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  • Tim Mallory

3 Things Needed to Confidently Commit to a New Relationship

Updated: Jun 30, 2023

The early days of a new relationship are critical for identifying and pursuing long-term connection. Connecting with chemistry is fun and important, but determining compatibility based on character is essential to any relationship lasting. In his book How to Avoid Falling in Love With a Jerk, Dr. John Van Epp describes the 3 T’s a new relationship needs to consider prior to making a relationship commitment: Talking, Togetherness, and Time in various settings. Below is why you should apply the 3 T's when pursuing a new relationship.

3 T's for Establishing a Healthy Relationship Foundation:

Talking (about meaningful things like values, goals, family background)

  • Kids or no kids?

  • Do career goals align?

  • Is money the most important thing, or is it a necessary evil?

Togetherness (in a variety of settings, seeing each other navigate the world and other people)

  • Notice how this new person treats their friends (and pay extra attention if they have no friends).

  • Watch how they interact with restaurant and retail workers - are they kind or demanding?

Time (no less than 90 days to evaluate the other 2 items and patterns of compatibility).

A whirlwind of bliss in the first few weeks of a relationship does not guarantee years of relationship satisfaction. In fact, first impressions and early excitement do not guarantee lasting connection. When I work with individuals processing a recent breakup, many express regret that, “If only I had seen [RED FLAG] sooner, I would have ended the relationship sooner.” Another common experience is “I saw [RED FLAG] and hoped it would get better, but I stayed hoping it would change.”

A loving relationship requires vulnerability and grace when mistakes are inevitably made. Growth demands risks beyond comfort zones, which is only possible in a space of supportive trust.

Sometimes talking and togetherness show there is not a lasting compatibility, and then it is better to disengage quickly rather than committing and staying in a relationship that serves neither person. Don't wait 90 days if you know it's going nowhere before then! Learn from the experience, acknowledge your personal growth, and keep moving forward.

If the initial spark grows, then great! Keep the intentional time investing in getting to know each other - you will never know everything about your partner, which is what makes long-lasting relationships so fun.

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