Ah, those first few dates. The start of a relationship brings along the zest that people in long-term relationships find themselves craving. Those beginnings are fun, flirty, fantastic… But they can also be confusing, awkward, and nail-biting. Especially if you don’t know where you guys are heading.
Is it even a relationship? How can you tell? When is it too soon to find out? This is the mind-numbing, head-scratching debacle couples find themselves in, once you make it past those slightly uncomfortable first few dates, and fall into that sparkly beginning, where every date and every text is exciting. Everything, that is, except for the “where is this going?” phase.
So why torture yourself with the discomfort? Instead of wondering if it’s too soon to commit or how to bring it up to your new squeeze, we’ve compiled a list of signs so you can ditch the guessing game. We’re looking at 9 signs it’s high time you make that baby official.
Why you should bring it up
Making your relationship official, while exciting, can also be incredibly awkward, and leave you fretting about the appropriate timing of the “where’s this going” conversation. But there’s plenty of reason to do so. Male or female, you deserve the respect and peace of mind of knowing where your relationship, or flirtationship, is heading.
#1 You’re sleeping together. If you’ve already done the dirty with your partner, then there’s no time like the present to make it official. Sleeping together is the emotional equivalent of saying “All bets are off,” meaning that no matter how much, or how little time has passed, if you’ve already gone that extra mile in the bedroom, then it’s never too soon to ask where your relationship stands.
#2 You’re actually sleeping together. It’s a sad world we live in where sleeping over is a bigger relationship milestone than having intercourse. C’est la vie, and so it is that if you’re actually spending the nights consistently at each other’s apartments, then you, my friend, may just be in a relationship. [Read: 9 ways to have a perfect start to your relationship]
#3 You’ve become an “us.” This doesn’t always mean a simple: He says “we” instead of “me.” Instead, does he talk about you guys in future tense? Do you make plans for upcoming weekends, host mutual get-togethers, or make sure that your separate groups of friends are inter-mingling? This is a definite sign you’re in relationship territory.
#4 You leave other options hanging. So you’re getting other offers. If you’re getting other attractive offers and your “yes/no/maybe-so” relationship is throwing you off an answer, then you definitely need to find out what’s going on. Don’t let your non-committal crush hold you back from a real relationship, if that’s what you’re looking for.
Other options don’t always have to be romantic, either. Such as turning down offers from your BFFs. If you find yourself pining over the potential time with your guy, instead of the guaranteed night out with your girlfriends one night, then you know it’s time to start getting this “relationship” in order.
#5 All your friends and all of his friends think you’re together. It really helps move the process along if his friends have not only met you and loved you, but they’ve also already referred to you as his girlfriend. If you’re in with the friends, there’s more of a chance you’re in with the guy. Plus, if you’ve already become good friends with his friends, they might just be willing to spill the beans about how your fella really feels about you.
#6 You’ve met each other’s parents. Some people spend years together begging -or just the opposite- to meet the parents. If you’ve bagged an introduction after just a short while together, it may just be time to change your Facebook status!
Keep in mind that this means more than simply bumping into mom and dad while at your local coffee shop. Likely you’ve had dinner at their house or gotten to know them well enough to give you an obligatory Christmas present. This means your man talks about you enough, that they felt like they should be giving you a gift. And in the world of pre-relationship dating, this is a very good thing. [Read: 7 clear signs it’s time to meet the parents]
#7 Your “dating/non-dating” farce has lasted 6+ months. If your tryst together has lasted six months or more, it’s time to label that baby. How can you possibly go another month and not know where you stand? Use your spidey-senses for this one. You’ve been in relationships before, and you know what those should feel like. Are you exclusively not seeing other people? Do you spend all of your time together with little room for other activities? Do you text and talk all day long? If it’s a yes, then what else are you waiting for? [Read: 9 relationship stages all couples go through]
#8 You’ve become his event-date. If you’ve become his kissing-buddy wingman, odds are you are paving your way to relationship-ville. This means that not only do you smooch on a regular occasion, but you are also his first call for date night, local events, movie nights, and any other occasion where he needs a date.
#9 You are BFFs. You tell each other everything. If there’s gossip or goodies to talk about, he’s the first one on your list and the same goes for him. If you truly consider each other your best friend, and you’re engaging in risky romantic behavior, then you owe it to your love life, and your friendship, to put a stamp of approval on your goings-on. [Read: Are you ready to take your flirtationship to the next level?]
It can be awkward to be the one to initiate the “where is this going” conversation. But the awkwardness is a small price to pay when you compare it to the indefinite uncertainty of having no idea what your status is!
[Read: Would you rather keep it casual? Here are 9 tips!]
Making a relationship official shouldn’t be hard work. If it’s right for you, you’ll know it without having to read between the lines.
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Waverly Smith is a freelance writer who has been getting paid for spreading her sarcastic take on love, life, and sex since 2010. She is many things that peo...
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