There really is just two things you should have on your “checklist” when dating with the purposes of finding a long-term relationship and a real connection. Could you picture being good friends, like really good friends, with this person, and number two – are they emotionally available, like really emotionally available?
If they aren’t, well it’s going to be a non-starter, no matter how much “chemistry” you think you might have. In fact, having chemistry with someone is often mistaken for emotional availability. The two are not the same. So how can you tell if someone is or isn’t emotionally available in the early stages of dating?
Are they over their last relationship?
If they are recently out of a relationship, especially a very long one, they should be taking some time to do the work and heal before they get back out there. And when they do feel ready to date, that won’t necessarily mean they are ready for a more serious connection. Be wary of someone who is just testing the waters to figure out what they are looking for, or may be dating with the purposes of getting over their feelings for someone else. This is especially true if they weren’t the ones to end their previous relationship.
They just don’t know
If they are confused about what they are looking for (do they want only casual or are they looking for a relationship?) or have a hard time communicating their purpose in the early stages of dating, then that should be a sign. And if they do tell you they are only looking for something casual, believe them!
Now that doesn’t mean you have the expectation that someone is going to want to jump into a relationship with you right away, but they should be able to articulate that down the road a relationship is something they want and have space for in their life.
They want to really get to know you
And now for a good sign... expressing a real interest in getting to know you and what makes you tick is one. You’ll know it on a date if they express a genuine interest in learning about you. And closely aligned with that is their ability to be vulnerable. A person who is emotionally unavailable will have a hard time with any deeper conversations and will likely try to keep things pretty surface.
And that leads to the next point and is probably pretty obvious – if someone is overly focused on just knowing you physically and doesn’t seem that interested in connecting on any other level, well....
Seeing you is a priority
If they are into you, and are ready for a relationship, they will make the time. But if they never really make plans to see you, or they keep it distant with only texting, they probably aren’t there yet. If you are confused about how they feel about you or if you are questioning whether the timing is right for them, they probably are too.