There are so many decisions to make when you’re dating: saying yes or no to a second date, reaching out to someone again, deciding if you’re interested in them enough, choosing whether to date casually or seriously, and so on and so on. It can be A LOT.
But we’re here today to help you answer at least one important question: How do you know if you’re ready to settle down? We’ve distilled all of those thoughts and feelings swirling around in your head down to 7 signs and things to consider. This way, you can know whether you’re ready to embark on the journey of finding that special someone to be your long-time partner.
So, are you ready to settle down? Take this quiz to find out, and read more below about each sign.
Your list of qualities for a partner has changed
Remember the days when you just wanted someone fun, adventurous, and down for a good time? Well, it’s okay if you still do. But maybe those features were the only items on your list of things to look for in a potential partner. As the years go by, perhaps you’ve tweaked or expanded your list of qualities to include things like reliable, responsible, loves their family, financially independent, and so on.
You might be ready to settle down with someone if you’ve noticed that the things you look for in people you date include more qualities that lend themselves to a stable, long-term partnership. That’s not to say that being fun and adventurous isn’t everything—because these qualities can help keep a relationship surprising! But they’re not the only assets needed in a longtime mate.
You want someone to share life’s moments with
What does it mean to settle down? In addition to being open to meeting people who wouldn’t necessarily fit your “list,” it can also mean wanting someone to partner with through the journey of life.
Whether you’ve been dating casually for a while or it’s been a minute since you’ve had a relationship, you might be yearning for someone to share the highs and lows of daily life. Companionship is a natural human desire. It can give you a sense of safety and comfort to know that someone else cares about you and will be there to carry your burdens and celebrate life’s accomplishments. Desiring romantic companionship can also be a sign that you want to settle down with someone who fits into your life.
But before you choose your partner, are you happy on your own? It’s important to be confident in and happy with yourself before asking someone else to make you happy.
You’re tired of casual dating
You’re probably ready to commit to a serious relationship if casual dating has become unfulfilling or exhausting. Dating casually brings with it many benefits, like being able to meet various types of people and allowing you to carry on with your life without trying to fit someone else into it. But it can also lead to dating fatigue and unfulfillment. If you find yourself wanting a deeper and more meaningful relationship, in terms of commitment, reliability, and intentionality, that could be a sign to leave casual dating behind and search for a partner who fills those gaps.
You know your priorities in a long-term relationship
Are you ready to start having kids and want a partner by your side to do so? Great! Or do you want a long-term, loving relationship without future children? That’s wonderful, too.
There are so many different types of families, and all of them are beautiful! Knowing your priorities in a long-term partnership, and looking for them in another person, are a sign that you’re ready to settle down with someone who shares those values. Priorities could also include embarking on a new journey in a new country, moving closer to family, and so on.
You’re more willing to compromise
When you’re curious what the “settle down” meaning is, look no further than your deal breakers. Now, we don’t mean that you’re willing to settle for someone that doesn’t meet your priorities, like respecting you, sharing your religion or political views, or wanting to have kids someday. But perhaps you’ve taken a closer look at your deal breakers to see which ones are non-negotiable and which ones you can compromise on.
For example, maybe you haven’t gone on second dates with people who don’t like dogs (and you’re a dog lover) or who can’t leave their job in New York (and you live in Boston). Being ready to settle down means being willing to take stock of what matters to you most and what things aren’t of utmost importance. Perhaps you’re ok with getting a cat instead or moving to New York to be closer to your partner.
Deal breakers vary from person to person—just make sure that you’re not settling on your priorities. Here are some questions to ask your girlfriend or boyfriend when things start getting serious.
You’ve met someone that fits you to a tee
You know how people say that they knew they were ready to commit to a serious relationship when they met the person that complemented them in all the right ways? A sign of chemistry is meeting someone who just has that undefinable “something” that draws you to them.
Some people describe it as a spark, but it can even start as a small flame that brightens into two lives patchworked together. If you’ve met someone you want to spend your life with, you’re probably ready to settle down.
You’re financially independent
In the modern dating era, people are settling down later in life than they were in earlier generations. There are many explanations for this trend, but one of them could be the desire for financial stability and independence. Taking care of yourself and being independent from your parents or other helpers in your life can be rewarding and truly freeing. And sometimes this could be a goal that you have before settling down.
So, you have the reliable job, the stable housing, and generally have things under control? You might be ready to settle down with someone.
Keep in mind that these signs alone might not be enough to help you know if you’re ready to settle down. But you can use these as guideposts as you navigate the different stages in your life and the various people that you meet. Your gut can guide you (with a little help from your friends at Tawkify).