How Serious Is Your Relationship?

With so many relationships never getting past the hookup stage, you might be wondering how serious is your relationship? We can help you!

Ah, serious relationships. In a world where social media and hookup apps seem to dominate the dating scene, determining the seriousness of your romantic relationships can feel like deciphering a cryptic code. The truth is, the dating scene has never been this complicated or frustrating.

So, before you invest too much of yourself in a relationship that just isn’t going anywhere, let’s take a bit of time to examine some of the vibes your partner is putting out there. To help you untangle the relationship web, I’m going to walk you through some of the most important signals you can look at to see if your relationship is serious or just a casual fling.

Let’s get started!

1. Are You Social Media Official?

It may sound trivial, but in the age of social media, your real-world relationship probably isn’t that serious if your “partner” is afraid to post and tag you on their accounts. If they are ghosting you on Insta, TikTok, Snapchat, and even Twitter, I’m sorry to say, you’re probably not that serious.

With that said, just appearing in a few Instagram stories doesn’t mean you’re suddenly in a serious relationship. Are you only appearing in group shots where it could just look like you are part of the group, or are you tagged in photos where it’s just the two of you? How your prospective partner displays your relationship online can be one of the biggest indicators of the seriousness of the relationship.

So, are you being tagged, or are you being ghosted on socials?

2. When Do They Reach Out to You?

There’s a huge difference between late-night texts and daytime conversations. If your relationship regularly consists of post-midnight “you up?” or “wyd?” texts, followed by serious ghosting in the morning, I’m sorry to say, it’s just not that serious. The bitter truth is they’re probably just into you for late-night hookups or even just someone to talk to when they’re bored. In all likelihood, they’re probably not interested or ready for anything more.

On the other hand, someone who is eager to talk to you at all hours, especially during the day, probably likes you for more than just the physical. They’re probably attracted to your personality and want something more meaningful than a casual thing.

If this is the case, try to move things offline. Aim for fun dates during the daylight hours rather than just meeting up at bars or group hangouts. Put down the phone. Nothing speeds a relationship along faster than face-to-face interactions.

3. How Do You Feel About Things?

During these awkward, early stages of casual dating, far too many people concern themselves with what the other person thinks about them. Don’t worry; you’re not just being thirsty; it’s a perfectly natural reaction.

The truth is there’s a self-conscious element to this type of thinking that also has small traces of competitive thinking attached to it. You get worried that they might not like you enough, so there must be something wrong with you. Or, if your friends are all in relationships, you might worry that they’re offering something that you aren’t.

Rather than just jump latch onto someone in hopes of securing an official relationship, take stock of what you want. When I’m navigating these feelings, I like to picture the relationship in the short-term and long-term future. If you envision a few years from now, do you picture yourselves living together, maybe sharing a dog or cat? Do you picture yourself traveling together, or is the thought of that a big yikes moment?

These gut reactions to these types of hypothetical questions can give you a good indication of your own attraction to this person, as well as your authentic desire to commit to an official relationship with them.

4. What Are Your Conversations Like?

Do your interactions feel like those exchanged between friends or people who are actually in a relationship? Emotional availability and talking about serious topics are good signs that you both feel comfortable around each other and, more importantly, have a meaningful connection.

Do you boil down your interactions to sending each other memes and quick texts, or do you actually have meaningful conversations? Discussing each other’s dreams, goals, and even vulnerabilities is a clear sign that things are moving toward relationship status.

However, if you’re the only one trying to talk about serious topics, only to get emojis or one-word responses like “dang” and “yeesh,” it’s just not that serious.

I know it sounds a little cliché, but emotional availability and a legitimate desire to share more than just casual conversations can help distinguish a casual fling from something that has relationship potential.

5. What Is the Vibe When You’re With Other People? 

Have you spent time with each other’s friends and family members? If so, what is the vibe like? When they bring you around their squad, do you just feel like they’re treating you like a friend?

If the other person has serious feelings for you, they’ll be happy to show you off around their friends and even their family members. A serious relationship is all about integrating another person into your life, not just having them make cameo appearances on weekends and in group settings.

If you feel unwelcome or like they’re not acting the same way they do when you’re one-on-one, it could be a bit of a relationship red flag. You also want to avoid ‘pocketing’! 

Final Words

Navigating the complex world of relationships and dating can be tough. Remember, there isn’t some set relationship checklist you can consult, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pay attention to the signs I pointed out above.

More importantly, consider your own feelings. Do you even want a relationship with this person? Also, remember the importance of open communication. If you’re comfortable with this person, you won’t be afraid to just ask them.

Look, nobody wants to scare someone away by asking if they’re official on the first date, but if you’ve been seeing each other for months, it isn’t weird to ask where things are going.

Oh, another thing: stop comparing your situation to #RelationshipGoals posts on social media; most of them are fake. Just focus on your own situation and happiness!


  • Chris Kane

    Chris Kane is a military veteran and former business owner currently living in the Des Moines, Iowa, metro. Chris is an inveterate entrepreneur and avid web developer who is not shy about sharing his opinions.

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