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Fling to Relationship: 31 Signs You’re Moving From Something Casual to Love

How can you tell when you’re moving from a fling to a relationship? It’s important to know for sure, so you’re both on the same page. 

fling to relationship

In this fast-paced world that we live in, flings are pretty much how most, if not all, relationships start. It seems like old-school courtship isn’t exactly the in-thing anymore, and most of the getting-to-know-you part just happens through text, chat, or phone calls. So, how can you tell if you’re moving from fling to relationship?

Hookups are so rampant that it doesn’t really matter to most people if they have sex with someone they’re not in a relationship with. In many ways, this is the way our world adapts to its people’s fast-paced lifestyle.

With all of that said, it won’t be such a big surprise if the person you’re casually screwing on the side turns out to be your next serious partner. You may have started with a casual flirtationship, but things are starting to get serious. Before you know it, you’re questioning whether you’ve moved from fling to relationship. [Read: Flirtationship – when you’re stuck in between a fling and a romance]

Signs you’re moving from fling to relationship territory

Before you jump to conclusions and assume that your fling’s two-text-messages-a-day habit will turn into wedding bells and babies, check for these signs to know if your little sumthin’ will turn into a more serious deal.

1. Consistency

Consistency is always key in knowing if two people are really into each other. Do you consistently make plans to see each other despite your busy schedules? Do the two of you have constant communication?

If so, you’re probably moving from fling to relationship ground. [Read: What are we? How to get your crush to label your relationship]

2. You’ve talked about labels

Nowadays, labeling seems to be one of the biggest issues in relationships. Most couples don’t really define what they have until they’re both sure it is something serious.

Obviously, if one of you has brought the topic up and the other agrees, then isn’t that a signal that what you have is most definitely more than just a casual relationship? [Read: Spot-on tips on raising the idea of being exclusive]

3. Family and friends know you’re seeing each other

Would you really introduce someone to your family and friends if that person isn’t someone you want to have a serious relationship with? We think not.

None of us would ever dare to bring a f*ck buddy to meet the parents. Meet friends, maybe. But parents? Heck, no. [Read: Are you falling for your fling? – 21 signs to decode that fuzzy feeling]

4. You go out on real dates

And by real dates, we mean lunch and dinner dates, going to a theme park, or setting a beach trip in advance. Real dates mean spending time getting to know each other.

If you only go out to have drinks or hang out at your partner’s place, then that sends an awfully wrong message – you two just want to get laid.

Oh, and the guy should always bring the girl home, we might not live in the olden times anymore, but that’s just how real dates are. Plus, never forget to make a follow-up call/text the day after the date – it comes off as rude when you go MIA a day after the date. [Read: Is the guy boyfriend material or just fling material?]

5. Sex isn’t the only reason you meet up

Let’s say you and your fling have been hooking up for a seemingly significant amount of time, but then you realize that you are making plans to actually spend time in the outside world, and you’re not confined to hanging out in the bedroom. You must rejoice because this is an extremely good sign.

The fact that you enjoy each other’s company and your relationship does not revolve around sex alone means that what you have is moving from fling to relationship. [Read: How to make your FWB want a real relationship with you]

6. You make plans for the future

Let’s assume what you have is a summer fling – if both of you decide to see each other even after you leave the beach, for example *where it all started,* then that’s the start of something real.

Would you really include someone in your future if you didn’t have intense feelings for them or if your main goal is to keep them as a fling forever? We don’t think so.

7. Exclusivity

This is very important. The most obvious sign that it is becoming real is when you have talked about being exclusive. A fling isn’t exclusive. When exclusivity becomes a part of the equation, then your fling has evolved into the real thing.

8. There’s love

Bet you saw this one coming a mile away. You two share a fluttering, blissful feeling… one that we all call love. Flings progress into something more when there are feelings involved. This, of course, should be mutual and clearly not one-sided. [Read: 19 sure signs of falling in love to watch out for!]

9. The content of your texts

If the only texts you get from them are “hey, you up?” or “wanna come over?” then this isn’t someone you’re going to tie the knot with. If anything, you will bang for a couple more months, and it’ll fizzle out.

But, if you are sharing funny and engaging text messages, it’s clear there’s more to the relationship than just sex.

10. Is there PDA?

Not always, but more often than not, PDA is usually saved for serious relationships. If you’re casually dating, the door is still open for other people, meaning no one wants to look taken when they’re not.

But you have to take this one carefully because not everyone feels comfortable with PDA, even if they’re in love with the person. [Read: Public display of affection – how to do it, PDA etiquette, and 26 must-knows]

11. Deep conversations

Let’s get real, casual flings are shallow. Maybe you two will discuss your day at work, but you’re not going to talk about a traumatic incident that occurred in your childhood. If the relationship is on a deeper, more serious level, then these topics will pop up because you will want to know more about each other.

When you start having deep and meaningful chats, you’re moving from fling to relationship.

12. You’re not on dating apps anymore

If you have both deleted your dating apps, it’s looking like you may be exclusively dating and moving toward something more serious. But as long as you’re still swiping, it’s casual. [Read: How to date casually without getting attached]

13. You’ve shown your ugly side

Yes, your ugly side. Don’t pretend you don’t have one, we all have one. When you’re with a casual fling, you’re not going to show that side. But when it’s serious, it’s unavoidable – they’re going to see your ugly side whether you like it or not.

14. You’re happy doing nothing together

If you can spend hours, even days doing nothing together, that’s not something casual. You don’t mind sitting on the couch watching Netflix with them, enjoying their company without feeling bored.

If this happens, it’s nothing casual and you’ve moved from fling to relationship. [Read: How long should you casually date someone before things get serious]

15. Public hangouts

No one is going to take their casual fling public if it’s going to jeopardize the potential ass they could have. That’s why you’re in a casual relationship. You’re still waiting for something better.

Ouch, we know, that stung a little bit, but you know it’s true. But if you’re openly hanging out in public, neither of you mind who knows you’re together.

16. They’re your go-to

When you want to go for a coffee, watch a movie, or go shopping, instead of calling your friends, you call them. Does that sound casual to you? Exactly, because it’s not.

If you are each other’s go-to person, that’s nothing casual, it’s deep into exclusively dating territory. It shows you have a deeper connection and enjoy spending time together. [Read: 15 committed relationship rules to make your relationship last a lifetime]

17. You rely on them

Most casual relationships are based on sex, so you’re not going to call them if you need help. Rather, you’ll call your best friend or your dad–legit. But if the first person you call is them, then it shows the level of trust and security you have with them.

That ain’t casual. You know that. [Read: What does exclusive really mean? 15 signs you’ve clearly hit this stage]

18. You’ve fit them into your life

If it was casual, they would be someone you’d squeeze into your schedule from time to time. It makes sense – you’re looking for someone to scratch your itch and nothing more. But if they have become an integral part of your life, a person you can’t see living without, then it is serious.

The big differences between a fling and a relationship

Now you can easily see the signs you’re moving from fling to relationship, it’s pretty obvious that a fling is nothing more than a way to pass the time, often about looks and lust only. But, a relationship is about more than that, it takes into account personality and connections.

For a quick overview of the big differences between a fling and a relationship, let’s do some side-by-side comparisons. [Read: Great reasons to let your holiday fling become serious]

1. People don’t invest time in flings, but they do in relationships.

2. There are no future talks in flings, but a relationship has a discussion about the future at some point.

3. In flings, you see your lives as separate entities, but in relationships, you introduce them to your loved ones.

4. Flings are sexual, falling in love is the priority in relationships.

5. In a fling, either of you might have more partners, but you only have each other in a relationship. [Read: Why you should be dating more than one guy at once]

6. People jump into flings right after breakups, but it’s not the case in relationships.

7. You spend on flings but invest in relationships.

8. Sacrifices and compromises aren’t important in flings, but they are in relationships.

9. A fling won’t care about your feelings, a partner in a real relationship will. [Read: How to show respect in a relationship and love each other better]

Ways to turn your fling into a relationship

If you’re pretty sure that things are progressing but you want to help things along a little, how can you do that?

Pushing the other person before they’re ready is never a good option, but you can be a little sneaky about this! By moving carefully and reading the signs, you can edge from fling to relationship in less time.

1. Patience is key

Rushing things never ends well. Know that if you’re going to have a long-lasting relationship, it’s okay to allow things to evolve naturally.

While you can edge things along by spending more time together and getting to know one another more deeply, understand that you’ll need patience to get over the line. [Read: Rushing into a relationship? Why you need to learn to slow down]

2. Be their best friend

The best relationships are based on friendships, however, you do need to be careful not to end up friend-zoned! But, if you’re already in a fling, they see you as something more than a friend already, so you can use your empathy and care for this person to try and edge things toward a deeper connection.

3. Take small steps toward a relationship

You can start making small steps toward a relationship with changes here and there. If you always go to one particular place when you go out together, go somewhere else, preferably with more people you both know. Surprise them with a small gift, or suggest a weekend away.

These small steps will signal your intention and will hopefully be reciprocated. [Read: How to be in a relationship – 61 rules and tips to get into one and start happy]

4. Reveal your feelings – when you’re ready

When you feel like your partner reciprocates your feelings and you’re seeing many signs that you’re moving from fling to relationship, you can explain how you feel. But don’t rush this! Go at a speed you’re comfortable with.

Love moves in mysterious ways

What’s truly important is that you and your partner talk about what you both want openly. Maybe at the beginning, you had an agreement that it isn’t going to be more than just a fling – sometimes, things just happen, and you could have absolutely no control over it.

The biggest mistake people usually commit when it comes to flings is that they never tell their partner what they really want. They wait on each other until everything gets messed up. Speak your mind if you feel that you want more, so you know if it’s going to evolve into anything or not.

[Read: 19 signs you’re ready for a serious relationship]

When it comes to grey areas like moving from fling to relationship, sometimes all it takes is for one person to speak up. After all, you never know if your fling could be the one true love you have been waiting for.

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Vinod Srinivas Serai
Vin Serai
Vin Serai is the founder of LovePanky.com, and has delved deep into the working of love and relationships for almost two decades. Having dipped his feet in almo...