5 Signs You're Ready To Commit

Commitment in relationships manifests itself in different ways for different people. For some lovebirds, it means marriage. For others, it doesn't guarantee wedding bells, but it does mean that they'll become monogamous, or "exclusive." Perhaps it's the first time you say, "I love you." Maybe it's when you decide to take your first vacation as a couple, or when you first talk about moving in together. For some couples, it's as simple as being willing to delete Tinder off their phones. There are countless ways to express your commitment to your partner, but there are some universal signs you're ready for commitment.First, you should think about why you're not ready to commit. Nobody should take on the responsibility of a committed partnership before they are ready, if they ever are. Likewise, you shouldn't take somebody for a ride, telling them you are invested in a serious, long term relationship when you're really not.

Are you excited at the prospect of having someone by your side during your most mundane activities, during your biggest milestones, and during your hardest times? Have you stopped viewing arguments as a reason to kick someone to the curb, and instead consider them a challenge you'll overcome?

Here are some of the signs that you're ready to commit:

1. When You Fight, You Don't Assume That You'll Break Up

Arguing is a normal and healthy part of every relationship. There are, of course, lots of unhealthy ways to argue, but when done efficiently and respectfully, it is a necessary step in growing together. When you first begin seeing someone, you understandably don't have a lot of patience for shortcomings and fights; you're not very invested in them and you're focused on your own life. You'll probably break up because you simply don't have the time or energy. If you get in an argument with the person you are dating, but (a) don't immediately consider breaking up and/or (b) feel a strong desire to work through the issue instead of just cutting the cord, that means this person has become an increasingly larger part of your life, and it is important to you that they remain a part of it.

2. You've Been Able To Discuss It Openly

If you don't feel comfortable bringing up topics like exclusivity, boundaries, etc. with the person that you are seeing, then you probably aren't ready to commit. You can't do anything without communicating intentions, and being unable to communicate freely is a sign that the two of you still have some growing to do together as potential partners. However, if you and this person have engaged in these types of honest, vulnerable discussions, then you may be ready to take the idea of commitment beyond conversation and into practice.

3. You Know Each Others Histories

You can't safely commit to someone before knowing the experiences and actions that have shaped them into who they are, nor can they safely commit to you if they don't know your story either. We all have neuroses and past issues that we are still learning to live with; it's best to find out if your complexities align and if you two can understand each other. Of course, you and your partner will continue to learn about each others histories throughout your whole lives together, but you should already have a good chunk of information before you head down that road.

4. You're Ready To Merge Your Lives Together

Once you've entered a committed relationship, you must be willing "to fully accept someone into your life and routines," writes James Michael Sama for Huffington Post. He said, "You become connected with their friends, families, hobbies, pets, living situations... and they become connected with yours." The way you live your life will change - how you spend your days, where you live, when you can travel, etc. You should never feel trapped or stifled in a relationship, but there is now another life intertwined with yours, and your partner has a right to opinions. If that's not what you want right now, that is A-OK and you shouldn't be tied down to anybody. If you've accomplished a lot on your own already and want to enter a new phase of your life with a partner by your side, you should make that leap and live '03 Bonnie & Clyde style.

5. You Want To Be With Them

This may seem obvious, but hear me out. You don't want to commit to someone just because you're afraid of being the only single person in your friend group. You don't want to alter your life in such a big way just because your family members keep talking about your "biological clock." What are you getting out of the relationship, really? Is it because you want a relationship, or because you feel pressured? Don't commit to someone until it's because you are a happier, better person when they are around. If the last part of that sentence describes how you feel about the person you've been hangin' with, then you should think about making things ~official~.

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