So, guessing by the fact that you clicked this link, you probably have your eye on someone and are now wondering about whether or not you should take things to the next level with them. Lucky you! Congratulations on getting it this far with your crush!
But before you rush into dating and all the commitment that comes with it, it’d be good to get to know them on a deeper level first, don’t you think? Luckily for us, psychology has taught us a lot about how to get to know our potential partners better in hopes of deepening our connection with them and really finding out how compatible we are. With that said, here are 6 things you should know about someone before committing to a relationship with them:
1. If They Love Differently Than You
A term coined by relationship therapist Dr. Gary Chapman in his book “The Five Love Languages:The Secret to Love That Lasts,” love languages refer to all the different ways we express and receive love from one another. This can be either through physical touch, words of affirmation, gifts, acts of service or quality time. So knowing your crush’s love language is an important part of making sure they feel loved and appreciated, because what feels loving to you might not necessarily feel loving to them.
2. If Their Values Align With Yours
Another important thing you should know before taking the next step with your crush is if their values align with theirs. And sure, it might not seem so important at first, when you’re still in the honeymoon phase of your relationship, but trust us, it matters. In an article for Psychology Today, Dr. Kristen Fuller recommends having a direct conversation with your potential partner about their core values as early as possible. Because sharing the same values as your partner means that you want the same things and that you are guided by the same principles. It also allows you to connect with them on a deeper level and have an easier time understanding their point of view.
3. How Their Past Shows Up in the Present
According to Dr. Nicole LePera, founder of “The Holistic Psychologist,” romantic relationships activate our attachment wounds. So if your crush has any unresolved trauma from their past (e.g., abandonment by a parent, suffered from emotional neglect) it’s important for you to learn about it so you can better understand the ways it might affect your relationship moving forward. For example, an article from PsychCentral reviewed by clinical psychologist Dr. Lori Lawrenz recommends that if your crush has an avoidant attachment style, they’ll respond more positively to you being patient and respecting their need for time and space rather than trying to crowd them more.
4. Their Relationship Patterns
Similar to our earlier point, it might do you some good to take a look at your crush’s relationship patterns before seriously committing to them first. Do they have a history of cheating? Or moving on too fast? What are the reasons why their past relationships didn’t work out? And what lessons have they learned from it? While you should definitely be careful not to seem too nosy when asking about all of this, life coach Chelsea Leigh Trescott still recommends knowing your crush’s relationship patterns because it allows you to get to know them more deeply and help you two to work together to avoid making the same mistakes.
5. Their Relationship With Themselves
Pay attention to how your crush deals with failure or rejection. Are they hard on themselves or do they show themselves compassion? Do they blame others or are they able to handle it constructively? Do they bounce back after a setback or just give up altogether? All of this matters because, according to Dr. LePera, their relationship with themselves will mirror their relationship with their partners, so the tell-tale sign of a supportive significant other is their ability to forgive themselves.
6. Openness to Improvement
In an article for The Economic Times, author and professor of psychology Gary W. Lewandowski Jr. states that people tend to value partners who help them become a better version of themselves. He also asserts that couples who “grow together” more have better relationships as characterized by more physical affection, greater sexual desire, less conflict, and greater relationship satisfaction. Because when a relationship doesn’t help us grow or make us more open to improvement, it can be easy to feel like we’re stuck in a rut and that it’s not doing us any good being with this person. Hence, Dr. LePera recommends assessing first if your crush is able to listen well, take feedback constructively, and openly communicate rather than simply avoiding their problems or deflecting/denying their mistakes.
To summarize, having strong feelings for your crush doesn’t necessarily guarantee that you two will be compatible for one another and that dating them will be all smooth sailing. Asking them questions related to these 6 things we’ve talked about here can go a long way in helping you two understand one another on a deeper level. Because as relationship therapist Lily Zehner says, “How can we love someone we don’t know? To love your partner is to truly know them.”
So, do you think you really know your crush well enough to start dating them? Or is there still more you need to find out first?
- Chapman, G. D., & Chapman, G. (2010). The five love languages: The secret to love that lasts. Northfield Pub.
- LePera, N. [@theholisticpsyc]. (n.d.). Tweets [https://twitter.com/Theholisticpsyc]
- Fuller, K. (2021). “Why It’s So Important for Couples to Talk About Their Values.” Psychology Today. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/happiness-is-state-mind/202108/why-its-so-important-couples-talk-about-their-values
- Lebow, H. I. & Lawrenz, L. (2022). “How to Increase Intimacy and Communication with an Avoidant Partner: 21 Ways.” PsychCentral. Retrieved from https://psychcentral.com/relationships/ways-to-increase-intimacy-and-communication-with-an-avoidant-partner
- Steber, C. & Isaac, P. J. (2021). “So, Does Your Partner Need To Know Everything?” Bustle. Retrieved from https://www.bustle.com/wellness/should-you-tell-your-partner-everything-about-your-past
- Lewandowski Jr., G. W. (2022). “Romantic relationships foster individual growth? The psychology of bonds that enrich the self.” The Economic Times. Retrieved from https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/magazines/panache/can-being-in-a-relationship-help-you-grow-as-an-individual-psychology-of-a-romantic-relationship-explained/articleshow/89481884.cms?from=mdr
- Tartakovsky, M. S. (2016). “4 Ways to Get to Know Your Partner on a Deeper Level.” PsychCentral. Retrieved from https://psychcentral.com/blog/4-ways-to-get-to-know-your-partner-on-a-deeper-level#1