started dating someone, and already you can see that they are considerate and respectful of your boundaries – that’s a green flag.
Even better, they don’t judge your choices in career or lifestyle, even if there are differences, they respect you.
I think that’s a pretty good starting point when deciding whether a relationship is worth pursuing or not.
From there, you’ve got great foundations to build upon.
You’re with someone mature and able to communicate without degrading or belittling, so you’re already off to a good start.
2) Shared values and goals
The next thing to look out for is whether you’ve got similar values and goals. That’s not to say you both have to have the same life ambitions or careers…
But in general, you agree on the big stuff.
The truth is, when you’re dating, it’s easy to get caught up in your emotions. And attraction.
But those two things alone don’t make for a successful, healthy relationship.
Ultimately, compatibility is the key.
And the best way to determine if you’re compatible or not is by getting to know each other, discussing your values, and sharing your goals.
By doing this, you can figure out if you’re on the same page, and if so, this definitely sounds like a relationship worth pursuing.
3) Effective communication
I touched briefly upon communication in the first point (mutual respect). But let’s be real, communication is the basis of everything. Especially in romantic relationships.
So, if you have not seen a hint of:
- Playing the blame game
- Cold silences
- Name-calling/degrading language
- Dismissive behavior
It seems like you’ve met a decent person. Someone who can actually talk in-depth, be open and honest, and who doesn’t have toxic communication behaviors.
I’ll be honest, this is a red flag I ignored when entering my current relationship.
My husband is in therapy now, but it’s been a tough five years of miscommunication.
So never take it lightly when you meet someone who can communicate effectively.
Chances are, you could have a great relationship with them if the rest of the points below also check out.
4) Conflict resolution
Following on from having effective communication, we have conflict resolution.
In the time you’ve been dating, hopefully, you’ll have had a chance to see how your partner deals with arguments and disagreements…
Do they scream and shout? Ignore you? Act passive-aggressively?
Or do they give you space to calm down, reflect on their actions, and come back to speak clearly and honestly about the issue?
I tend to find that people who focus on finding solutions and taking accountability for their actions make the best partners.
So if the person you’re dating fits the second scenario, it sounds like it’s a relationship that could go somewhere.
Chemistry is another area to think about when deciding whether to pursue a relationship.
And the good thing about it is you can usually tell quite quickly if you click with someone.
You get their vibe and energy. Your jokes bounce back and forth. Conversation flows without too many awkward silences.
It’s a good feeling, right?
When you can just glance at the other person and know what they’re thinking. When a smile can drive you both crazy for each other.
If the chemistry is there, and you’ve also got things like mutual respect and shared values, what’s holding you back?
Sounds like the perfect recipe for a happy relationship!
6) Balance of independence and togetherness
Now, there’s one way to quickly tell if this is a relationship worth your time, and that’s by seeing how the dynamics are when you’re apart.
Does your partner constantly check up on you? Do they get annoyed if you want to spend time alone or with friends?
If so, this signifies a lack of respect for your individuality.
You see, in a healthy relationship, there should be a balance. Time spent together, and time spent apart.
And both people involved should be able to see the benefits of time apart.
A partner who doesn’t could be extremely insecure, have trust issues, or potentially even be toxic (controlling and manipulative).
You might have only been together for a few months before considering turning this into a committed relationship, but that’s usually enough time to see if there are any obvious red flags when it comes to trust.
For example, if you’ve already caught your partner lying, that’s not a good sign.
If your partner has already gone behind your back, again, not a good sign.
I know plenty of people who sadly, chose to overlook the red flags and hope that their partner will change.
Unfortunately, if they can’t be honest at the start, it’s not likely they’ll change their tune later down the line.
On the other hand, a quick way to tell if the relationship is worth pursuing is if you feel you can genuinely trust them.
They back up their words with actions. You see being straightforward and truthful with others.
It’s clear that honesty is an important value to them.
That’s when you know you’re dealing with someone who you can trust.
8) Growth mindset
Do you find your partner is open to learning new things and bettering themself as a person?
Or are they stuck in their ways, reluctant to expand their minds and improve their habits?
When in doubt about a relationship, you should think about whether your partner has a growth mindset or not.
If they do, they’re more likely to be supportive of your personal growth. You’ll be able to encourage each other to be the best versions of yourselves.
And isn’t that what a healthy relationship is all about?
I’ve been with guys who always had something negative to say whenever I was going for a new opportunity. Guys that would mock or ridicule me for investing in my self-development.
The worst was a guy who repeatedly overstepped my boundaries – he actually seemed to take pleasure in pushing my buttons.
Put it this way, a relationship with people like that will set you up for a long road of misery.
But a relationship with someone who believes in self-development will push you to find versions of yourself you never knew existed, and that’s worth fighting for.
9) Shared interests and enjoyment
We’ve spoken about having similar goals and values, but what about simply having fun together?
If you both enjoy similar things, whether that be biking, binging thriller series, or a shared love of Mexican food, it’s probably a relationship worth going for.
Especially if you relate to all the other points I’ve mentioned.
The bottom line is, you’re potentially going to spend a lot of time with this person.
You should be able to have fun with them.
I’ve often noticed that in the relationships that tend to last, the couple usually have one or two things in common that they regularly do together.
This keeps the connection going strong. As I mentioned earlier, they don’t need to be stuck to the hips.
They each have their own lives and hobbies.
But they make time to do whatever activities they enjoy as a couple. So think about it – do you have a lot of shared interests with your partner?
Can you see yourself hanging out with them one year, two years, or even five years down the line?
And finally, your gut feeling, or intuition, should give you a good idea of whether this is a relationship worth pursuing.
And it’s another quick method as our bodies send us signals from the moment we first meet someone.
What does yours tell you?
I’ll be honest, I’ve ignored my intuition in the past and entered some pretty terrible relationships.
But with my husband, even though we had some issues with communication as I mentioned before, something deep down told me he’s worth sticking with.
And I was right – he’s getting the help he needs and our relationship is strengthening day by day.
I’m glad I trusted my gut feeling.
You should also pay attention to how your body reacts when thinking about being in a relationship with this person. Does it feel right?
Or do you feel that you’d be settling?
I get that it’s hard to know whether to pursue a relationship, but hopefully, with the signs above, you should now have a better idea of what to do going forward.