Cautiously Committed

Some people would rather be single while they’re waiting for their Ryan Reynolds. I’m not one of them, and most of the time I think that’s a good thing. Nobody’s perfect and you need time and experience to start to love each other. But since my taste in men runs to the hopeless romantic type, I’ve learned some valuable lessons about listening to my heart. 

First, the stress test. A few months ago, I was feeling pretty grim: too many deadlines, too many bills, too many emails. My not-boyfriend invited me out for a meal and a movie – the perfect destress hump day treat. Walking towards him that night, I spotted him in the crowd and realised something sad: I felt no better. No excitement, no relief – just the same worry and anxiety that I had felt all day. That’s when I knew it wasn’t going to work with him. Your partner should feel like a refuge.

Next up: friends. Do you want your significant other to spend time with your friends? Do you secretly like it when they partner up to tease you and swap embarrassing stories starring you? If not, you might want to think about why not. You should feel proud and open about your partner, and if you don’t feel comfortable with them knowing your friends, they probably aren’t relationship material.

Do you want their babies? Okay, I’m not being fully serious, but I once was dumped because he “wasn’t sure if he wanted to marry me.” We’d been dating a month, so this seemed ridiculous. But once I’d finished feeling bad about it, I started to see what he meant. You have to be able to at least imagine long term goals with someone that you are seeing, and if you don’t think of them past the next weekend, they aren’t right.

So, before you say “yes” to a relationship, check if you’re settling. Even cynics need to have their heart strings tugged, so throw out the pros and cons list and let your feelings guide you. Feelings don’t have to make sense, they just have to be there.

Eva Gabriel


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