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Neizvestnaya's avatar

Do you have a mental formula for the timing of what determines a serious relationship?

Asked by Neizvestnaya (22642points) July 26th, 2010

Co workers were sharing stories of “the ones that got away” and a common theme was miscommunication where one partner seemed to have waited too long to declare their future intent- wanting to get married someday to that person or wanting to get married to some future “one” or not believing in marriage at all and the other person broke up, broke their heart and went on to get that serious commitment elsewhere.

What’s your formula or time frame for declaring your seriousness and future intent?

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15 Answers

tranquilsea's avatar

Within the first month to six weeks I know if someone is a keeper or not. Something I learned about myself through my dating years is that I am a person who likes to settle down. Once I’ve made my mind up about someone I declare it so (I only did that once and it was to my husband).

JLeslie's avatar

Sometimes the serious commitment elsewhere is just an indicator that the person just did not want a long term commitment with you. Not you you, third person you. But, I agree miscommunication can lead to a lot of snafus.

For me within 6 weeks have been able to decide whether a relationship is a keeper, not to be confused with actually gettin engaged or married. I would say at least a year is a good idea before getting engaged or moving in together, but it is not a hard fast rule for me.

perspicacious's avatar

No formula. It happens when it happens and for me it’s never been fast.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

I never had a formula.They just kind of “happened”.

Cruiser's avatar

No “formula” needed. Just clear away enough personal baggage to allow another person into your life with little to no mind games to get in the way of the seriousness.

CMaz's avatar

First 30 days, will know if it is worth going further. Re evaluate in 6 months and one year. Sort of a feeling thing.

Excess baggage.
No job.
Poor dental hygiene.
And, if you don’t understand the art of communication. Basically, STOP TALKING! And take some time to listen to me.

You will be home by 9pm. Never to be contacted again.

Austinlad's avatar

I don’t have a formula, but after many years of relationships both good and bad—and now being at an age when I understand myself better than in the past—I know to look for certain elements.

Scooby's avatar

There are no formulas, just take one day at a time, you’ll either live happily ever after or fall flat on your face, whether you can pick yourself up again is another matter, there are lots of formulas for this, example, just like riding a bike, once you fall off you either get back on or you don’t! simple……. ;-)

le_inferno's avatar

I don’t think there’s a formula, it’s about communication. I wasn’t sure whether or not my boyfriend and I were serious until we discussed it.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

@Paxan- so you’d wait a full 2yrs to discuss whether or not you believe in marriage and it would take you 2yrs to figure out if your partner was that person?

@JLeslie- that’s pretty much how I do it and it’s worked well to let people know straight up what I’m about and in a reasonable amount of time if I’m about that with them.

Here’s my thought when a co worker said he couldn’t figure out why his girl of 2yrs wouldn’t move out of state with him. I asked him if they’d ever discussed whether or not either of them were marriage minded people, both were. I asked after 1yr together if he’d given her any idea he wanted to be with her long term and he said no so it it seemed natural (to me anyway) that a marriage minded girl dating a marriage minded guy would expect after a year together to know if she was his right girl for marriage or just comfortable and convenient company. They stayed together another year (2 total) in which I figured she was waiting for a proposal and since he didn’t make one then she probably took the situation to mean he didn’t think she was the right girl for him and she went to find a better match. The guy said he didn’t know how she didn’t see how much he loved her- blah blah blah. To me though, it was very clear. Is this just a difference between men and women or what?

Neizvestnaya's avatar

How long had you guys been together when you discussed if either of you believed in marriage for your futures? Not necessarily discussing marriage between you both. That kind of thing.

le_inferno's avatar

@Neizvestnaya Oh, I didn’t realize that by “serious,” you meant “marriage.” My boyfriend and I are 20 and 19, respectively, so marriage is not even up for discussion. But when it came time to decide whether we were just casually together or in a serious relationship, we had to have a conversation about it. We opted for the relationship. By that point, I had known him for about 3 and a half months; we were romantic for roughly 2 of those months.

But he knows I plan to get married one day. I’ve spoken hypothetically a couple of times about a husband. He hasn’t overtly talked about married life, but he certainly is unopposed to commitment. I don’t see how anyone who supports commitment could abhor marriage. Just doesn’t make sense to me. He talks about us still being together when I study abroad in Italy (Spring 2012), so clearly he’s in this for the long haul :) (I’m not sure how much I mirror that certainty, but we’ll see).

JLeslie's avatar

@Neizvestnaya I agree that she was probably waiting for the proposal in your example, but also agree that age matters as @le_inferno said. I also define serious relationship and getting married as two different things. Marriage would always be serious, but a serious relationship would not necessarily mean marriage, if you know hwat I mean. Generally I think men won’t ask unless they know the answer is going to be yes. If the girl wants to be asked I think she should make it clear that she wants to get married, and is not going to date forever. Not quite so blunt obviously, but somehow get the message across.

mattbrowne's avatar

A serious relationship makes sense when you are ready to handle the imperfections of your partner.

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