Knowing how to take a relationship to the next level isn’t always easy. What should you say? When’s the right time? Is there ever a right time? How do you avoid getting hurt?
Thankfully, with a few tips and tricks in mind, moving a relationship to the next level doesn’t have to be such a daunting prospect. Below, we’ve covered this topic in detail, diving into what taking a relationship to the next level means, when this is typically done, and some top tips to follow!
What Does It Mean to Take a Relationship to the Next Level?
Generally, taking a relationship to “the next level” is when two people move from casually dating to being in an exclusive relationship. Essentially, taking things to the next level generally implies that you’re no longer dating other people.
When learning how to take your relationship to the next level, it’s important to remember that unless you have explicitly sat down and had a conversation about it, you’re probably not exclusive yet. Too many people assume exclusivity and get hurt when they find out the person they’re seeing is still dating other people.
How Long Should You Date Before Taking It to the Next Level?
Every couple is different. But, you’ll probably want to have been on around 5-10 dates with this person over a few months. It can be tempting to rush the process, especially when there’s a ton of chemistry between you. But, moving too soon doesn’t give you the time and space to figure out if this is a good match.
You need time to build trust, identify shared values, and figure out if you have a future together. When you’re dating lots of people, there will come a time when one person begins to stand out from everyone else. This is a strong sign that it might be time to take your relationship to the next level.
Here’s How to Take Your Relationship to the Next Level
If you’ve ever wondered, “how do I take my relationship to the next level?“ you’re not alone! It’s common to feel a bit anxious about this process at first, but with a few tips in mind, things don’t have to be so daunting.
Below, we’ve outlined four steps to follow when you’re thinking about taking your relationship to the next level.
1. Know what you want
The first step of knowing how to take your relationship to the next level, is to get clear on what you want.
What are you looking for in a long-term relationship? Are marriage and kids important to you? If so, what’s your ideal timeline for having those things? Or are you a single parent dating and looking to find someone who could fit into your family dynamic? Are you thinking ahead to the future, or are you more focused on the now? Do you genuinely have strong feelings for this person and believe they’re the right match for you?
These are all important questions to ask yourself and answer honestly before taking the steps to move your relationship to the next level.
2. Decide if you’re ready
Are you truly ready for this next step? Do you know this person well enough to make this decision? Have you built a foundation of trust with them? Is what you’re feeling mostly infatuation or is there something deeper there? Asking yourself these questions will help you to decide if it’s the right time to take your relationship to the next level.
3. Communicate this
The thought of sitting down with the person you like, being vulnerable with them, and laying your heart on the line is scary. Okay, it’s terrifying. We totally get that. But, communication is a key pillar of what makes a good relationship. And there’s no better time to learn how to communicate with your future partner than in these early stages of dating.
Remember, there’s no shame in knowing what you want and expressing this. If you don’t, how are you ever meant to get what you want? Have an open conversation with your partner about where your head’s at and what you want.
You don’t need to be so direct and say, “I want to take our relationship to the next level!” Subtle questions like, “how do you feel about the time we’ve been spending together,” or “where do you see this going in the future?” are a great way to approach the subject without scaring anyone away.
4. Be prepared to walk away if they aren’t ready to commit
While finding out that a partner isn’t ready to take things to the next level might feel like the worst thing that can happen, it’s okay. After all, it’s better to find out sooner rather than later.
Once you’ve got your answer, it’s then up to you to decide if you’re prepared to date slower. Or, would you prefer to break things off and find someone who’s ready for a more serious commitment?
If you’ve been dating for more than six months and the other person is still hesitant to move things to the next level, put a label on it, or talk about the future, then it’s probably unlikely that they’ll be ready to commit anytime soon. This is your cue to think of your self-care and move on.
Taking a Relationship to the Next Level: The Bottom Line
Moving a relationship to the next level can be genuinely thrilling! Finding someone that you can meaningfully connect with and taking that next step together is a feeling like no other. And, while knowing how to take a relationship to the next level can feel a bit overwhelming at first, it doesn’t have to be that way.
Bear in mind what it is you want, make the move when you genuinely feel ready, clearly communicate how you feel, and be prepared to change course if your partner feels differently. Follow these steps and you’ll set yourself up for a successful conversation and a healthy relationship ahead. Good luck!