We all want different things from relationships, so don't make any assumptions about what your partner is looking for - or you may end up hurt.
While it's usually fairly easy to work out if someone is interested in you, it can be hard to tell if they're looking for a casual relationship or a more serious commitment - and you may not be sure what you’re looking for yourself.
There's no magic way of knowing if your relationship will go the distance, but if you have shared values, plenty in common, can make each other laugh and are attracted to each other, then there's a good chance that you'll stay together long-term.
Men are often more inclined to look for long-term love or marriage, especially if they're accustomed to having someone around to look after them.
Women, on the other hand, can relish their independence if they've spent years taking care of their previous partner and/or children. The key is to take things step-by-step, and keep the lines of communication open.
Friends and family
You might also find that your friends and family aren't especially keen for you to start dating. This can be especially true of grown up children who may feel that their other parent is being replaced.
If your new relationship is happy and healthy, you should be able to talk through the implications of your decision to be together and the ways that it affects your friends and family.
Work together to negotiate ways to manage potential conflicts, but accept that some people might never accept or understand your new relationship.
Then again, it’s common for grown-up children to feel quite relieved that you’ve found a new partner.
Very often the surprise goes quickly when they see that you’re happy. They will no longer feel quite so responsible for you, and that often comes as quite a relief.
Remember, there’s no age limit to falling in love - it’s all the same whether you’re 16 or 60 - so don’t accept that you’re destined to spend the rest of your life on your own. After all, the perfect person could be just around the corner...