7 things to do before you go from casual dating to a serious relationship

How to prepare yourself to go from casual dating to a serious relationship

You can’t control the circumstances that happen around you but you have total control over your actions, your mindset. So often I see women jump into relationships and tell me how disappointed they are when they don’t work out. When we dive deeper in the discussion, it’s very clear that they’re not ready for a serious relationship themselves.

You need to be at 100% first to bring the best version of yourself into a healthy relationship. So here are the 7 things you need to do to get your ducks in order before you find yourself in a committed relationship.

7. Create a life you love

The other day I bumped into a guy friend of mine who is always single. To my surprise, I found out that he’s had a girlfriend for more than a year! When I asked him what it was that made this woman special, my husband chimed in:

Cristian: “She was better than you?”.

Cue chuckles all around.

Friend: “She was just…different. She’s the kind of woman that a better version of me would want to be with”.

Cristian: “Yes. She’s almost too good that you don’t want to mess it up”.

Everyone nods.

He went on to describe that this woman knew who she was, was smart, confident. She had a lot of things going for her and just had a set of really good values.

One of the ‘single traps’ people fall into is that the make dating their only mission. But when you do that, you lose yourself, just like you would in a relationship.

Create a life so good that a guy would feel he’s missing out if he’s not apart of it.

This is what another guy told me when I asked him why he decided to settle down with his girlfriend:

“It was just something. She had this life and it seemed great. I just wanted to be part of it. It was just a feeling I had”.

6. Learn what a healthy relationship should look like

We learn how to string words together in school but no one actually teaches us how to string them in a way that gets the message across effectively.

Grammar and syntax are important but they don’t teach us empathy, they don’t teach us active listening, they don’t teach us how to create relationships.

And so we pick up our ideas of a healthy relationship through our role models, most likely our parents. The issue with this is that the divorce rates are high in developed countries. How are we meant to know what healthy looks like if we haven’t grown up with it?

For example, people who find themselves attracted to high conflict relationships because it’s familiar, it’s what they know to be ‘normal’. If that’s the case, you need to create a new ‘normal’, to create new relationship ideas that align with the kind of love you want.

Learning what a healthy relationship looks like takes time, we have a few modules dedicated to this in Lucky in Love.

5. Work out if a commitment is really what you want

Most singles I coach tell me they want a committed relationship but sometimes I learn that they really don’t. They say they want commitment because they feel that’s what they SHOULD have. Work out what commitment means to you? If it’s being with  one person for the rest of your life, is it really what you want? It’s perfectly fine to just want companionship and nothing more.

4. Take the time to learn what type of guy will make you happy

Taking the time to learn what type of guy will make you happy in a relationship will help you avoid dating people who aren’t right for you, just because they’ve come along in your life. Knowing what kind of guy you’re looking for is so much more than just a wish list that looks like this:

  • tall
  • kind
  • funny
  • career drive
  • emotionally stable

There are so many things to consider.

What are his values?

What is he like in a relationship?

How do you want to feel in this relationship?

3. Learn about your attachment style

If you’re the type who starts to get anxious in the early stages of a relationship, take the time to learn about your own attachment style. (You can read it here or check it out in Goodbye Casual Dating). It’s likely that you have an anxious attachment style. It’s fine to have fears and anxiousness in dating as long as you know how to manage those emotions.

2. Identify what you need in a relationship

In my date coaching practice, a lot of time is spent figuring out what a person needs in a relationship. It may seem like a straightforward exercise but you’d be surprised by the number of people who are actually afraid to ask for what they need in a relationship. Either they’re afraid they’ll scare a guy away or that they don’t think they deserve it.

1. Learn how to communicate those needs

And finally, once you learn what your needs are in a relationship, you’ll need to learn how to communicate them in a way that’s not confronting but light and loving. This is the stuff we cover in Goodbye Casual Dating.

If you want more relationship and dating advice like this, I have a FREE mini course to attract healthy love. 

For more articles about going from casual to a committed relationship, check out the 7 step guide to casual dating to a committed relationship. 

Photo by Saksham Gangwar on Unsplash


Iona is a Wellness Coach specialising in relationships and dating. She works with single women to write their own love stories.