You have been seeing your significant other for a long enough period of time that you now feel ready to take the next step. If you aren’t ready for marriage, you might be stuck wondering what that next step is. There are a number of things you can do to show you are committed without saying, “I do.” Here are four ways to let someone know you care.
1. Exchange Rings
No, not wedding bands. You can purchase promise rings that show you one day intend to spend the rest of your lives together. These rings can be worn on any finger, but if you are wearing them as a pre-engagement ring, most people put them on their ring finger. Consider wearing it on your right ring finger so people do not confuse it for an engagement ring.
The great thing about promise rings is that they symbolize your commitment without the stress of planning a wedding. You can put diamonds on the ring, or you can keep it simple and save the stones for the real deal. What matters most is your intention when you gift the rings and the promises you make to each other.
2. Plan Trips Together
Making long-term plans can help demonstrate your commitment to the person you love. You can celebrate your anniversary with jewelry or take the time to plan a trip together months from now. Involve your significant other in the planning process, choosing the spot and activities with you. A trip in the future not only shows you are ready to spend quality one-on-one time together, but it also shows you plan on being around down the road.
Committed behavior is often more important than the symbols themselves. For those who want something tangible, look for an item or gesture reflective of where you are in the relationship.
From promise rings to planning vacations, you have a number of ways you can show someone how much you care.
3. Give Them a Key
Not ready to move in together yet? You can give your significant other a key to your apartment or house. This can be a big step, as it shows an enormous amount of trust for the other person.
After all, giving someone a key to your home is giving them access to your private life. If you have any concerns or hesitations about taking this step, it’s probably best to wait.
If you do want to exchange keys, you can set parameters so you can still have personal space and enjoy your relationship. You might consider this step as more of a “for emergencies only” situation, where you trust the other person to get into your home if you need to but agree this doesn’t give each other license to show up uninvited.
4. Meet the Parents
Introducing your family to a boyfriend or girlfriend can be a major step. Depending on your family dynamic, you may not often bring around significant others unless it is a serious relationship. For some people, meeting the family is an important part of gauging long-term potential. For example, some people value input from their family and friends with regards to relationships. If everyone gets along well, it can be a good sign of things to come. However, if there are major disagreements, you might find yourself having to choose between the two.