So you have decided you want to relationship but you don’t want to date people who are unavailable or avoidant. Here are some things that you should be on the lookout for:
- Do they actually want a relationship?
- Do they like being in relationship?
- Do they know how to be a good partner? (you will need to define what being a “good partner” means, but generally: listens to you, is thoughtful, plans time with you, asks you how you are doing, responds compassionately, supports you when you are low or in need, is attuned to you specifically, remembering things you tell them, has capacities to help you in life).
- Do they actually have time to be in a relationship?
- Do they know about the strengths and capacities they bring to relationship and their weaknesses? Do they know why the relationships and their past have failed?
- Have they completed their last relationship or are there still dangling ties?
- Are they excited about you specifically?
- Do they know how to communicate their needs and respect and honor yours?
- Do they know how to articulate and express what they are feeling and experiencing?
- Do they know how to productively move through conflict?
- Do they lean in to relationship when things get hard in their life or do they pull away?
- Do they know what they need when they are upset and how to soothe themselves?
- Have they learned about themselves in previous relationships or do they just blame their exes?
- When you ask them a more serious question to they avoid the topic or change it?
- Are they attentive and present with you?
- Do they follow through on what they say they are going to do?
Ultimately, if any of these questions are answered with a no this person is probably not the right person for you. Some of these questions can be bigger red flags than others. Some of these dynamics can be worked through, however it depends on whether you want to be teaching someone in relationship or not. Ultimately, if you are looking for someone who has secure attachment, they will know how to do these things.
For some people it can be very daunting to try to get answers to these questions while dating. You may struggle with not wanting to interrogate a person or come across as intense as you try to find answers to these questions. There are tricks to getting questions answered in a way that feels casual and conversational. However, do not avoid getting the answers to these questions because you were afraid of coming across as too intense or demanding.
Ultimately a person who wants to be in a relationship, will want to answer these questions for you because they are also looking for something serious and long-term. I will follow up soon with some questions specifically to ask and tips on how to ask those questions to make finding these answers easier.