Taking your relationship to the next level is a big step. It's more than just getting down on one knee and making a grand gesture. The real challenge is what comes next so you need to make sure you're 100% ready for it.
And, to figure out where you stand, you need to ask yourself a lot of questions, even some uncomfortable ones. It's only after a good round of contemplation that you can be ready to make the right call. So, here are a few questions that might help.
1. Why do you want to take it to the next level?
One way to make up your mind is by figuring out the reason for you to do this. Is it because you're bored of how things are? Or, because you're content with your partner and feel that it's time to take it ahead? You might be in a better position to make a call once you figure this out.
2. Do you and your partner want the same things in life?
Before you even think of the next level, see if you and your partner want the same things in life. For instance, what if you want to settle down in the countryside and they want to live in the hustle and bustle of city life? Is there any common ground that you both share? And, in case you don't, are you or your partner willing to adjust? Because if you don't resolve these questions now, you might find yourself in a pickle later on.
3. Do you and your partner work to keep the spark alive?
Nobody gets butterflies in their stomach all the time. Sooner or later, the spark goes away as you get comfortable with your partner. But that doesn't mean you can't get it back. When you work on it, both the spark and your relationship grows. So, check if you and your partner are willing to work on the spark because that might just make all the difference.
4. Can you be honest with your partner without fearing confrontation?
Before anything else, you need to sit down and think about whether you are comfortable having a tough conversation with your partner. If you shy away from confronting your partner when it comes to any disagreement, you might want to work on this first and then think of taking it to the next level.
5. When things get tough and uncomfortable with your partner, how do you cope?
It's very natural for couples to fight but what's important is how you resolve it because the kind of conflict resolution can define the course of your relationship. If you or your partner like to escape from talking about it, then it might turn into a bigger issue than it initially was. So, when thinking about heading towards the next step, make a mental note of how you solve your issues with them and see if you and your partner are willing to change it for the better.
6. Do you get along with your partner’s friends and family?
Do you experience any animosity from their end? Or, are they accepting of you? Moreover, you also need to see if you feel comfortable around them. Getting along with your partner's friends and family is an important milestone for both of you and also because in case the relationship turns serious, you will be around them more than before.
7. Are you clear about your expectations from your partner, what they want and where this relationship is going?
Get a fair idea of what you are looking for in a partner and whether your current partner will be able to provide you with it. Moreover, also make a note of your partner's expectations from you and see if you can fulfill them. If not, then you know where you stand and need to reprioritize.
8. Do you trust your partner?
A relationship, be it of any kind, is built on mutual respect and trust. If you or your partner lack trust then it's a major deal-breaker. It's impossible to think ahead when something as basic as trust is lacking.
9. Are you ready for the changes that follow?
Things are bound to change when the relationship escalates to the next step. And when they do, will you be accepting of them? Will you be able to adjust to the changes and work on them too?
10. Other than sex, are you emotionally intimate with your partner and content with it?
Sex is very important but emotional intimacy also makes a big part of a healthy relationship. It'd be smart to figure out if you are emotionally connected with your partner and actually happy with the intimacy you share. If you are not content with it now, chances are you still won't when things progress in the relationship.
It's important to take some time to reflect on things but it's also very important to note that it's you and only you who can make the right call about this. These questions help you to some extent but you know yourself and your partner the best.