When you love someone, you have to make sure you’re on the same page about the future. You have to make sure your visions line up. You have to make sure you share the same goals.
You might be madly in love with each other, but if you want completely different things than they want five years from now, then you don’t belong together in the long run. No matter how much you love them, you don’t want to give up your dreams for them. You don’t want them to resent you for changing their mind about their dreams either.
However, if you’ve already agreed you’re on the same page, if you’ve decided to keep your commitment to each other, then you need to navigate the future together. You need to make decisions as a team. You need to talk through your options to make sure each step you take together is a step forward.
Even though you’re still two separate individuals, the moment you make a commitment is the moment when you have to start thinking like a duo.
You shouldn’t make spur of the moment decisions without their input. You shouldn’t quit your job on a whim or agree to fly across the country to visit a friend for a month without discussing it with your person ahead of time.
No, the person you’re dating doesn’t control you. No, you technically don’t need their permission before you make a big decision. But you should respect them enough to get their opinion anyway. After all, their home is your home. Your future is their future. You’re in this together.
Once you make a serious commitment to someone, every single one of your actions impact them. If you make a risky, self-destructive choice, you’re not the only one who will have to deal with the consequences. Your person is on your side. They’re going to be weathering the storm alongside you when shit hits the fan.
You have to be mindful of your partner’s thoughts, feelings, and opinions — but in the end, you should always do what you think is best. You should go with your own gut. But at least be respectful enough of your partner to talk through the big things with them, like whether you’ll take a new job across the country or invite your parents to live in your spare room for six months.
No matter how serious your relationship has become, you should never forget who you are. You should never lose your sense of independence. Just because you’re in a committed relationship, it doesn’t mean you have to agree on every single decision. But you should at least talk through your decisions. You should at least navigate your futures together.
After all, if you’re with the right person, they’re going to encourage you to do what you think is best. They’re going to have faith in your decision making. They’re going to trust you to do the right thing.
When you love someone, you figure out the future together. You work as a team. You communicate.