At first, casual relationships sound like a win-win situation. You get all the benefits of a relationship without the fighting, pressure, or even commitment. Although a casual relationship can work, there are often signs your casual relationship is getting serious.
When this happens, casual can turn into complicated. But, how do you even know what these signs are?
[Read: Casual relationship – What it is, why people love it and the must-follow rules]
It’s not uncommon these days for people to have casual, or purely sexual relationships. It could be a friends with benefits situation or just a romantic relationship with no commitment to each other. There are many different ways a causal relationship can manifest.
But do casual relationships ever turn serious?
It is different for each situation, but yes, they can turn serious. But it really depends on the people involved and what their individual *and mutual* intentions are for the relationship.
The bottom line, both people need to be on the same page and want the same things. Otherwise, the casual relationship will not turn serious.
[Read: What does friends with benefits mean to a guy – Do guys ever get hooked?]
You probably entered into your casual relationship for one of these reasons: you aren’t ready to settle down, you don’t want to commit, or you just want to have fun. If not one of those, it was likely something similar like you are still recovering from a breakup and looking for a rebound.
But, if the reason you wanted a casual relationship seems further and further from what you have right now, your casual relationship may be showing signs that it is getting serious. Did you just want regular sex with no strings attached? Did you want fun and no drama?
If the things about a serious relationship you wanted to avoid seem inevitable, your casual relationship is getting serious. [Read: How to have a casual relationship without getting betrayed or hurt]
Are you worried your casual relationship is getting serious? Or maybe you are hoping your casual relationship is getting serious?
Either way, these are the signs your casual relationship is getting serious.
The thing about keeping a casual relationship casual is that you really aren’t a part of each other’s lives. You don’t hang out in groups or spend time with the other’s family.
But, a sign that your casual relationship is getting serious is when this starts to happen. Maybe your roommate bumped into your lover in the hallway, fine. But, now they are having breakfast together and are invited to trivia night.
The more you get involved in each other’s lives, the more serious things are. [Read: How long should you casually date someone before it gets serious?]
Jealousy is a creeper. It sneaks up on you when you least expect it and makes things messy.
A casual relationship is usually separate from commitment, but if you find out this person is seeing someone else or even flirting and it bothers you, things could be getting serious, at least for one of you. [Read: Why you should never make someone a priority when you’re only an option to them]
You can miss sex and maintain your casual relationship. But, when you miss someone’s corny jokes or obsession with a Netflix series, you miss them. That means the line between casual and emotional is blurring.
If you tell each other you miss each other or even just feel it, feelings could be on the horizon.
Each casual relationship has its own rules and regulations. Some people can cuddle even when things are casual. But, when sex turns into intimacy, this could be an early sign that your casual relationship is getting serious.
Even if everything feels the same, this is a small and subtle change. [Read: Romantic hug vs friendly hug – How to feel the difference instantly]
Sure, when you are together, you talk. You chat about the latest episode of SNL and the weather. But, when you aren’t together, most casual relationships only need to chat to make plans.
If you notice yourself wanting to tell them good news or vent bad news almost all the time, things could be getting more serious. If you text them all day or even just every day, your casual relationship is showing signs of something more serious.
In a casual relationship, you may head over to your “friend’s” house and grab their mail on the way in.
But, if you pick up their coffee order before seeing them or make them dinner, you are putting more effort in than a casual relationship requires. [Read: The rules you should be following if you want to keep a casual relationship casual]
Almost every casual relationship is entered into with some sort of boundaries. You decide there are no sleepovers or no meals together or maybe you don’t even kiss on the mouth like in Pretty Woman.
But, if these once-followed rules start to be broken or even bent, these are signs your casual relationship is getting serious.
It makes sense to follow your casual partner on social media. Who don’t you follow? Maybe you like each other’s photos or you message each other to plan your next meetup.
But, if you comment on each other’s posts, tag each other in funny memes, or get to the point in which you are posting photos with one another, that’s one of the clear signs your casual relationship is definitely getting serious. [Read: Social media and relationships – the good, the bad, and the ugly]
It is fine to talk to your casual partner about work or traffic or your car making a weird noise. But, when you start confiding in them, things get complicated. It is fine to ask for their advice about your taxes if they work in finance, but it is not casual to ask their advice about dealing with your ex.
When you start talking to them about personal things like your dating history, family problems, or things like that, you are going beyond the definition of casual.
Finally, the most obvious signs your casual relationship is getting serious may not be explainable at all. They may not be something you see or say. Instead, you might just feel it.
Whether it comes with butterflies, excitement, or even comfort and safety, when things get serious you just know. [Read: 30 weird, unlikely signs to know if you’re slowly falling for someone]
When your casual relationship is getting serious, you have a decision to make. Do you want to continue with it? Do you want to try to make a serious relationship with this person work? Or do you want to end things before they become too messy and hard?
This is something to think about thoroughly. You entered into a casual relationship for a reason. Does that reason still hold water?
Maybe you were fresh out of a breakup and didn’t want to jump into something serious, but now you have moved on and feel like you can. But, if you know you don’t do well with commitment, maybe something serious isn’t right for you. [Read: 19 clear signs you are ready for a serious relationship]
If you are unsure how you feel, talk to a trusted friend. They can help open your eyes to the feelings you may have been swallowing down. If you have been talking about this person a lot, your friend will tell you it seems that you are connected. If you aren’t, it may be clear that you are not ready for something serious.
First things first though. If you feel your casual relationship getting serious, talk about it. You cannot make this decision alone. This is a relationship. Whether it is casual or serious is not just up to you, but both of you.
If you want things to work out or end smoothly, you both need to be on the same page. Yes, even in a casual relationship, communication is key. [Read: Dating vs. relationship – how to read the signs and know your status]
If you think that both of you might want to turn from friends with benefits into a serious relationship, then there are ways to do it. But, if you don’t know how your casual partner feels about it, then it can be confusing and uncomfortable.
You need to figure out whether they are in it for just some fun in the short-term, or if they would be open to taking a step to something more committed.
It’s not uncommon for people to engage in casual sex with the hopes that it will lead to something serious. Researchers have called this phenomenon “slow love.” And believe it or not, this can be a pathway to a more legitimate romantic relationship. [Read: How to commit to a relationship and show your partner you’re serious]
When you have sex with someone early on, it sends the message that “I am interested in you” to the other person. They want to know more about them. In fact, research says that a person who wants to get married might have sex early in a relationship because they want to move as fast as they can.
So, if you desire to take your casual relationship to the next level by becoming more serious, there are some steps you will need to take to make that happen.
Obviously, for two people to become serious, they both have to want it. But how do you know how your casual partner feels? [Read: 23 intense signs of unspoken mutual attraction between two people]
First, pay attention to their words and actions. Do you only hear from them late at night when they want a booty call? Or do you talk to them regularly throughout the day? Are you spending time together outside of the bedroom?
If you talk to them regularly and spend time together when you’re not having sex, then there is a chance that the relationship could turn serious. However, you might be misreading their words or behavior. So, be careful.
You need to be mentally and emotionally prepared to hear that they are not interested in getting serious with you. And if you do hear that, you have to know what you want to do about it. Do you want to continue the casual relationship or do you want to walk away? [Read: How to end a casual relationship – 18 ways to end it without any drama]
Let’s say that you are pretty sure that your casual partner wants to get serious with you too. Well, then you need to tell them how you feel.
They are not a mind reader, so you need to express yourself. Even if it turns out that they don’t feel the same way about you, it’s best to tell them anyway so you can get everything out on the table. [Read: How to express your feelings – 16 must-know ideas to speak your mind]
Don’t make a huge deal about it, though. Just bring it up in casual conversation to give them time to think about the idea. Also, you don’t want to be too aggressive about it or give them an ultimatum.
Just be clear about what you want. They can either agree to it or not. But either way, you have told them how you feel. And don’t forget to give them time to think about it if they need to.
If you both have decided that you want to give a serious relationship a shot, then you need to transition from just sex partners to actually dating each other. So, you need to get romantic. [Read: Top 50 amazing first date ideas to wow your date]
Just like you would with any other person you are going out on a date with, you will still need to assess whether or not you think your casual partner is “relationship material” or not.
So, go somewhere fancy or casual, or choose an activity that would be fun to do together. You could go to a restaurant, a museum, a party, or to the movies. The point is to spend time with them outside of the bedroom so you can assess your compatibility.
Remember, just because there is mutual interest in taking the relationship to the next level by becoming serious doesn’t mean that it will actually work out. You need to treat it as you would anyone else you go out with. Continually assess whether or not you would work together long-term.
[Read: How to make your hookup miss you – 26 pros, cons, and ways to hook them]
Have you seen the signs your casual relationship is getting serious? If so, what do you want to do about it? You definitely have to talk about it either way, so remember these tips and steps, and let them guide the way.
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