1. They want to make sure they understand who they are outside of the relationship.
They feel that they cannot truly let go and fully give themselves to a relationship until they are absolutely certain of who they are as an individual, outside of being in a couple and being in love.
2. Nothing important in their life has ever happened in a rush.
When looking at each of their life experiences from far away, whether it was a job promotion or moving to a new city or changing career paths, everything often seems quick and instant and ‘overnight.’ But because they’ve learned to focus on the tiny pieces of everyday life, they’ve grown accustomed to noticing all the individual, minuscule, everyday moving parts that make up every single thing they’ve ever gone through. They look at love this way too – not as something they fall into instantly, but as a strong, beautiful force that grows more powerful over time.
3. It takes them a long time to open up.
Not because they’re afraid to be vulnerable, but because they want to open up whole-heartedly. They want to truly be known and to truly know the other person, and that takes a lot of time and a lot of work and a lot of intimidating conversations.
4. They always try to remember that love has a lot of different sides to it.
They know that love can be an incredible high – something otherworldly and beautiful and light-giving. But they never want to forget that love also takes effort, sacrifice, difficult choices, and patience.
5. They look at love as a long-term experience, not a whirlwind experience.
They’ve been through the whirlwind experience before, and even though it’s thrilling and exciting and all-consuming, it never lasts. They want the thing that lasts.
6. They tend to be overthinkers.
As hard as they try not to, they can get distracted by thinking of every possible ‘what if’ or every possible situation that could happen. They spend a lot of time analyzing and a lot of time reflecting, and sometimes this unintentionally slows them down.
7. They want to make sure it’s the real thing, and not just infatuation.
After experiencing it a few (or many) times, they’ve done a lot of work to understand the difference between being infatuated with someone and being in love with someone. And sometimes, because they’re putting so much thought into it, they move a little more cautiously than most when they’re falling in love.
8. They are cautious of the whole ‘in love with being in love’ idea.
They want to make sure that they never get caught up in the idea of how great love can be, and that instead they focus on the real, genuine, imperfect connection that they experience with the other person.
9. Steadiness is in their nature.
It’s very important to them to be in a relationship that is healthy and secure. They want to be a stable and dependable partner to their significant other, and to make sure that they are always walking the walk instead of just talking the talk.
10. They are okay with not being ‘casual.’
They never want a romantic interaction to be meaningless, and they don’t care about trying to seem cool and indifferent or about having the upper hand.
11. To them, the ‘passionate’ part of love comes easy, but they want to focus on the ‘sustainable’ aspect of love.
They are always making a conscious effort to be a good partner, even if – and especially when – it isn’t easy. Because they’ve learned that that’s the only way love can keep going.
12. They intentionally never want to move too fast.
They understand that everyone is different, but for them personally, they don’t enjoy random hookups or casual flings. They can’t separate their feelings from something that’s just supposed to be ‘fun,’ so they move a lot more slowly when they really like someone.
13. They want to be simply themselves.
No acts, no playing it cool, no projected outward image. Trying to practice this can be very difficult, very scary, and very time-consuming.
14. They want to cherish every moment.
The big moments are easy – first dates and first I love you’s and first trips together. But they also want to remember enough precious little memories – comfortable nights on the couch, silly inside jokes, aimless walks, late-night fast food escapades. They never want to ever forget the tiny little things that make up who they are with the other person.