If you're just looking to be in a relationship, there are many things you'll likely excuse or compromise. For instance, if someone you're into cancels on you last minute, it's easy to let it go because it's still early on. A lot of dating advice out there says to keep your
expectations low when you're dating to avoid disappointment. That's fine if you're just looking to have fun and date around. But if you're looking for a soulmate, experts say there are some things you should expect from your partner early on.
"It is very important to
be clear on your standards and expectations, including what type of person you want for a relationship, their values in life, and their values for a relationship," Laura Richer, relationship expert and founder of the Richer Love program, tells Bustle. "It’s even more important to not accept anything less."
According to Richer, connecting with people who don't meet our expectations and choosing to pursue them anyway will typically lead to disappointment. It may also lead to an unhealthy and imbalanced relationship. That's not exactly the right mindset to have if you're ready for something long-term and serious.
But if you go into a relationship expecting the following things from your partner, experts say you're
ready for your soulmate. 1 To Be Present
In the early stages of dating, it's easy to excuse someone's lack of consistency and follow-through. But when you're ready for your soulmate, you'll recognize those behaviors for what it is, a lack of respect. According to Richer, you should expect someone to be present in the relationship with you even early on. "That means calling and showing up when they say they will and being physically and emotionally available for a relationship," she says. "Someone who is 'too busy' for you is not available, at least not to you."
2 To Share Your Values
If you value monogamy, family, and marriage, you should expect for your partner to be on the same page about those things. Being ready for your soulmate means you won't wait around for someone to change their mind. "If you accept less than your standards, you are selling yourself short and investing your energy in
a dead-end relationship," Richer says. "Look for someone who shares the same values as you and has a similar vision for [their] life so that you can build something together that is satisfying to both of you." 3 To Be Upfront With You About What They're Looking For
If you're ready for your soulmate, you're likely not looking for anything casual. "You’re looking for someone with shared values, who's also ready for a serious relationship," Julie Spira, founder of
Cyber-Dating Expert, tells Bustle. Luckily with online dating, some apps allow you to filter out matches based on what someone is looking for. Spira also suggests explicitly stating your intentions on your dating profile in order to weed out people who aren't looking for the same thing. Once you start dating someone, it's fair to ask them what they want. "If you find your partner being wishy-washy, there’s a good chance they won’t commit to you," Spira says. 4 To Be Over Their Ex
Early on in your relationship, you'll need to know if the person you’re dating is over their ex or not. "No one wants to be the transition person," Spira says. While she doesn't recommend talking about exes on the first date, it's good to know earlier on if your partner is still holding out hope for an ex to return. If they are, they may not be emotionally ready for something with you. If you're ready for a soulmate, you'll know that isn't the right relationship to invest in at this time.
5 To Respect Your Boundaries
"You should always demand a level of respect from your partner," Mackenzie Riel, relationship expert with
TooTimid, tells Bustle. "You should respect them, and they should respect you back." When you're ready to be in a serious relationship, you should know what healthy boundaries are. Anyone who crosses those boundaries in any way won't make the cut. 6 To Be Honest About How They're Feeling
Early on, you should expect for your partner to be transparent. As
Laura Dabney, M.D., psychotherapist and relationship expert, tells Bustle, this means they'll be able to share how they're really feeling even if it isn't what you want to hear. "I know it may sound odd, but if they can say no to you, or disagree with you in the beginning, you'll know that it's going to go far," Dr. Dabney says. "Having the expectation that you may not always agree, but that you will be able to handle being on different pages is definitely an important sign you are ready for something serious." 7 To Recognize Your Value
When you're ready for a soulmate, you won't settle for anyone who doesn't value you. A person who values you will keep their promises. They'll show up when they say they will, and will let you know if something feels off. "When you're really ready to settle down, you should expect that this person is going to really, truly love you," Riel says. "There shouldn't be a doubt in your mind that this person is seriously there for you."
It's important to remember that you have the power here. For instance, if someone doesn't share your values or they don't treat you with respect, you have the power to move on. That's what being ready for your soulmate really comes down to — you don't settle for less than you deserve because you know you're worth it.