In an ideal world, romantic relationships should be easy and fairly simple, but unfortunately, we live in the real world. Many of us have gone through a lot of hurt and trauma in our past, which often makes it hard for us to thrive in our dating relationships. Sometimes, our past hurts even deter us from fully committing to a new person, no matter how good they are or how happy they make us.
If you’re ready to level up your commitment to your current partner but are not quite ready to move in or get married, here are some simple ways to express that commitment without scaring yourself or your partner.
One simple way to level up in your commitment is by asking for exclusivity. Don’t let misunderstandings get in the way of your relationship; be upfront to the person about what you want and what you’re looking for in this relationship. If you’re looking for something long-term and exclusive, ask for it upfront so that you’re on the same page.
A key to your apartment
Another simple way to express commitment that’s not too big of a leap is by giving the person a key to your apartment. It’s a simple way of saying you’re welcoming them into your life and that you’re not just putting your best foot forward anymore. Nothing says vulnerability than giving the person permission to see you in your natural habitat and letting them know that you trust them enough to allow them to your home any time they want.
Another simple (and cute!) way of expressing devotion and wanting a deeper relationship is giving them gifts—especially if that’s their love language. Matching items are not just for teenagers, especially if they’re done right. If you’re not ready to give a promise ring of sorts, here are some ideas for matching items that you can share with your significant other:
- Matching scarves that you knit yourself
- Couples stackable bracelets
- Matching shoes in different colors
- Magnetic key chains that stick together
- Phone cases
- Fondue mug sets
- His-and-hers toothbrush sets (plus points if they’re electric and self-cleaning!)
- Passport covers
These items are low-key enough that you and your partner won’t have to cringe about wearing them in public.
A drawer in your bedroom
The natural neck step to giving your partner a key to your apartment is giving them their own drawer in your bedroom or bedside table. If they spend the majority of their time in your place anyway, it’s a thoughtful way of providing them enough space to keep their possessions when they’re there. At the same time, it’s not as big of a commitment as asking them to move in.
If your partner is celebrating their birthday or other important achievements like a graduation or promotion, go all out in celebrating them and with them (as long as COVID-19 restrictions allow). Get some balloons, make some streamers, buy them their favorite cake—let them know that you’re with them in their happiest moments and that you are someone they can celebrate with during their mountaintop moments.
Being with them in failure
At the same time, you can also express commitment by standing by them when things don’t go their way. When they don’t get the promotion or fail at a venture, be present for them and let them know you have their back. Being with them in the valley is just as important as rejoicing with them in the mountaintops. Being present and supportive during hard times is one of the best ways to show how committed you are to making the relationship work.
Introducing your family
Another big step that’s just below marriage and moving in together is introducing them to your family. If you can see a future with this person, then it might be a good idea to finally let your family meet the person who’s been making you happy.
Talk It Out
And most importantly, commitment should also be verbalized. If you have many fears and anxieties, one of the best ways to keep them at bay is to let your partner know how you feel and what’s bothering you. Convey trust and honesty by being truthful about your past and how you see your relationship going. Share your thoughts and your feelings, and try not to filter. Just don’t forget to always be kind and loving in your tone and choice of words—it can go a long way in building a lasting and healthy relationship with your significant other.