THE BLOG
10/31/2016 02:57 pm ET Updated Nov 01, 2017

Ready To Commit? 3 Things To Consider Before Becoming Exclusive

We've all experienced that moment where we think we are ready to date someone exclusively or perhaps even call them our boyfriend/girlfriend. Maybe you two have recently been on a series of great dates and it feels like you have an undeniable connection.

I hate to burst your "in the moment" bubble, but it's natural to feel strongly about someone you enjoy spending time with, especially if you've recently started dating them (honeymoon phase, anyone?). That's why it's important to recognize certain traits before deciding to commit to someone and pursue a lasting realtionship.

Here are 3 things (in no particular order) that you should be aware of before deciding to settle down:

#1. A Strong Mental Connection

Over the years of meeting many people and living in various cities, I've realized just how easy it is to get along with different groups of individuals. Living in San Francisco has especially allowed me expand my social network, teaching me how to network and get along with almost anyone during a short period of time.

However, finding a lasting connection with someone is rare, especially as we get older. At 29 years old, I've had people come and go in my life, yet those who have stuck around over the years are the ones I love and care for the most.

Just like your very best, life-long friends, you want to choose a partner who you can trust, talk to and be yourself around. Simply put, a strong mental connection is necessary in order for a relationship to last.

Getting to really know a person, however, does take time. Sure, it's great if you are able to get along and be yourself after the first few dates. The next step is for you to continue to spend time with that person to see if the mental connection flourishes. Only then you will know if you should commit or not.

#2. A Kind Heart

It's so important that I surround myself with kind, good-hearted people. Fortunately, I'm able to recognize a man who will treat me the way I want to be treated, simply out of the kindness of his heart.

Before committing to someone, be sure to notice the small gestures. Does this individual go out of their way to accommodate you simply because they truly care? For instance, if you've had a bad day, does your partner try their best to make you feel better?

Paying attention to little acts of kindness will help you better understand if your partner really cares about you. A kind heart goes a long way when you are in a committed relationship.

#3. A Physical Connection

Some people don't like to admit it, but having a good physical connection with your partner is also very important if you are thinking of taking things to the next level. Being able to express yourself sexually is only natural. In order to make a relationship last, physical chemistry should be present.

Unfortunately, if you feel like you have a great mental connection with someone, but don't enjoy kissing that person, then it's not a good idea to fully commit. Or, if you are very attracted to your partner, but can't talk to them, then that's another red flag you should be aware of.

Of course, some people might place more emphasis on a mental connection versus a physical connection, which is fine. If you want to maintain a lasting relationship, however, it's best to have both elements present.

Less is More

Many other traits can be added to this brief list. However, having a strong mental connection, a good physical connection and being with someone who has a kind heart are three main priorities to consider before you decide to fully commit to someone. It's been my experience that a long-term relationship can flourish if all of these elements are present.