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11 Signs That You Two Are in a Committed Relationship

11 Signs That You Two Are in a Committed Relationship

So you want to know if your relationship is a committed one. These days it’s not enough to assume that traditional labels of “boyfriend,” “girlfriend,” or even “partner” are enough to confirm your exclusivity status. Besides the more obvious actions of living together and becoming engaged, there are some things that never change, and chances are if your relationship has any of the following 11 characteristics, there’s a strong possibility that you’re in a committed one.

1. You Spend Significant Time Together

One of the very first signs of commitment in a relationship is when two people spend lots of time together. Outside of normal working hours and with all the things you could be doing in a day, there usually isn’t much time left over to spare. And since time is one of the few commodities that none of us can get back, the fact that you and your significant other choose to make time for each other on a regular basis is a good sign that you’re both committed.

2. You Include Each Other in Your Regular Purchases

I had a friend who confessed to me that she realized she was in a committed relationship the day she found herself in line at the grocery store with more items in her shopping cart for her partner than for herself — and they weren’t even living together. Such acts of thoughtfulness may be small and seemingly insignificant or as extravagant as buying matching jewelry. Whatever the purchase, when you keep each other in mind to the point where you’re considering them in your regular purchases, you’re probably in a committed relationship.

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3. You Get a Key

Remember when giving someone a key to your house was no big deal? Yeah, neither do I.

This rite of committed relationship passage is so iconic that entire movie scenes and magazine articles have been dedicated to its discussion. If one or both of you have keys to the other’s house, you’re in! I mean, how many people have keys to your place? Chances are not many, but if they do and they’re not your parents, it’s a good sign you’re in a committed relationship.

4. You Don’t Shun Social Media Shout-Outs

In this age of media mayhem, it’s no surprise that one of the first signs of commitment tends to be a public announcement on some form of social media. You’ve seen them: the infamous couple’s selfie, the heartfelt note for all to see, and the hashtags like “me and my baby.” These public displays are usually a pretty good sign that things are going well and that you’re both comfortable enough to broadcast your affection to the world. Such public displays can only mean “we’re committed and we want everyone to know.”

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5. You Enter Into Contracts Together

I think it’s fair to say that going into a major contract (other than marriage) with someone, such as buying property or a car, is a sign that things are pretty serious between you and your boo. The reason why contracts are such a big deal is that they’re generally much harder to get out of than they are to get into, so most people take care when signing on the dotted line and expect to be committed for a long time.

6. You Vacation Together

Vacations usually happen over the course of several days and can sometimes take several weeks, so if you’re going to take company along you’ll want to make sure you really like them. You’re also making memories that last for a lifetime. Generally speaking, people who take vacations together not only enjoy each other’s company, but are happy to make memories together, so if you take vacations together it’s a good sign that you and your love are truly committed.

7. You Talk About Bodily Functions

You probably don’t talk about your groin injury or irritable bowel syndrome around the dinner table. Those conversations are usually reserved for medical appointments and the occasional funny story. However, if you find that you can speak with your lover about intimate bodily functions, you’re probably more than casual friends; especially if you find that typically private and personal conversations become commonplace between the two of you.

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8. You Plan for the Future Together

If you consider that the average life expectancy is between 70 and 80 years of age and that a third of that time is spent sleeping, the fact that you and your sweetheart talk about how to spend the hours you have remaining together is significant. When you’re single you can make decisions based on your wants alone. In a committed relationship, however, it matters what the other person wants to do and where they see themselves in the future. So if you and your partner are making plans together, there’s a good likelihood that your relationship is in for the long haul.

9. You Share Passwords and PIN Numbers

These days with the limits on the amount of personal privacy any of us has, passwords and PIN numbers might mark the final frontier of the few things we have entire control over. So deciding to share this extremely private information is not to be taken lightly or with casual friendships. While experts admit that sharing passwords can strengthen relationships, this is a sign of commitment because it demonstrates ultimate trust. So unless you’re in a committed relationship, it’s still best practice to keep your passwords and PIN numbers private.

10. You Go Out of Your Way for One Another

Part of being a good world citizen is caring for other human beings, which may include going out of your way sometimes. But when going out of your way for your beloved is less effort and more this-is-just-how-we-behave, you’ve got yourself a keeper and you’re definitely committed. Examples of going out of your way might look like taking your lunch break to run an errand for them, rearranging your travel plans to make sure they get can get the time off to join you, or giving up your car to make sure they make it to that meeting on time (and vice versa, of course). Anything less and there’s no guarantee that you’re relationship is actually a committed one.

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11. You Make Decisions Based on the Other Person’s Situation

Has your mate given up their favorite candy bar because of your peanut allergy (no kissing for you), or traded in that meat-lover’s pizza for your vegan one? Well, you can be sure that when they start making changes to their routines and behaviors based on your beliefs, situation, or circumstance there’s no doubt that they’re committed. I mean, who else does that?

As in any relationship, it’s up to the people in them to convey love, respect and trust irrespective of how long they ultimately last. But if yours has the characteristics of any of the 11 points above, congratulations, you’ve found yourself in a committed relationship.

Featured photo credit: .craig via Flickr via flickr.com

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The Gentle Art of Saying No

The Gentle Art of Saying No

No!

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

  1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
  2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
  3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
  4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
  5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
  6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
  7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
  8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
  9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
  10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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