6 Signs Your Casual Relationship Is Actually Getting Serious (And 6 Signs It Isn’t)

Most dating experiences aren’t a straightforward journey from your first meet to a romantic engagement dinner. Plus most people don’t have great communication skills so their intentions and desires aren’t obvious. It can be confusing trying to figure out if your relationship is getting serious. So, what are the signs that a casual relationship is getting serious, and how do you avoid misinterpreting signals?

Dissecting your date’s behavior to discern their interest from casual dating to exclusivity may lead you to make assumptions. Either missing an obvious clue that things are going well or misinterpreting a casual remark to mean much more.

You don’t have to be a mind reader to spot the signs that a casual relationship is getting serious, but you do need to check your assumptions at the door.

If you’re leaping into the future in your mind you’re setting yourself up for heartbreak.

Here are some guidelines to follow to know the difference between wishful thinking and a more serious commitment.

Don’t Trust These Signs A Casual Relationship Is Getting Serious

Many situations can appear promising while dating only to end in frustration and sorrow. Despite these signs seemingly being positive they can also mean something else entirely, so exercise caution. These particular signs could be positive, neutral, or negative depending on the details.

You can find these activities enjoyable but don’t take them as signs a casual relationship is getting serious.

  1. You Have Long Conversations

Having deep, meaningful conversations about your lives can create emotional intimacy, and with the right person it can be a great start to a wonderful relationship. However, there are plenty of daters who like lengthy, profound conversations and aren’t emotionally available for a serious relationship.

A client of ours came to us after dating a guy who was recently separated. They spoke every day, shared many laughs, and had a great connection — but he never moved things forward. Instead, he used her as an emotional crutch to heal his broken heart from his divorce and to feel better about himself. He wasn’t looking for a genuine relationship.

  1. You Text Often With Each Other

Frequent texting can seem promising. You wake up to a good morning text and receive check-ins throughout the day. It’s easy to assume that this person is hot for you, right? The problem with text communication is that it is very convenient and doesn’t require any loyalty.

You may like texting each other and having someone to share your day with, but since it requires very little energy it isn’t a reliable sign a casual relationship is getting serious. It’s also very easy to fill in the blanks and assign tone to text communication. This means that you’re filtering the text message slanting it either positively or negatively. Either way, the communication itself is not being received as intended.

  1. He Gives You Gifts And Attention

Gifts and a tremendous amount of attention too early in the dating process can be a red flag. Some men come on strong because they don’t want to be alone. He may want to WOW you and take you off the market, but if you don’t really know each other yet, he can be wasting your time. He may not be an ideal match for you long-term.

Enjoy the attention and appreciate the gifts, but don’t mistake them for devotion. It takes time to know if the two of you are a match long-term. There’s no secret shortcut or crystal ball that reveals how you’ll face challenges together.

  1. He Invites You To Join Him For Trips and Events

If he’s inviting you out to the theatre, concerts, or weekend getaways enjoy the time together, but don’t make assumptions that he’s serious about you yet. Just because you spend a lot of time together doesn’t mean that your relationship getting serious. You may just be his Plus One with events he’s already planned.

He may simply want companionship (with the hope for physical intimacy). Be mindful of abandoning your friends, and your own social life to make room to tag along with him. There is a big difference between a man getting tickets to see your favorite band, versus the guy who is inviting you along because he bought two tickets months ago before you knew each other.

Don’t count the hours you spend together as evidence of a serious relationship, instead pay attention to the quality of that time together.

  1. You’re Feeling Jealous

Some people think jealousy means their heart is invested. If you’re succumbing to the green-eyed monster — wondering who he’s with, who he’s texting, and worrying about his attractive co-worker it’s more likely a sign of insecurity rather than a budding romance.

Jealousy means you’re feeling insecure and anxious which is not an ideal way for you to feel about a serious relationship. If you’re constantly worried there’s no space for love to blossom. Evaluate your relationship history to see if this is a pattern for you. Or if it’s not a pattern you may discover that he’s been hiding things from you and your intuition is spot on. Either way, feeling jealous is not a sign that things are getting more serious between the two of you.

  1. You Have Sex Frequently

Off-the-charts chemistry and great sex in the early part of a relationship will flood your body with feel-good hormones. So, keep your feet on the ground and remain level-headed — this may not be true love.

Attraction is a necessary ingredient for a long-term love relationship, but on its own doesn’t indicate an ideal match. There are three tenets for a serious relationship to last over time, chemistry, lifestyle goals, and most importantly shared values (which has nothing to do with being hot for each other).

Trust These Signs A Casual Relationship Is Getting Serious

There are signs a casual relationship is getting serious that you can put your faith in. The following indicators mean the relationship is moving forward in a healthy way and can grow into a long-lasting partnership.

  1. He Makes Plans With You For The Future

If he’s asking you out in advance rather than a last-minute text, or plans holidays with you, or a vacation that you plan out together, then the relationship is getting serious.

Casual relationships are all about convenience and going with the flow of the present moment. One of the signs your casual relationship is getting serious is when you’re planning a future together.

  1. You’re Getting To Know Each Other’s Friends And Family

In a casual relationship it’s just the two of you hanging out and seeing each other last minute. A clear sign a casual relationship is getting serious is meeting each other’s friends or spending time with family. The desire to introduce one another to your inner circle is a definite sign your relationship’s getting serious.

Keeping a relationship on the down low, or not incorporating friends and family into the mix is one way to keep things casual. If nothing comes of it, you won’t have to explain to everyone what happened. The more you’re involved in each other’s lives the more serious the relationship is.

  1. You’ve Pulled Through Your First Fight

It’s impossible to avoid conflict and misunderstandings that happen when you spend time together. If either of you is ready to call it quits with the first bump in the road, then things aren’t serious between the two of you.

However, if you both have a strong desire to clear things up, repair, and reconnect, then the relationship has legs. Remember, conflict is inevitable, and choosing to move past a conflict and connect more deeply is a sign a casual relationship is getting serious.

  1. Physical Intimacy Requires Emotional Intimacy

Are you delaying physical intimacy until you feel a strong emotional connection? Do each of you share your dreams and goals for the future? These are signs your casual relationship is getting serious.

With casual sex you can just walk away after getting hot and heavy. You’re not spending breakfast together the next morning or having meaningful conversations late into the night. When you’re willing to wait and create an emotional bond before introducing physical intimacy, then you’re investing in a serious relationship.

  1. You’re Thinking About Each Other’s Happiness

Casual relationships are often marked by an imbalanced dynamic. One person is interested in a commitment, and the other just wants it to be convenient. Relationships aren’t always convenient; they require compromise and compassion.

One of the signs a casual relationship is getting serious is that you’re each thinking about the other person’s happiness. You’re both willing to see each other’s points of view and to make adjustments in your behavior to accommodate the other person. In a casual relationship, you’ll move on when the relationship is no longer easy or convenient.

  1. You’re Open About Your Feelings

Sharing your feelings and expressing yourselves authentically is a sign your casual relationship is getting serious. If you’re not just having intellectual conversations and you’re both speaking from the heart there’s room for love to blossom.

Love requires risk and sharing how you feel can be scary. If you’re both willing to take the risk to speak how you feel in the moment then your relationship can grow into being serious and have a lasting bond.

For a casual relationship to develop into a more serious one, you’ll have to take a conscious approach to dating. A loving partnership that lasts won’t just magically happen when you least expect it.

Be open and express the vision for the relationship you desire. Express yourself authentically and share the dynamic you’d like between you. It’s best to find out early if you both have the same goals and share values.

If you’re having a hard time finding someone to date, or most of your relationships fizzle out after a few months, and you’re ready to get serious about creating a lasting loving partnership with an ideal mate join us for Love On Purpose Mentoring. During this intimate group coaching program, you’ll get personalized guidance to transform your hidden blocks to love. Click here for dates, details, and FAQ.

About the authors

Love Coaches Orna and Matthew Walters

Orna and Matthew Walters are soulmate coaches and prolific writers about love. Finding love, keeping love, healing from heartbreak, bringing in your beloved and more. They have been published on MSN, Yahoo!, YourTango, Redbook, and have been featured guest experts on BRAVO’s THE MILLIONAIRE MATCHMAKER with Patti Stanger, and as guests with Esther Perel speaking about love and intimacy.

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