Feb 102015

Casual Dating to Serious RelationshipHow exactly do you go from dating someone casually to having a serious relationship with them?

Is it some secret, LSD fuelled desert ritual?

Do you just… ask them?

Or maybe even *shudder* express your feelings?

Casual to Serious: Why Do You Commit?

Most of us have experienced a serious relationship by accident, usually when we really like the person we’re dating and it just naturally develops into something more. Other times you really like someone and it doesn’t work out, and you’ve probably wondered if there was anything you could’ve done differently.

To make yourself a better partner, think about your past relationships. What qualities made you want to get serious with your date? What things turned you off?

Being self-aware of how others perceive you is a huge advantage in dating and relationships. If you’re struggling with this, here’s a short list to help you go from a casual date to a serious mate (so lame, I know).

My Top 3 Casual Dating Tips

1) Be Independent

Some “experts” say you should act unavailable. It’s true that being overly available can seem desperate or unattractive, but the last thing you want to do is play dating games.

If you’re suffering from no-life syndrome, step back and ask yourself why you aren’t having fun on your own. Sure, acting unavailable might work at the casual dating stage, but what happens after that? How long before insecurities, neediness, and jealousy creep in?

Instead of acting unavailable, be independent. Hang out with your friends a couple times a week. Go to the gym. Play the sport you like or pursue one of your interests. Learn an instrument, a language, or take dancing lessons. Value yourself and your own time.

The main thing here is neediness is a killer. Insecure people push for serious relationships for the security it brings, and people can sense that.

2) Set Boundaries

Why would someone commit to you if they’re getting everything they want without the commitment?

If you’re struggling to find people willing to move beyond casual dating, there’s a good chance you’re giving too much. Why bend over backwards to make someone you barely know happy?

Let them earn it.

A prime example of this is a guy who brings a girl flowers on the first date. A nice gesture, but how do you know she deserves them? What if she ends up being a total bitch?

Some women might be wondering if having sex too soon is scaring guys away. Holding off to avoid judgement is ridiculous – how can two people have sex at the same time but only one of them does it too soon?

Any guy who loses interest in you for having casual sex “too soon” is not only a douche, but also an idiot.

3) This Secret Psychology Brain Hack

Here’s a way to discover how you might be sabotaging yourself without knowing it.

When you go on a date, what do you think the purpose is?

Whatever your answer is, that’s the main cause of your behaviour. If your answer is something like “to find the one”, you’re gonna come across as needy. If it’s “to get to know someone”, you’ll probably seem interview-ish.

The best way to look at a date is a chance to have fun. This keeps things… well, fun. People like being around fun, low-pressure people with no expectations.

As things progress, that’s when you get to know each other. If you emotionally vomit on someone and spill your whole life story during the first three dates, where’s the fun in that?

It’s like telling someone what’s in the present they’re about to unwrap. Isn’t the funnest part the unwrapping? Focus on having fun, enjoy the mystery, and going from casual to serious will happen naturally.

Signs You’re Graduating From Dating to a Serious Relationship

Casual Dating to a Serious RelationshipIf all goes well, you won’t have to do “the talk” of whether or not you’re a serious couple. Watch for these milestones, and you’ll know if the casual dating phase is almost over.

The final milestone is when you know it’s official – whether you say it’s a serious relationship or not.

Unscheduled Time Together

When you start hanging out together without making plans in advance, you know things are getting serious.

Meeting Friends

Meeting each other’s social group is a big step. If you make it past the gauntlet of scrutiny from their friends, things are well on their way.

Sleepovers Without Sex

As long as you aren’t fighting, this is actually a good sign.

You Leave Some Stuff at Their House

If he’s leaving a pair of boxers at your place, it’s a sign. Likewise, if she’s got some clothes or 8,412 bottles of hair product in your shower, you’re in.

The Big One: Your First Fight

If you have a fight and you don’t break up, you’re basically saying this is something worth working on.

Troubleshooting: Dating for Months, but Not Serious?

Dating Tips and Q&A with Yours Truly

I wrote the first version of this article in 2012, and since then I’ve gotten hundreds of emails and comments asking about what to do in certain situations. Here are the most common questions and my answers to each.

If you have a question about moving from casual dating to a serious relationship that I didn’t answer, leave a comment below the article and I’ll get back to you within a couple days.

Q: I’ve been dating this person for months, and when I ask if we’re a serious couple or not, the subject gets changed or I get ignored altogether.

A: There are two explanations for this. One, they’re interested but not good at communicating or are feeling pressured and don’t like it. Two, they don’t want to get serious but want the other benefits of dating.

Let them know what you’re looking for and pull back a bit. If you drift apart, you know they were never going to commit and you saved yourself time, trouble, and heart ache.
Q: My date says it’s just casual, but acts like it’s serious? Texting a lot, we hook up often, they want to meet my friends. What’s the deal?

A: This scenario usually happens when someone wants to get serious but has a fear of commitment. They get around it by tricking themselves into thinking it’s not actually serious unless it’s labelled that way.

You have a choice to make – can you handle someone whose actions and words don’t align? Is it more important to you to have this person, or a person who’s ready and willing to commit?
Q: No one I date wants to get serious!! There’s always an excuse, why can’t I meet the right people?

A: You aren’t a helpless victim of the dating universe, so this isn’t really a question – you keep meeting the wrong people because you keep choosing to date similar people.

What feels right to you isn’t working. You need to try some wrong. Stop meeting people wherever you’re meeting them now. Date people who you don’t usually go for, and stop dating “your type”.



Written by Ryan Jakovljevic

Ryan Jakovljevic is an award-winning counsellor and relationship expert with more than three years of experience helping both individuals and couples. He does weekly videos on YouTube, posts daily on Facebook and twitter, and you can also find him on Google+.
 Posted by at 5:51 pm

  45 Responses to “How To Move From Casual Dating to Serious Relationship”

  1. hi does lots of your dating advice aply to 65 year olds-my aunt is on online dating-most of the guys say they only want a serious relationship-does that sound like if you don’t have all the qualities they are looking for -you should skip them right away-and not waste each others time-they seem very time sensitive-they can’t devote a few years hear ad there -to casual dating-what’s your take thnks

  2. hi your advice about dating the same type of guy who is a cad-is very good-try another type-brillant thanks so much

  3. Thanks Siron, glad it was helpful. In regards to 65 year olds casually dating or looking for a serious relationship, it makes sense that they’re more time sensitive. They want someone to settle down with into a serious relationship right away, if you take your time and date casually you could be looking for a while.

    I’d say be up front with your desires and if your date isn’t on the same page, move on.

  4. my boyfriend and i have been together for a straight 8months. in the past we’ve dated as well (all together we have been friends for 4 years and dated between there) recently he has stopped saying “i love you” unless i say it first. we are long distance due to military, but i see him every holiday break including spring and summer. the passion feels “low” i guess you could say. i feel as if i’ve done all i can to grab his attention and have him interested in me like he use to, but nothing has quite worked. he admits something feels “odd” as he put it. does this just mean that hes comfortable around me? or could there be something else going on? is there anything i could do?

    • Sounds like you guys need to have a serious conversation with a professional. I’d find a good counsellor in your area and see what you can figure out together. Of course something could be going on, maybe he’s just comfortable, no way to say for sure without talking to the guy.

      Long distance is incredibly difficult; it’s doable but it’s not easy. If you’re both committed and willing to have the hard conversations you can work through it. Hope things go well for you :)

  5. I am dating a guy who I really like and he seemed to really like me but now only contacts me several times a week (not by phone) to say he misses me or how attracted he is to me, but never plans to meet unless it’s last minute and at his house. He does have a very, very busy job and is just getting over a major medical issue. I guess I need to directly talk to him the next time we see each other. I don’t really want random dates every few weeks or so. He had said in the beginning that he was looking for a monogamous relationship and wanted to make sure I was off of Match.com and had told everyone about me blah blah blah…
    dating is so confusing.

    • When it comes to casual dating:

      1) Figure out your needs
      2) Figure out if the relationship meets those needs
      3) If not, ask for the changes you’d like to see

      If the changes don’t happen, the only way you can seriously commit to the relationship is to accept the changes you want might not happen. It sounds like you guys are in pretty different places though in terms of what you’re looking for.

      Who knows, maybe he comes around if you call him out on the way he’s acting?

  6. Hi. I’ve been dating my “bf,” for a year. We see each other every other weekend. He has part time custody of his two teen daughters on weekends we aren’t together.
    Sometimes, we see each other once during the week for dinner. We are both legally separated. Nearly 5 years for him 3 for me. We both had been married for over 20 years. It’s been hard for him to deal with the separation. Sometimes, he still misses her I think. She has no interest in getting back together. I am over my marriage and am ready for love again.
    When we are together we have a great time. All his attention is on me. He is lovable, affectionate. A gentleman. He just told his girls about me a couple of weeks ago. They handled it ok.
    Problem is, I’m out of sight of mind when I’m not with him. He rarely texts me. He likes me to initiate. I don’t mind sometimes but I told him it would make me feel good if he texted more. He makes an effort once in a while.
    We talk about everything except where we are in our relationship or if it might progress. It makes him uncomfortable to talk about it.
    I recently told him I loved him. I took a chance. I figured he may not say it back. He said, “I’m not there yet..” He likes me a lot and I’m special but I guess he isn’t ready for more.
    I’m not sure what to do or if there is anything I can do about it. I feel like I’m going to scare him off if I express what I need and hope for. I don’t think I want yo marry again but I would enjoy a serious relationship. He said he doesn’t want to date anyone else. Neither do I really. I’m just so confused.
    What do you think?
    Thank you.

    • Putting yourself out there and being vulnerable is absolutely the right move, and it’s incredibly difficult to do that. Be proud of yourself for having the guts to do it.

      I think you’re way past casual dating. A serious relationship milestone is telling the kids, so he’s certainly serious about you.

      I think he’s being honest. Personally I’d way rather have someone honestly say they don’t love me yet than say they love me when they don’t. He clearly sees the potential to fall in love with you otherwise why keep moving towards a serious relationship?

  7. So I’ve been casually dating this guy for almost two months now… Him and I had both just gotten out of serious relationships when we met. He was married but I was not even though the guy I was previously with I was basically married to also (lived with him, had kids, been together for almost 5 years)… We met through a mutual friend. The night we met he asked for my number and texted me immediately after and said “hey glad we met, hope it goes somewhere” he text me the next day and confessed he’d been thinking about me all day… He started inviting me to hang out this and that. I wasn’t as interested as he was so I kinda made excuses and blew him off. Then one night he invited me over after work so I decided to stop by and only planned to stay a few minutes, well a few minutes turned into a couple hours and before I knew it it was 2 in the morning… He really wanted me to stay but I went home and he text me after I left and confessed that he really liked me a lot… The following week he went to out of state and we hit it off pretty good texting all the time… I decided to give it a chance. So I stayed with him the night he came back and I started falling for him hardcore… We’ve went out on a couple dates and have met each other’s friends, he’s even met my sister (whom I live with) cause not only have I stayed with him but he’s also stayed with me at my place… One night after getting intimate we were laying in bed and he was kind of sitting upright toward me and I looked up to him staring at me with sinsierity in his eyes, almost like he wanted to tell me he loved me but was scared… He’s always very affectionate even after sex. He always kisses me goodbye the next morning… In the beginning stages he wouldn’t have me park my car at his house in case his ex saw (didn’t want the drama from her) but now this past week he’s been letting me keep my car parked there. He said he doesn’t care anymore what she says or thinks about it… Also now he when he leaves for work in the morning, he lets me stay at his house till I’m ready to leave when before I would leave when he left. All of these things make it seem like he’s ready to take it to the next level and actually be in a relationship… But he has never really communicated what he wants or expects out of this so I’m kind of confused… He doesn’t text me as much anymore either, which also throws me for a limb… But we get together two to three times a week. Does it seem like he’s getting more ready to take things to the next level? Or do I need to give him more time? Any advice will help. Thanks!

    • Thanks for sharing your story!

      I think you’re officially at the in between stage of going from casual dating to a serious relationship. Let it evolve naturally, or if you want to be official ask him about it.

      Good luck :)

  8. Hey Ryan!
    I was in an in between relationship for about a year with my current guy. He was previously married and I was coming out of a long term relationship myself when we first met. He tried a lot in the beginning but had put a hold on it for the first few months because I had not felt ready to move on at the time. Not until 6 months ago did I start developing feelings. When we hung out things were great, but we didn’t get to see each other often. I started seeing warning signs that he didn’t seem fully committed and was evasive when I tried to talk more about it. I was too afraid to get hurt and like how I felt when we were together to jeopardize anything. One time late at night he had mentioned he wanted to become something more and asked what we should call each other. It was if we had sort of labels but nothing changed. There was no commitment made after that.The in between continued until I found out he was talking to/ hanging out with another girl. I made it clear then that this in between was not for me and I clearly stated what I was looking for and left. After doing this he immediately did a 180 and did everything a boyfriend would do and everything I’ve been looking for. After taking some time to myself and asking if this is what I want we have now been together for a little over a month and just got back from a 4 day vacation together. Besides our awkward past things have been great. I guess my question is can you trust someone who now is committing to you after you weren’t serious for so long? And if you can how to get your friends and family on board that things are better now? Thank you for the help!

    • When guys are being shady one of the best things you can do is stand your ground. It shows them you have self-respect, confidence, and won’t tolerate bullshit – all of which are very attractive.

      Well you were only casually dating for a short time, so I don’t think a serious relationship is out of the question due to his behaviour. You called him out, he changed, now you’re cool.

      If he does it again, get out before you get sucked into a serious relationship that isn’t worth the effort.

      If he keeps treating you right, your family and friends will get on board. Time will tell.

      Good luck!

  9. Hey Ryan, my boyfriend of 6 months and i broke up in middle May, he told me he didnt want to be in a relationship anymore and wanted to be single. Then, after not speaking for about a week while he was on vacation to play volleyball, he texted me and just asked what i was doing and how i had been. it seemed like he missed me. Two nights later, talking both days, I went to one of our mutual friends birthday night at a local bar. He was there, i got really drunk, and his friend took me home (male friend whom has a gf that was out of town) and my ex got extremely jealous! He told me he didnt love me anymore and ‘didnt know who i was anymore’. After 3 more days, he asked to meet up and talk, i had just moved and he came to see my new place (i was supposed to move in with him by the way) and we had sex. Its been 3 weeks and we are now seeing each other every day! going out to the bars TOGETHER, grocery shopping again, even spending the night and NOT having sex. To me, everything has been so great, like starting over!! Then i saw he was messaging girls on tinder to come over and shit. I confronted him about it, he said it was ‘just when he was bored’ and he would never meet up with them cuz he is super happy with us. I made it clear that if he ever had sex with someone else, i would never talk with him again. so why after i say that, does he still messge girls on a hook up app?!? Am i not on the right path and thinking eerything isn as good for him as it is for me? How do i know he is REALLY invested in us and not messing with me to have sex? Any advice would be awesome! Thanks!

    • Get the hell out of there. No guy who’s happy in his relationship has an active account on tinder, sounds like he’s playing you and trying to get some on the side. Unless he’s willing to delete it in front of you and own up to what he’s doing I wouldn’t bother trying to move forward with him.

      • Thanks for the quick response Ryan. I confronted him again and he deleted it like you said! He said that he doesnt want anyone else and is the happiest hes ever been in any relationship. But thats the thing, even though he deleted the tinder, does that mean he wants that commitment title? Should i wait for him to bring it up?

        Thank you again Ryan!

        • Awesome!

          I don’t know if he does or not, but actions speak louder than words or titles. If he’s doing all the stuff you’d do in a serious relationship, even though your “title” is casual dating, who cares?

          Hope things keep working out for you :)

  10. I recently started dating my best male friend. We have known each other for 7yrs. In the past we have cheated on our exes with each other but then we stopped messing around and kept being really good friends. This is the first time we date each other and it feels great. What i am worried about is if this will only be a summer thing or not? He is currently living upnorth and im in the south due to school. His family knows we are dating so do mine and he’s already told certain friends. How do i know if we can carry on dating if he has to go back up north in a month? Will it work out? What can I do to maintain our dating life together? Please lend me some advice. Thank you.

    • I wish I had a crystal ball, but short of that there’s no way to say for sure whether or not this casual dating thing turns into a serious relationship.

      If you really want to know I’d ask him. Where does he see you when he goes up north? Is that something you want, and if so, does he want the same? Is it feasible for both of you?

      Long term, long distance relationships are basically impossible, so be careful here. Consider your wants and needs. Try to figure out if you want it because it fits your life, or if you want it because it feels good right now and you don’t want it to end.

  11. Hi I have been dating this guy for about 6-7 months now. We talk on the phone almost everyday and usually meet 2-3 times a week but it’s mostly unplanned and at night after his work as he works full time and is very busy with work and also renovating his house during the weekends. He has taken me to his work place to meet everyone and also during the past month I have met some members of his family and he took me out to dinner with them. At times when I go over to his place he leaves his house keys with me so that I leave when I’m comfortable. I have invited him a few times to come out to dinner with my friends and my sister but he has never made it because he’s been busy. Problem is whenever I tell him that I love him he says thanks. I have asked him wether he loves me or not and he said he likes me a lot but he’s been through a lot of heart breaks in the past and would rather take his time to get to know me and say it whenever he feels secure and comfortable. I’m not sure if he just likes the benefits of casual dating or wants to be serious. Should I give him more time?

    • I’m so happy you posted here! I think it would’ve been sad if you left.

      The guy leaves you house keys, introduces you to friends and family, brings you to his workplace – he’s clearly up for a serious relationship.

      You can’t force love. And you know what’s way better than a false I love you from a man? A man who’s willing to be straight up and honest with you instead of running for the hills.

      If he’s scared, respect that. As long as he’s doing all the other things you’d do in a serious relationship, I can’t see him being in it for the benefits of casual dating. Sounds like a solid dude who’s just gunshy – give him a chance and see how it goes!

  12. I met this guy at a bar and hooked up with him within two hours, I was really attracted to him and could not control myself. I can’t say that I expected anything from that but he began smooth talking and saying all this stuff like he wanted to get to know me better, he only likes to be with one person, I am special and rare. However he lives out of state and comes into town once a week about every one or two months. He only texts me when he is in town and has NEVER called me. At one point when we were together he said “I LOVE YOU.” His actions contradict his words as I have never been so intimate with someone who acts like they could care less, but acts like they are in love with me when they are with me. I have made excuses not to see him a few times but he always seems to text me when he is in town. I confronted him via text that I like him but do not want to be deceived, and then he described the relationship as casual. I am just looking for confirmation that this guy is full of crap and just using me. I don’t plan to see him again despite how much I really really really liked him (unfortunately)

  13. ahh they just dont like the way you look so they just want to have sex with your body only when they find someone appealing to them they will apply but the woman do it more far worse then the men and the woman are more judgemental on physical outward appearances

  14. Thank you for this article! I have been really seeing things differently in the last year with how I am dating. I am learning that the couple guys that I dated in the past couple years that were quick (within two weeks) to want to be called “boyfriend” ended up fizzling faster than that talk happened. I am learning that to develop something solid and meaningful, it takes time. Enter the guy I am dating now. We started off as friends late last year and then one thing led to another and we were on a date, dating and sleeping together. He and I both have expressed that we have never been able to be in a relationship without being completely intertwined with the other person; that we both were scared of that happening again. He is also focusing on his sobriety and I have some background with that as well and realize that comes first. Over the last 9 months, he has broken it off a couple times b/c he could tell I wanted more and I have also called it off a couple times as well b/c he wasn’t showing up how I needed him to. His last relationship was really,really unhealthy and he said it tore him up-and put him in such a depression. He said he never wants to feel that pain again.This last stint of us not talking lasted 2 months. We have been dating again now for almost 2 months. One of the things I have always loved about him was how honest he has been. I have never trusted a man 100% the way I do him. From the beginning he has been clear that he isn’t dating or sleeping with anyone else nor is interested in it. But also that something is blocking his heart to go further into a relationship (I know it sounds cheesy but he’s been so honest with me this whole time I don’t see a reason for him to just use that as a douche cliché statement). So I have just sat back and let things unfold naturally without pushing a “what are we” talk. I have a pillow and toothbrush over at his house, I have met his kids and he has met mine once, when we have free time, we are spending it with each other-at least 2 or 3x a week. Unless he has his kids…then we don’t hang out much b/c he wants to focus on them. I have told him a couple times what I need in this and he has reciprocated and stepped up, he has started to be able to tell me he misses me when we can’t see each other. I stay the night a couple times a week and we laugh a lot. He is cooking me a birthday dinner tomorrow since I will be out of town for my bday this weekend. I guess my question is I feel him slowly letting things develop naturally and am wondering if I am being a fool sticking around hoping this will turn into a relationship? I kind of feel like it already is except he isn’t calling me his girlfriend? Thoughts?

    • I love the bit about calling him out when he isn’t showing up the way you need him to show up, great awareness.

      Don’t worry too much about labels, whether it’s casual dating or serious relationship doesn’t matter if the actual dynamics don’t match the label.

      To me, it sounds like you’re beyond casual dating. Meeting kids, staying over, making changes when your partner brings up an issue – those are all great signs.

      Maybe he has a hang up about calling you his girlfriend? Either way, if it’s going to be a serious relationship he does have to get over that at some point.

      I don’t think you’re being a fool as long as it’s *actually* developing into a serious relationship. Nothing wrong with taking it slow as long as you know what you want from the relationship and it’s trending in that direction.

      • Thanks for your reply, Ryan! So, curious what your thoughts are when you wrote as long as it’s “actually” turning into a serious relationship? Does that have more to do with what I want out of it?

        • Exactly :)

          The exact definition of a serious relationship varies from person to person.

          If you feel like you’re closer to a serious relationship than casual dating, it’s worth sticking around to see how it develops.

          The reason I said *actually* is because sometimes people say things are getting serious but their actions don’t back it up.

          • Ok. Right, talk is cheap. got it!

            One other question, pretty please! One thing that is bugging me is that he doesn’t keep in contact with me as much as I would like. I understand that texting all the time is not sustainable & can be annoying. But I really would like to talk to him every day when we aren’t able to see each other. I don’t even need long hours on the phone…just a call on our way home from work to see how our day was. Right now we text probably 3-4x week just to say hi…I’ve called him a couple times but I feel weird doing it. He has called me before too but it’s just not consistent. When I do call him, he’s always receptive. Answers usually always or calls me right back.
            I understand saying something to him the wrong way could make him feel like he is being given a checklist and if he’s calling to check it off, I don’t think I would really like it. But I also understand that I should voice what I want and need at times too….how do you think I approach it? Do I just do the calling on my way home to encourage that? Or do I say something?

            Thank you for all your responses so far!

  15. started dating this guy 2 months ago. We were both just out of
    serious relationships but jumped into the relationship pretty fast. He
    is having a hard time getting over this last girlfriend and a month
    ago asked for some space. I gave him what he wanted. He told me he
    still wanted to be with me but needed some space to clear his head. He
    told me he would understand if I wanted to walk away but he hoped I
    wouldn’t. A week later he asked me to be his girlfriend officially. We
    talk everyday and see each other almost everyday. We have met each
    others kids and our kids get along really well. We have met each
    other’s family’s and they all support our relationship. He still has
    moments when he is sad about his ex but they are getting less and
    less. We are open about it and he vents to me when he thinks of
    something. It’s hard for me to hear because naturally I want to be the
    only girl he thinks about. He keeps assuring me he is getting better
    everyday he tells me he loves me and he hopes we make it long term.
    This is all good and everything but the thing that bothers me is he
    says this summer has to be about him, he needs time to better himself
    and make himself who he wants to be. I do want him to be happy and I
    do support him bettering himself but he says he can’t give 100% to the
    relationship while he does that. But some days it feels like he is
    giving 100% other days not so much. My biggest worry is that he will
    get through all this and decide I’m not what he wants. I’ve been with
    some real jerks (full on abusive relationships) and he is the first
    nice guy I’ve been with so it was easy to get attached. He is
    understanding of my natural issues from the past relationships and a
    genuine nice guy. Im worried it will end when he feels better. Should
    I stick around?

    • Some days I give 100% to my relationship, other days I make excuses about why I don’t. That part is pretty normal.

      What gets me is the bit about focusing on himself. I’m not sure I understand – is he travelling somewhere? Are you separating for a while? What exactly is happening when he says the summer “has to be about him”?

      • Mostly he is just spending it getting back in shape, building his career back up and focusing on his kids. All great things that I support of course. But through all this he says he wants me in his life as his girlfriend but he won’t be able to put everything in that he normally would. I’m fine with it for sure because he is a great man but I don’t want to stick around investing myself emotionally only to get hurt in the end.

        • If you leave now you’ll wonder if it would’ve worked out.

          Take the time and work on yourself as well. If you feel dissatisfied you can always leave with a clear conscience knowing you gave it a shot.

          • That is very good advice and what I was kind of thinking. As far as the relationship goes it’s going really well. Just the outside stuff that gets confusing. Thank you for the advice!

  16. I started casually seeing an acquaintance for about a month, and in that month we didn’t talk about the relationship but there very strong signs of our feelings towards each other. I would sleep over each time we hung out, and we would hang out in a “datey” way in front of both of our best friends (cuddling, making plans to sleep over, friends knew we were together). He’s very shy, but he became very comfortable around me and would constantly compliment me and be affectionate (tell me I’m beautiful, intense eye contact during making out, saying he’d love to see my hometown, always being down to hang out, he’d often be late for work so we could lay in bed together longer in the morning, we haven’t had sex yet because I’m not ready and he respects that, we hung out for hours just cuddling and listening to music, we have made it clear we intend to be in each others lives in the upcoming year.)

    About a month into it though, our mutual friend prompted him to be honest about his expectations and he told me that he didn’t want a relationship. This was hard for me to hear (mostly because I want one, and was under the impression he did). He said he’s too immature to make someone feel special like he wants, and that he just really doesn’t want a relationship right now. We talked about it and agreed to continue to casually see each other, and get to know each other. I made it clear that I’m up for a relationship, but respect him and would like to continue to get to know him without pressure. While talking though, he contradicted himself and said both that “he views me as more than a friend” but also “doesn’t have romantic feelings” — while it hurts to hear he doesn’t feel romantically about me, I’m also not too worried because I think those feelings take longer to develop in others… He said he doesn’t want things to get serious, but that doesn’t line up with his actions in my eyes. Side note, while we haven’t officially yet talked about exclusivity, our mutual friend feels very assured that he wants to be exclusive and respects me/”the relationship” enough to not bring others into it.

    So! My question is, does this sound like a guy who will just need some time to develop and understand his feelings, and we may move to being authentically serious, or am I setting myself up? He has had a successful relationship in the past, so he isn’t incapable of that. I know that I will develop serious feelings for him, and I am willing to take my time and respect his needs, but I am also afraid of being the only one who falls.

    • To me – and I say this with extremely limited information about him – he sounds like a guy who wants sex but doesn’t want to hurt your feelings or make you feel uncomfortable.

      It can be really scary being crazy about someone who doesn’t return the feeling. Look at your options though… take the leap, and potentially you experience casual dating becoming a serious relationship. Don’t take the leap, and you’re safe, but you also kill your chances of experiencing a great relationship.

      When your gut tells you things don’t make sense, you’re usually right. One of the best skills you can learn is developing the confidence to trust that feeling and call out what you think is happening, even when it’s uncomfortable.

      I’d ask him what’s going on and explain what you just explained here. If you agree with me on the sex bit, ask him directly if he just doesn’t want to wait around, and is trying to avoid hurting or pressuring you.

      Let me know how it goes!

  17. Hi I met a guy on the darting app. We met 3times. First date was just having lunch. 2nd time I stayed over at his place. 3rd time we spend 2nights togather and he introduced me to his friends not as his gf. I wasn’t sure our relationship is serious or not. I thought it was not just hookup tho. he texted me why I am still logging to the dating app. What are you looking for. He said he is disappointed. I’m not native English speaker and our cultural background is different. Maybe I miss his signs. Maybe it was my bad logging into the app. Was this really bad thing?? I don’t know what should I do now I think I still like him.

    • This is a perfect example of miscommunication. All that needs to happen is a talk – ask him what he wants and explain what you want. If the issue is you logging into the site, let me know you weren’t aware that he viewed you as exclusive already.

      If he’s not able to forgive you and move past that, he’d probably be a difficult person to have a serious relationship with anyway. It’s a pretty minor offence and not one that contradicted any agreements between you.

      • Thank you for giving your opinions. We talked about little bit stil don’t know our relationship. I guess getting serious tho. I actually delated my account. You know sometimes I just loggin without any thought. I do not want him to check me too. Also he told me that he removed me from his app so now he can’t check whether I login or not. He forgave me this time but he told me no more lies even it is bad thing. I am trying to be honest all the time tho. I am happy to meet him and staying with him now but idk how things change in the future.

  18. Hello, I dated a guy for the past one and a half year. We had started off as friends and later we dveloped feelings for each other. We’ve always have a lot of fun with eaxh other,so we got into a relationship. But for some reason our relationship seemed like stuck in place and dint move forward. So then we broke up. But still we met quite often, went out and stuff so we ended up getting back into the relationship. Things were great for a few months but again we came to the stand still point.So he broke up with me again.
    Now its been 2 months since our break up and we seem to be falling back in the same pattern of chatting each day, meeting up quite often. And we still have feelings for each other. But idk why our relatonship wont work out? I would really want it to work out as we’d be great together!
    Thanks for helping! :)

    • What do you mean stuck in place?

      • By stuck in a place i mean, our relationship seems like it isnt going anywhere. Not moving forward. Idk why this happens.

        • I know – what specifically though do you mean by your relationship is stuck in place? What move forward are you looking for that isn’t happening?

          To put it another way, what would your relationship look like if it was moving forward?

          • Okay, so if we were moving forward, we’d be totally in the “we” mindset where we act as one unit. At the moment “we” factor isnt so strong. Idk why that is. But i think its because were are still in college and living with our parents and not independant yet and studies should be our priority. When i look at my friends who are in a serious relationship, either one of the girl or the guy or both of them live on their own. So that i guess helps them spend more time with their bfs because they can stay over many times or just live in with them.So what do you think bout this?
            Again i think we never talk about the future, because somewhere in my mind i think, its scary to dream about it even though i want to. Because we dont know next for masters where we would go and our paths might seperate which would be really sad.so im stuck in the “live the moment” phase out of fear.
            So my relationship doesnt feel like getting serious, it stays kinda casual-ish , we talk a lot, meet up, go on dates, make out. But then it starts getting monotonous and boring after a while even though we love each others company. And seeing friends getting all serious ,planning how theyd like to grow old with each other, our relationship seems like nothing and we break up. But then we start missing each other and again start hanging out and talk all the time. Its so weird, idk how to solve this.

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