Short-Term vs Long-Term Relationships: Which One is Best for You?

When it comes to dating and relationships, it can be tough to know exactly what you’re looking for.  There are lots of factors that influence why a person may want a short-term relationship or a long-term relationship.

Not knowing what you want leads to problems, especially if the person you meet has opposite expectations.  Clear expectations allows the other person to make clear decisions and decide whether or not they want to continue getting to know each other.

But here’s a big problem: according to sciencedaily.com, the early expectations between short-term and long-term relationships can be murky.  Some long-term relationships start out with short-term expectations until time transitions the relationship into a long-term one.

I’m sure you can think of many times where the person you just knew you were going to marry, ended up being a four-month relationship; or the person you thought was just going to be a fun summer fling, ends up being marriage material.  What we say and think we want, isn’t always what we get, and vice versa.

What Exactly is a Short-Term Relationship?

It’s interesting to get people’s take on what a short term relationship is.  It’s similar to people’s concept of what love is—everybody has their own idea.

People may base it on what they’ve seen, read, and been exposed to.  Some define it as no serious commitments.  Other people actually have intentions of dating long-term but due to certain circumstances, the relationship ended up being short-lived.

The best approach is to be transparent from the beginning of what you understand terms to be.

Is a Short-Term Relationship for You?

Here are some questions to consider: what life stage are you in?  Are you someone who wants to explore the world and travel?  A lot of people who travel are young and single.  Or are you vested in your career at the moment?  This is a stable stage of life where a longer term relationship might work for you.

Consider where you are emotionally, financially, or mentally.  If you’re still figuring these areas out, you may want to communicate at the start that you’re probably better suited for a short-term relationship, or at least no long commitment.  There’s nothing wrong with that, it’s just where you are at this point in your life.

What Exactly is a Long-Term Relationship?

We should be able to agree that a long term relationship is one that has an expectation of exclusivity or the hope of marriage or gaining a life partner; a clear end goal.  The challenging thing about dating today is that it’s so unconventional!  You have a mix of things that were traditionally long term (like exclusivity) and short term (non-committal).

Meeting People for Long-Term Relationships

There used to be such a stigma surrounding online dating but it’s really becoming a common meeting ground for healthy and lasting, long-term relationships.  There are of course people who have their own personal reasons as to why online dating didn’t work for them but that doesn’t mean it won’t work for you.

Remember the main rule that you should think about what you want and state that up-front and early.  It will only make someone stick around or make them leave, which will save you wasted time and the frustration of unmet expectations.