“Commitment”—the very word means dedication, devotion, loyalty. Obviously, making a commitment is meant to be a big deal, not something to be taken lightly. This is even more true when it involves commitment to another person because you’re no longer the only one who has to be taken into consideration. As a result, making a commitment to a guy—whether it’s officially becoming boyfriend and girlfriend or getting married—is something that needs to be given some serious thought ahead of time. If you’re considering committing yourself to your guy, consider asking yourself these questions first.
1. Do my family and friends like him?
While the approval of your family and friends is less important than your own happiness when it comes to who you are dating, here’s why you still need to ask this question: maybe they have valid reasons for disliking him. Sometimes, we are so in love that we can be blind to the red flags a guy is giving off. If your friends or family don’t approve of your man, why is that? Do they see some negative trait in him that you’ve been trying to overlook, that perhaps you shouldn’t be letting slide? Do they feel like he doesn’t respect you and your goals and opinions as much as he should, and you’re willing to forgive his treatment of you because you’re still in your honeymoon phase and ruled by attraction and the newness of it all?
2. Do I like his family and friends?
Your feelings about his family and friends are just important as your family and friends’ are about him. After all, if you’re making a commitment to him, you’re going to be seeing a lot of his family and friends in the future. If you absolutely cannot get along with his mom and dad, how are you going to deal with it if they become your in-laws someday? And regarding his friends, you should remember that a person’s friends are a reflection of themselves. The people he chooses to have around him as friends are the ones who see him without the rose-colored lens of love—what draws them to him?
3. Can I be my real self around him?
Sometimes, when we want to impress a guy, we tend to try out new things and sometimes this even goes so far as to apply to trying on new personality traits. This is not a healthy way to start a relationship. When you make a commitment to someone, it’s presumed that you plan to be with him for a long time to come, and you don’t want to be stuck living a lie indefinitely. Before you commit yourself to your guy, ask yourself if you’re truly comfortable and real around him.
4. If he never changes, am I okay with that?
It’s futile to expect a person to change, believe me—I’ve been there. While people do change, you can’t make them change; the only people who can do that is themselves. So, don’t look at him thinking “once we’re official (or, once we’re married), I can work on that.” Focus only on who he is now; if he never changes, can you live with that? Even if you still hold onto hope that his annoying habits will dissipate, will you be able to stick with him if they don’t? You’re not making a commitment to his potential, you’re making a commitment to the man he is right now.
5. Does he meet my physical, emotional, and sexual needs?
When you’re in a relationship with someone, you are expected to support each other in all ways—physically, emotionally, and sexually. Does he meet your needs in all of these aspects? If he doesn’t satisfy you in all three areas, that spells trouble for the future. You may end up resenting him and searching for someone else to fill in for the things he doesn’t do for you. That doesn’t sound very committed, does it? This is your life, after all—don’t settle for a relationship that leaves you feeling incomplete in these regards.
6. Are we good at communicating with each other?
Good communication is absolutely essential in any relationship. Remember, ladies, no one can read minds, so you need to express what you’re thinking and feeling to him. If you can’t even communicate well with each other about day-to-day issues, how can you expect to be able to solve bigger issues when—not if, but when, because it will happen no matter how perfect you guys seem for each other—they come up in the future? Before committing to him, give some thought to how well you and him are able to talk and solve problems and whether it’s something you need to work on before taking your relationship to the next level.
7. Does he respect my beliefs, views and morals?
Respect is a fundamental aspect of any long-lasting connection. But not only does he have to respect you as a person, he has to be able to respect your beliefs, views, and morals as well. For example, if he’s an atheist and you’re a Catholic, that is perfectly fine! Couples of different religions have happy marriages all the time—as long as they respect each other’s beliefs. If either of you are constantly pressuring each other to convert, or change views on other issues such as politics, sexual morals, or anything else, it’s going to wear the relationship down. You need to respect each other’s rights to have opposing views—and if he doesn’t, he’s not a keeper.
8. Does he treat me well?
In a relationship, we often tend to overlook the bad moments in favor of the pleasurable ones. Well, take a moment to do just the opposite. How does he generally treat you? If he makes you feel bad about yourself a lot, swears at you and insults you, or even gets physically violent with you—that is not okay. It doesn’t matter if he tries to make it up to you with sweet words and presents after, that does not make it acceptable. Before you make a commitment to someone, make sure he’s worth committing to.
9. Do we have similar goals for the future?
What are your goals for the future? Do you want kids, do you want to travel, do you want to move abroad? What are your man’s goals? If you’re considering making a commitment to him, it’s time to sit down and have a talk about this. If you’re going to be planning your futures together, those futures kinda need to be compatible, don’t they? Talk to your guy, learn what he wants in the future and make sure that his desires at least compliment, if not match, your own.
10. Can I see myself growing old with him?
This seems like such a basic question, but have you really given it some thought? When contemplating entering a commitment with someone, it’s important to think about it. Can you see yourself marrying him, growing old with him, and living out your lives together? If you’re not in it for the long-haul, why bother? Don’t make a commitment if you’re only in this relationship for the now and are already predicting that it will end sooner than later, there’s no point. Commit yourself to the guy who you can see yourself sitting next to when you’re old, wrinkled and grey, still holding hands.
If you find that you’re able to answer “yes” to all of these questions, then congratulations! It sounds like you’ve found a keeper. Now to work on making sure he doesn’t end up being the one who got away.