If you've been seeing someone for a while, it can be hard to figure out if they want to be together for a long time, or if they're still deciding what they want. According to experts, a few subtle signs can show that
your partner is committed to being with you far into the future. A gesture as tiny as clearing out a shelf for you in their room or asking you to have brunch with them and their mom can say a lot about whether they're in it for the long haul.
Surprisingly, one sign that your relationship with your partner will last is that you both know your limits. "While it is good to have open communication with each other, setting private boundaries is also an essential part of the relationship,"
Celia Schweyer, a dating and relationship expert at DatingScout.com, tells Bustle. "If you and your partner exactly know when and where to stop in terms of private matters, that is an indicator that your relationship is going to last," she says. "This is simply because you respect each other’s individual lives, and as we all know, respect is one of the keys to achieving a long-lasting relationship."
Here are some signs that
your partner sees a future with you, according to experts.
They Put You On Their Social Media Accounts
"Posting on Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat is the modern day equivalent to yelling from the mountaintops,"
Michelle Fraley, MA, WPCC, a certified life coach, relationship expert, and professional matchmaker, tells Bustle. "If your partner is sharing a lot of photos or stories highlighting your relationship, that is a clear sign that they are happy, proud of your relationship, and not leaving their window open for other relationships, which are all things that are important in creating a lasting relationship." Of course, if your partner isn't someone who has social media or doesn't update it often, not posting photos of the two of you doesn't necessarily mean that they're not in it for the long haul. But if they do do this, it's a good sign.
They Try To Get To Know Your Family And Friends
If you're planning on having a serious, long-term relationship with the person you're dating, it's important that they fit well with the most important people in your life. "If your partner seems interested in authentically connecting with your family and friends," Fraley says, "that is a good sign that they are wanting the relationship to go the distance." It can be very intimidating for a partner to face the scrutiny of your family and closest friends, so the fact that they're willing to make an effort says a lot about how much they care about you.
They Talk About Your Future Plans
Planning a dinner date for the next weekend is one thing, but if your
partner is asking you to make serious commitments for months in the future, they probably aren't considering your relationship to be a short-term one. "If your partner is often talking about trips you will one day take together or what your children will look like," Fraley says, "there is a pretty good chance they see longevity with you." That being said, daydreaming about your future together is often part of the early romance days of many relationships. But if the conversations are more serious and concrete, your partner probably sees a long future with you.
They Suggest Adopting A Pet Together
"Often times, a couple's first 'child' is a pet," Fraley says. While not as big a committment as having a human child, adopting a pet together is a big step in your relationship. "If your partner suggests the local animal shelter for your next date," she says, "that may be a good indication that they see a long-term future for your relationship." Bringing a fur baby into your lives requires careful communication, working together to take care of them, and a significant time committment. So if your partner feels ready to embark on that journey with you, they're probably in it for the long haul.
They Offer You Space In Their Home
Early on in a relationship, you might leave a toothbrush or set of pajamas at your partner's place. But as things get more serious, they might begin to set aside even more room for you. "It can happen unconsciously when your partner suddenly gives you your 'own' space," Schewer says, "whether it is an untouched shelf, a desk where you put your stuff, or your own toiletries." When they are happy to see you merging your lives through your stuff, they probably could see living with you long-term. There's a reason that the first moment a partner gives you a key to their place is such an
important relationship milestone.
They Ask You To Meet Their Family
If you've been begging your partner to have dinner with their parents and they've been reluctant, that might not be a great sign for your relationship. But if they've brought up you meeting their family first, they probably see a future with you. "When you are included in the family picture, you know that the relationship is only going to get stronger and deeper," Schweyer says. "It won’t be the kind of relationship that can be easily ended. If they were the first to suggest that you go and meet the family," she says, "that’s a clear indication of how deep and serious the love your partner has for you had gotten already."
They Have Tough Conversations With You
It's pretty easy to have fun, lighthearted conversations with the person you're dating. But feeling safe enough to have the most difficult discussions can mean that your relationship is strong enough to last. "All relationships go through challenges — none are perfect,"
Jeannie Assimos, a relationship expert and chief of advice at online dating site eharmony, tells Bustle. "It’s easy to just walk away when the going gets tough," she says, "but a partner who is serious about making a relationship work and doesn’t shy away from the conversations that are necessary to do so surely sees something long-term."
"Communication is such a key to healthy, long-lasting relationships," Assimos says. "If your partner regularly calls you, even if there is nothing to talk about, and does other little things such as send good morning or good night texts, this means they care about what’s going on in your life and are in it for the long run." You definitely don't have to be texting all day long to have a long-lasting relationship, but if your partner is intentional about asking you what you're thinking about and how you're feeling, they probably want to be with you for a while to come.
If your partner has been begging you to adopt a kitten with them, or has asked to have your friends over to get to know them, chances are they're excited about your future together. And if it's full of kitten snuggles, it's sure to be a great one.