Culture, Life, Relationships

How to Know When it’s Time to Move to the Next Stage in Your Relationship

There comes a certain point in our lives when we enter into a romantic relationship with our significant other. This relationship can be joyous, exciting, and scary at the same time. Although there can sometimes be an occasion where our relationship is undefinable when we first meet a new person and begin dating him or her, there are usually signs of letting us know when it is time for our relationship to move to the next stage.

Dating to Becoming the New Boyfriend or Girlfriend

When you meet that special someone that you cannot stop thinking about who has completely changed your life, you can begin to wonder if this new person will become your next boyfriend or girlfriend. Typically, there is a period of dating where the relationship is undefined. When you first meet someone, you do not want to first begin by asking the definition of this relationship. However, it is important to voice your expectations that you are eventually looking for a relationship and then to let the relationship take its natural course.

The courting or dating stage can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months. Usually, within this time frame, you can begin to tell whether someone is serious about you. If you are being introduced to this person’s family and/or friends, going with your special person to events or hobbies that he or she enjoys, and communicating several times per week, the chances are good that the relationship is evolving into something more. If you are introduced as his “girlfriend” to his friends, then you know that he is serious about you. Or he may simply ask you at some point if you would like to be his girlfriend.


The next stage is not as easy to comprehend. There can be years of being a serious couple before you are aware that becoming a fiancé is fast approaching. Although this usually comes with a proposal and an engagement ring, some signs can tell you whether your significant other is thinking about proposing to you.

If you have been talking more about your future involving career plans, children, places you would like to live, what you would like to accomplish in the next few years, your mate is probably thinking more long-term about his life and having you in it with him. The changes that come with becoming a fiancé are more visible if you are ring shopping together, discussing a wedding, and even talking about moving in together.

Your relationship should be in a safe place during this time. A proposal within a troubled relationship will not hide the issues you are having. While no relationship is perfect and they all require effort, you should be happy and relaxed with your mate. He or she should be the first person you want to greet in the morning and the last person you would like to see at night. Your mate should be your best friend and help to bring out the best in you. You both should be able to challenge each other to become better people. Most importantly, you should not be able to imagine your life without him or her in it.

Husband or Wife

This stage occurs after a couple has usually become engaged and either had a wedding, eloped, or gone to the justice of the peace for a legal marriage. There is usually lots of planning involved before this stage throughout the fiancé stage. This includes preparation for the wedding, honeymoon, and life together after marriage.

Engagements can last several months to several years. After the legal binding agreement of marriage, a couple becomes married to one another. However, establishing life as a couple can become new and challenging. What once seemed charming about your mate now is annoying to you since you are spending your lives together. It is important to maintain proper communication to ensure that your marriage begins and continues to remain healthy. Continue to spend time together, to have fun, and to remember what made you fall in love with you mate in the first place. If you began premarital counseling during the fiancé stage, perhaps marital counseling can help to keep you on track. Maintaining your marriage is as important as maintaining your health, your career, your relationships with your family and children, and with God. You must continue to make your mate a priority to ensure that this stage is the one that lasts forever.

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