How to Have a Grown-Up Relationship

Spending quality time together is part of a grown-up relationship.
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Gone are the days of pulling the cute girl's braids on the playground. As you move into the teen and young adult years, you are growing more ready to start a grown-up relationship. Going from puppy love to a real relationship takes a blend of maturity, closeness and commitment. Add in communication skills, such as talking about your needs and listening to what your partner has to say, to secure a mature relationship.

1 Close Call

What separates a crush and a grown-up loving relationship? One of the key ingredients is closeness, according to the article "Love and Romance" on the TeensHealth website. If you are ready to take a mature approach to your relationship, you need to know your partner. Instead of just staying with her because she's pretty or popular, in an adult relationship you'll form a close bond that's based on the thoughts and feelings that you share with each other. This includes talking about your greatest hopes, dreams, life goals, worries, fears and even insecurities.

2 Formalize It

While you don't need an engagement or marriage to show that you are committed to each other, you do need some sort of formal agreement. Even though not all grown-up relationships are committed ones, having the ability to make this pledge shows that you are on the road to maturity. For example, the two of you may agree to not see other people. Another part of commitment is sticking together through ups and downs. This means that you, or your partner, won't bail at the first sign of trouble.

3 Clear Communication

Communication is key when it comes to having a grown-up relationship. If you are having an issue with your guy or don't feel like the relationship is on the right track, speak up. Avoid criticizing your partner or using a sarcastic tone when communicating your needs, suggests author and communication coach Preston Ni in his article "7 Keys to Long-Term Relationship Success" on the Psychology Today website. Opening the lines of communication is a mature way to keep your romance moving toward a healthy place.

4 Trust and Honesty

Throwing a tantrum when your girl says that she's going out with her friends isn't a sign of maturity. Trusting your partner is an essential part of any grown-up relationship. If you're trying to take your romance to an adult level, show both trust and honesty. Instead of sneaking peeks at your girlfriend's phone log or checking up on her social media page, trust her to stay faithful. Unless she's given you a reason to doubt her, avoid childish displays of jealousy and mistrust.

Based in Pittsburgh, Erica Loop has been writing education, child development and parenting articles since 2009. Her articles have appeared in "Pittsburgh Parent Magazine" and the website PBS Parents. She has a Master of Science in applied developmental psychology from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education.