Choose Your Relationship Type
Whether you're already dating or just moving into it, knowing what type of relationship you want can help you find the perfect partner. Having some knowledge of where you are at and what you want will help you be open and honest with the people you meet, so you don't mislead anyone or find yourself feeling misled.
While it's not always possible to demand an answer from a new person you may have just met, you should be able to determine fairly quickly whether their agenda is similar to yours.
Knowing ahead of time what your own agenda for your future is can save you both a lot of time and potential heartache.
How Serious Are You?
The most important question to ask yourself is about the level of commitment and relationship you're looking for. Do you want to be married this time next year, preferably with a baby on the way? Are you wanting to spend time with someone and have some fun, without any pretense of a lasting commitment?
Or do you want to meet someone, develop a friendship and take it from there, getting serious if that's how it works out but not necessarily looking for that outcome ahead of time?
Knowing the answer to this question is important, because your perfect partner will be someone looking for something the same or similar to you. If you are looking for a serious relationship to develop quickly, you're not going to find that with someone who wants to have fun and take it slow. Thus, knowing what type of relationship you want will help you figure out who is potential partner material and who is not.
Determining Your Seriousness
If you're not sure about the answer to this question, it will help you to look at what you've done in the past. Even if you think you just want to have fun, if you have past experiences of jumping quickly into deep romantic relationships fun may not be what you really want.
Your past won't always tell you the truth about what you want, though. For instance, you may truly want to have fun but have some draw to partners who want more than that. Once you're in the relationship, their intensity might feel like pressure and you find yourself caving in to a relationship that isn't at all what you're actually looking for.
Thus, it's important to spend some time examining your thoughts and feelings about dating and relationships as well as your past actions. What you really want could be one, the other, or a combination of both. Take all the time you need to process these things, because you will have a much better chance of finding your perfect partner after you've thought them through.
When you find out what you're looking for, you will know that it's right for you because of how it fits with your personality and your current lifestyle. It may resonate deeply with you on an emotional level, too, though it's important to note that your emotions may not be a great indicator of what you really want. If you've been hurt many times or have just experienced something difficult, you may want to go with your head instead of your heart in determining the type of relationship you want.