If, after a thorough evaluation of your dating partnership, you arrive at the conclusion that your partner is relationship material and that you are ready, willing, and able to make a commitment, then perhaps it is time to wander off of the dating track and step onto the road that leads toward a more committed relationship. As always, open and honest communication with your partner is a key element to keeping things happy and healthy between you.
Before making your move, please keep in mind that there is always a possibility of rejection. There are no sure things in the dating world so even though it is important to take risks and keep your hopes high, it is equally as important to brace yourself emotionally so that you are able to effectively deal with whatever comes your way.
Below you will find a simple, two-step plan for how to go about increasing the dating stakes, checking out the hand you have been dealt and determining your best course of action.
- STEP 1 - Lay down your cards: This is the scariest and also the most important step in making the transition from dating to relationship status. Let your partner know that you would like to discuss the possibility of taking your relationship to the next level by making a more serious commitment. Pay close attention to the way in which your partner responds to your approach, especially with regard to body language. If you detect any apparent discomfort, it may be that your timing is off or that your partner may have different ideas about the pace at which your interactions should progress. Ask your partner to be direct with you about how he/she is feeling so that you can both be aware of where you each stand on the issue and can make the appropriate decisions accordingly.
- STEP 2 Ė Decide whether to place a wager or fold: Depending on how the initial conversation with your partner goes, use what you know to help you decide whether or not the odds are in your favor. If the discussion went well and you genuinely feel that you and your partner are both interested in developing a more serious relationship, then place your bets by hanging up your dating shoes and trying on commitment for size. If, on the other hand, there is any sense of reluctance from your partner, it might be a good time to re-evaluate your position. Be sure not to hold anything in at this point. Let your partner know if you are having doubts about his/her sincerity and give him/her an opportunity to address those concerns but if they persist, donít be afraid to fold a losing hand before it ends up costing more than you bargained for.