During every relationship I’ve been in, I’ve evaluated my partner based on whether or not I could see them as a life partner. Until recently, I never stopped to ask myself: Do I want a life partner? It’s not for everyone, and if it is for me, I want to have one because I want one, not because that’s what I’ve been taught everyone should do.
Since there are no rules, you need to ask yourself what you really want, which may be different with each relationship. “Be upfront, honest, and truthful when meeting people so no one’s heart gets hurt or expectations crushed,” intimacy coach Allana Pratt tells Bustle. “Create a solid foundation of authenticity and allow yourself to ask for exactly what you desire: Do you want them to stay over? Do you want to engage in texting/emails/phone calls in between sexual adventures? Do you desire gifts or public displays of affection when out? Do you require you or them sleeping with only one person at a time or are you OK with many partners at one time?”
It’s a lot to think about, and it’s OK if you don’t know the answer. But to help you along the process of figuring it out, here are some signs that having a life partner just is not for you.