There's nothing better than finding that one person you could actually see yourself spending the rest of your life with. However, realizing that your partner has commitment issues can put a damper on things. It may even have you questioning whether or not the relationship can really work long-term. But can your someone still be "The One," even if your partner has commitment issues?
As marriage and family therapist, Erika Labuzan-Lopez, LMFT, LPC, tells Bustle, it's very possible. "It's important to know how willing the couple is to be 100 percent transparent and honest about their fears or reservations about why commitment may be a challenge," she says. "As long as partners can explore these emotions and thoughts together, the relationship can still succeed."
But if discussions around these issues never really go anywhere, are unproductive, or just never happen at all, Labuzan-Lopez says the relationship may not be worth it in the end. "Without opening up and being completely honest about where you are, how can your partner trust the process of staying in the relationship?"
If your partner is showing signs of being a commitment-phobe, there's no need to worry just yet. According to experts, here are signs that your partner may actually be "The One," even if they have commitment issues.
1. Your Core Values Are The Same
Having a good foundation of friendship and innate chemistry are pretty good signs you've found "The One." But when it comes to being with a partner who has commitment issues, there are other traits you should have to be able to tell whether or not it can eventually work out. As Labuzan-Lopez says, having similar beliefs and core values are essential.
"There are many things that partners can do differently from each other that actually help the relationship be interesting," she says. "But I've found that if partners share their core values that each person deems to be non-negotiable, then that person is a good match."
2. You Just "Get" Them
Everyone has their quirks, and if you can understand and jive with your partner's that's a good sign. If they've had issues committing in the past, but are willing to make sacrifices to commit to you, you may notice that they will need their independence in certain areas of life. If you guys can find a balance between spending time together, and time apart, they may be "The One."
"Regardless of how their insecure attachment manifests itself, you get their quirks and idiosyncrasies," Rhonda Milrad, LCSW, relationship therapist and Founder of online relationship community, Relationup tells Bustle. " If you are able to handle and love who they are and what they are able to give you, they may be 'The One.'"
3. You're Just Happy Being With Them
If you love your partner and are happy with them, there's nothing to really worry about — there's hope to figure out a compromise that will be comfortable for both of you. "If being together is the most important thing to you and you're willing to be flexible about what the commitment looks like, they might be 'The One,'" Milrad says.
4. You're Committed To Being Together Without Any Official Labels
Commitment can mean different things to different people. Your partner may not want to get engaged or married. But if they're 100 percent devoted to you and being with you, take that as a good sign. "Having these external labels becomes less important to you because you are secure in their attachment to you," Milrad says,
5. The Commitment Issue Is Their Only Issue
If your partner seems perfect for you in every way, minus the commitment issue, Samantha Daniels, Professional Matchmaker and President of Samantha’s Table Matchmaking, tells Bustle that you shouldn’t give up hope. "Sometimes, the old adage, 'good things come to those who wait' is true," she says. " Don’t give up on someone just because they are slower than you want them to be to commit."
6. You Can't Seem To Quit Each Other
If you choose to break it off, spend time trying to meet other people, but just can't seem to get them out of your mind, then they might be "The One" for you. "If this is the case, you need to figure out how to get them to feel more comfortable moving forward in the relationship and taking the next step," Daniels says. "They can’t stay a commitment-phobe forever."
7. They Never Brush Off The Fact That You Want A Commitment
They may not be ready for a commitment just yet, but "The One" will never ignore the fact that you want it. "If your partner is respecting what you are saying versus disregarding your wants or needs then they might be 'The One,'" Dr. Laura Louis, Licensed Psychologist, tells Bustle. As they get more comfortable with the idea of commitment, you might even see them taking those baby steps toward it.
Emily Holmes Hahn, Founder and CEO of LastFirst matchmaking believes that in most cases, commitment issues should slowly fade away once you find "The One." However, "your partner's ability to commit is not something you can control, so you need to be comfortable and ready to walk away from [them] at any time," she says. "So often people hang around in relationships expecting things to change or hoping for a grand gesture to 'lock things down,' while the other partner stays oblivious and happily non-committed."
Because of that, it's important to make your own long-term intentions known pretty early on. "It's best when you have ample time to gauge their reaction and see if it resonates with you before moving forward," Hahn says. She doesn't recommend waiting until you reach the point where you're throwing out ultimatums.
If you're choosing to wait for your partner to change their mind, Labuzan-Lopez says there's really no recommended set time frame. It really is up to you. If you can truly be happy and OK with the way things are, then there's really nothing to worry about.