I was up against a deadline, so my relationships were on the fast track. Say we’ve been on a few great dates. In the first month or so of our relationship, I’m probably dating other guys. Once we’ve been out for a month, and I’ve decided that we’re on the same page about what we want in life and we seem to like in each other, I’ll cut most of my other dating options off and concentrate on you and you alone.
In that month of exclusivity, while not necessarily exclusive, I sit back and observe. A decision of whether or not I should take you seriously is made in this pivotal time frame.
If you’re older and you don’t have time to waste (clock is ticking) I suggest implementing a similar 8-week timeline where you look to answer the following:
1. Integrity: Does he do what he says, and says what he does? Does he show up? Is he flaky? Do you have to wonder if he’ll come through? Do you trust his word? When he does mess up, does he own it and then fix it? Does he have integrity? Because almost doesn’t count.
2. Time: Time is important to me. It’s one of the main ways I receive love. I used to make excuses for my own time when I was working in the music business and even early on in my LLTBD journey, but I’ve come to learn that if you really like someone, there’s no distance or circumstance that will keep you from seeing each other. A man will fly/drive for hours, not sleep, and starve himself to see you, if he truly wants to. So, is this man making time for your relationship to grow?
3. Balance: Is he well balanced in his character, personality and life? Some people are really intense, and others really carefree. Can he be both? Can you laugh together, and talk about serious subjects. Does he have hobbies and friends outside of your relationship? Is he well rounded? Is he mentally stable?
4. Authenticity: Is he honest about who he is? Is he comfortable in his own skin? Is he able to open up and share himself with you?
5. Commitment: How does he handle other commitments in his life; be it past relationships, his career and family? Who is he committed to being, and what does he want in the future? Does that align with your commitments?
In most of these 8-week relationships, I spent the first four weeks convincing myself to give the guy a chance, and the second half convincing myself why I should leave. When someone did finally line up with my needs for these 5 factors, it was easy to commit.