Dating and Relationship Advice – Before Becoming Exclusive With Your Partner, Here Are 4 Things You Should Talk About

If we’re being honest, I think we can all agree that there really are no shortcuts when it comes to building and nurturing a healthy relationship. While it’s probably best to avoid talking about the nitty-gritty of a relationship too early on (i.e. within the first few dates) to avoid applying unnecessary pressure to your partnership, before becoming exclusive with your partner, it’s super important to talk through a few key points to ensure you’re both on the same page.

Having serious conversations when dating someone newish can certainly feel daunting at best and massively anxiety-inducing at worst, but the truth of the matter is that, if exclusivity is on the table, having an open and honest dialogue (or three) shouldn’t feel strained or forced in any way. If it does, then that may be a sign that you’re not quite ready to take things to the next level. If, however, the lines of communication have been solid, then chances are, that’s a green light to bring up deeper topics of conversation. This way if/when you become exclusive, you can move forward knowing you’ve set a solid foundation for the road ahead. So, before you start calling this person bae, be sure to talk about these four things.

 

1. Your Plans For The Immediate Future

If you’re thinking about incorporating the person you’ve been dating into your life in a more permanent way, you should definitely talk about your plans for the next year at some point. While it’s totally OK to become exclusive with someone you might not see yourself ending up with down the line, at the very least, they deserve to know if you are leaving town or planning a six-month trek through Asia anytime soon. Likewise, if there are any commitments that will require large amounts of your time and energy — like starting grad school or a high-pressure job — you should both know what you’re signing up for.

 

2. Any Ex Business That Could Come Back To Haunt You

I know that some people might disagree with this, but I personally think that honesty is the best policy when it comes to ex business (finished or unfinished) or pretty much anything that could come out later and bite you. If the person you’ve been seeing has been assuming that your friend or roommate is just a friend or roommate, when really, you either dated or banged them in the past, then that’s something you should consider mentioning.

While the conversation might be an awkward one, biting the bullet will at least give you full control over how to frame it. If the person you’re dating just ends up finding out about your relationship with the other person on their own, then chances are, you may have to do some damage control, especially if your bae feels like their trust has been breached.

 

3. Your Expectations In A Relationship

This topic is frequently overlooked for the sake of “playing it cool.” However, there is absolutely nothing wrong with having a talk about what elements of a relationship are most important to you. Because even though it’s easy to assume you and your bae value and are hoping for the same things from one another, this may, in fact, not be the case.

Differences in expectations are much easier to work through when you both actually know what the other person wants. Now, of course, it’s important to keep in mind that making demands is likely to come across as intimidating and may make many people shy away. But if you both bring your needs in a relationship up in a positive, chill, and open way, they can be a great roadmap for you and your new bae.

 

4. Family Baggage

In a perfect world, our family dynamics would have zero bearing on who we choose to date. And for some people who are able to maintain their full autonomy, they don’t. But either way, before you become exclusive with someone, the person you’re dating should have an honest overview of your family and how they fit into things. For example, if things between you and your fam are particularly tense or strained, this is could end up affecting your bae. And even if it doesn’t, knowing where someone comes from is an important part of getting to know them on a deeper level.

It’s always a good idea to keep in mind that, while this might seem like a lot to spring on someone in casual conversation, these aren’t things that need to be talked about in one sit-down. You can space these conversations out over time. Depending on the type of person you are, being open isn’t always easy, but anyone whom you want to call bae should have an accurate picture of who you are and vice versa.

 

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Dating and Relationship Advice – 11 Unexpected Signs That Your Partner Loves You More Than You Love Them

While it may sound horrible to say out loud, it’s actually pretty common to feel like your partner loves you more than you love them. (Or vice versa.) And it doesn’t necessarily mean something’s wrong with your relationship. There’s nothing wrong with one person loving the other just a little bit more. As long as you’re on the same path together as a couple and are exclusive, there will be times in the relationship where this will shift in one direction or the other. There may also be times when you’re the one who is head-over-heels, as well as times when you both feel like things have cooled off.

Through it all, the only thing you can do is acknowledge it, and then do whatever you can to prevent your relationship from becoming unbalanced in an unhealthy way. “Take time and see if your love grows, which might take a little work. Ask questions about their life, join in activities they like to do, ask about their family, and share the same about yourself. From there, if the relationship is meant to be, you should feel the love growing, and like things will be more balanced as a result. But if not, experts say you may notice some of the signs below — that your significant loves you way more than you love them.

They Apologize All The Time — Even When They Don’t Need To

11 Unexpected Signs That Your Partner Loves You More Than You Love Them

If your partner apologizes a lot, or when it’s not exactly necessary, it could be their way of showing the love by keeping the peace. Extending the olive branch in order to make peace in your relationship shows one person may love the other a bit more.

And same goes for a partner who stands up for you 100 percent of the time — even when you’re so wrong. “This shows an undying loyalty that one person may be more in love and willing to be a bit dishonest just to protect the other person in the relationship,” she says.

If this describes your partner, it could just be a sweet sign that they love you unendingly, and would do anything for you. But it could also be a slippery slope into codependence. And since that’s not a healthy dynamic, you may want to pump those relationship brakes, and have a chat before things escalate.

They Always Check With You Before Making Plans

11 Unexpected Signs That Your Partner Loves You More Than You Love Them

If your partner always checks in with you before solidifying their weekly plans, there’s a good chance they love you. Like, a lot. Checking in with you before making plans means that your partner is prioritizing the relationship. It also shows respect towards the other person and that their time and opinion is important.

But if you can’t return the favor, it may be time to reevaluate your feelings. While it’s always a good idea to schedule in alone time — and to do things separately, away from your partner — you shouldn’t prefer alone time to seeing your partner, or consistently want to put them on the back burner. If that seems to be your MO, it might mean you’re not as invested in this relationship as you should be.

They’re The One Who Makes All The Plans

11 Unexpected Signs That Your Partner Loves You More Than You Love Them

Think about who comes up with date night ideas, and who plans vacations. Is it your partner 100 percent of the time? If so, it’s a clear sign they love you, want to see you, and that they prioritize your relationship. And it may just be your dynamic; that they’re the planner, and you’re the one who goes along.

But it is important to flip the script, and surprise your partner from time to time. “Taking the initiative to respond within a respectful amount of time as well as planning a special day for your partner can help you contribute to the relationship,” And if you want to be in the relationship, then it’ll be totally worth it.

You’ve Met Their Parents, But They Haven’t Met Yours

11 Unexpected Signs That Your Partner Loves You More Than You Love Them

Another sign your partner might just be a little bit more invested? You have met your partner’s family and friends but you don’t feel the need to introduce them to yours. This says your partner thinks it’s important for you to meet the most important people in their life because you are important and they see a future with you. With you not reciprocating you take the chance of hurting your partner’s feelings and them questioning your loyalty.

So go ahead and ask yourself what might be holding you back. If you are not close with your family … take the time to explain your reasons for not introducing them. When you are ready to introduce friends and family members start slow, introduce friends first while moving up to introducing your family when you are ready.

They Remember Everything You Say

11 Unexpected Signs That Your Partner Loves You More Than You Love Them

If your partner is the one who remembers your anniversary and the date of your first kiss, they could just be a hopeless romantic (or someone with an iron clad memory). But it could also be that they’re more invested in this than you are.

Your partner remembers the things that you tell them but you don’t really recall the same about them. “Committed and invested partners tend to remember the little things and show that they care though gestures.

But remember, just because your partner “wins” in this category, it doesn’t mean all is lost. By possibly going to therapy, and doing a little soul-searching, you might be able to drum up the effort you need to stay in this relationship — and make it a healthy one.

They Pay Attention To Every Detail

11 Unexpected Signs That Your Partner Loves You More Than You Love Them

Even though you might both be doing kind things for each other, your partner likely goes above and beyond by really paying attention to the details. How you spend your time is a good indication of how much you care about someone or something. If your partner puts effort into the little things related to you (like random cute texts, asking about your day, remembering important dates, etc), but you can’t ever seem to do those things in return, they are more invested.

They Send Way Longer Texts Than You Do

11 Unexpected Signs That Your Partner Loves You More Than You Love Them

Speaking of texts, long detailed texts are generally a sign someone is head-over-heels. “If your partner sends lengthier messages … I can guess that they are more into you than you are them.

But, it could also be a sign of laziness on your part. If you aren’t much of a texter, or can’t be bothered to put effort into your phone, be sure to show your love in other ways. And, consider chatting with your partner about love languages. If they’re someone who needs words of affirmation in order to feel loved, then you may need to up your texting game.

Your Text Ratio As A Couple Is Super Skewed

11 Unexpected Signs That Your Partner Loves You More Than You Love Them

If your partner sends lengthy texts, that’s fine — as long as you also respond. So take a look at the ratio you’ve got goin’ on. “The text ratio will not be 50/50 if your partner loves you more. “The text ratio will be something like 70/30 meaning that your partner initiates 70 percent of the time while you only initiate 30 percent of the time.”

Again, sometimes one partner might just be a better texter than the other — meaning they want to talk more, or monitor their phone more than you do. But it can also be a sign you need to balance the love in your relationship. You can balance this out by putting in more effort. Think of things that your partner enjoys and text them about it. It will bring you closer as a couple if you can maintain balance in the relationship.

They Go Above And Beyond For You

11 Unexpected Signs That Your Partner Loves You More Than You Love Them

Think of all the times your partner has dropped everything in order to help you out. Like that time they woke up at 2 a.m. to pick you up from the airport. Or that time they drove out into the fields with a new tire when you had a flat. If you can’t seem to reciprocate — even in smaller ways — It could be a sign you aren’t that into them.

As mentioned above, it’s normal for a relationship to have its ups and downs. And it’s normal for one partner to be just a little bit more in love. But if you can’t seem to muster the strength to put effort in for your partner, it may be better for both of you if you move on.

They Motivate You Like A Life Coach Would

11 Unexpected Signs That Your Partner Loves You More Than You Love Them

If your partner is the one dishing out all the love in your relationship, you might notice that it seems like they never stop thinking about you. Maybe they know you’ve had a long day, so dinner is waiting at home, or they pick you up and take you out so that you don’t have to worry about cooking. Maybe they text you throughout the day to make sure you haven’t forgotten anything you wanted to get done. Perhaps they do some of your errands to make you forget about having a bad day.

This is super sweet, if you’re also making an effort. But if you’re not, it may be time to chat with your partner about ways to make your relationship more balanced and fair, so that you can both show the love.

They’re Kind of “Attached At The Hip”

11 Unexpected Signs That Your Partner Loves You More Than You Love Them

If your partner would rather be with you than see a friend pretty much 100 percent of the time, there’s a good chance they love you. But, as mentioned above, that isn’t always the healthiest.

So go ahead and set up some boundaries. Explain to your partner that you like to be independent and take time to be by yourself and hang out with friends.  It can be beneficial for you partner, and for you.

Most likely when they give you your space you will miss [them and] move towards a more even desire to spend time together. It’s important to pay attention to these areas and talk with your partner. And once the two of you discuss how to enact that balance in your relationship, you can both feel loved and cared for.

I think in many of the relationships I’ve been in I obviously loved my partner more than they loved me.

 

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Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day at 8am & 12pm EST.

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