Dating has always been confusing, and especially today when we have so many more “titles” than just boyfriend/girlfriend or husband/wife. Very often, we don’t know where we stand with our partners, and everyone is dreading THE TALK.
Open communication from the start is the best way to avoid any confusion, but sometimes that’s just not possible, and you have to figure everything out by yourself. Are you just a hookup, or are you in a relationship? Do you even want to be in a relationship? Does your partner?
There are some signs, fortunately, that can clue you in.
As the name would tell you, casual sex is the most unofficial, and well, casual type of relationship you can have. It’s all about getting all the pleasure without any of the pain and without any of the drama of serious relationships. You get together for some fun times, no strings attached, no emotions involved, and then you basically forget about everything until your next meeting.
You can keep things casual if you want, and if you’re unsure about your “status”, here are your clues:
You never sleep over
There’s a reason why one of the most important rules of casual dating is “no sleeping over”. You want to avoid all that after-hookup awkwardness and small talk. And going out for breakfast in the morning can create a false sense of intimacy, something you really don’t want to do if you’re looking for something completely casual.
So, when it comes to sleeping over, that should almost never happen in casual hookups, and it’s best to leave it that way. Pillow talk can be nice and romantic, but that’s not why you’re hooking up with someone.
You want to have your space after you’ve finished, and casual sex is just that for you – casual. There’s no need to spend time and talk with that person afterward. You decided to have a one-night stand because you don’t want any of that relationship crap.
And besides, when the morning rolls around, you have things to do. You can’t just wait around for the other person to wake up, have coffee and breakfast, then slowly head out. And no one wants to spend the morning wrapped in sheets while searching for their undies.
So, if you or your partner make it a rule that there should be no sleepovers, know that it’s a sign of no commitment. It makes it very clear that you only want sex and nothing else.
You are not part of each other’s lives
To keep things completely casual, you want to avoid any kind of relationship outside the bedroom. Meeting friends and family is not something your hookup should do. That’s relationship-y stuff, and it can lead to getting invites to social gatherings, getting to know each other better, spending time together more and more… All that sounds awful if all you’re interested in is just sex.
A telltale sign of your casualness is how much you talk about your partner to your friends, or more accurately – how much you don’t talk about them. Of course, sharing a few details of your hookup is always fun, and you can talk about the things you did, but if you continue talking about the person on and on, it doesn’t really seem so casual, does it?
And if you don’t want your hookup to become serious, but you want to continue hooking up, staying out of their inbox is a must. You want to limit text messaging to just sexting, and you want to do it rarely.
Developing feelings for your casual sex partner is often involuntary. It’s just a normal thing that happens when we have sex with the same person many times – we develop a sense of connection. So, to avoid feeling connected, stay out of each other’s lives by limiting your communication.
There’s no talk about personal stuff
It’s super important to have very clear and open communication with your partner about what you want from your relationship, everyone involved in it should know to keep the expectations low. It’s also good to talk about sex and protection, but that’s about it.
Talking about your hopes and dreams, your fears and problems, that’s not something that really happens in casual relationships. Getting to know each other on a personal level will make you create an intimate connection, and it becomes so much easier to start to fall in love with one another.
You don’t want to give false hope to someone by sharing your history with them, because that talk is for friends and romantic partners only. Don’t ruin a perfectly good casual sex deal by getting too personal and emotional.
As with everything else in life, not everything is black and white in relationships either, we’ve got shades of grey here people! Sometimes, your relationship cannot be classified into casual nor serious, and a “situationship” is right in between the two of them. It might be one of the most confusing dating situations for everyone involved, and here are your signs that you’re in a situationship:
You hang out together but are not an item
Now, when it comes to casual hookups, you try to limit all your time together to the bedroom. But when you’re in a situationship, you tend to spend just a bit more time together. And if it just so happens that you both want to see the same movie, you don’t mind going together. You might even go out for lunch on occasion, but don’t mistake this for dating. There are no flowers and wine, no romantic gestures.
You tend to hang out mostly at home and in the evening hours. The main reason you’re getting together is to hook up, so you rarely see each other during the daytime. But, unlike with casual sex deals, you don’t really have many rules here.
Sleepovers are getting a bit more common, and sex is not the only thing you enjoy. The relationship is still largely physical, but you actually have fun together when you’re not doing it as well.
You have no title
Are you friends with benefits? Are you partners, or boyfriend and girlfriend? No one really knows for sure. The one thing you know is that you’re having fun together, and you don’t want to put stress on the relationship by giving it a title. You know it’s something more than a hookup, but it’s not really a relationship, you’re not really that invested and don’t need the responsibility of the title.
And even though you’re not serious enough to give your relationship a name, you are exclusive. You’ve stopped seeing other people, and are content with your situation. The thing is, your situationship is kind of a gray area, it’s almost a relationship, but not quite.
If this was just a hookup, you’d probably be looking to date other people as well, but a situationship is different. It’s a bit more intimate, and you tend to stay exclusive.
The feelings are not that strong, but you do have them. You care about the person enough to stop seeing other people.
No planning for the future
You might be spending more time with your partner, and you might be planning to get together again in a couple of days, but that’s about it. You don’t talk about what’s going to happen in the future, be it a week or a year from now.
Firstly – you won’t be talking about the future of your relationship. “Where’s this going? What are we?”- those are not the questions you’d ask in a situationship. Here, you live in the moment. You don’t know if the relationship is going somewhere, and you don’t really care. You are happy where you are.
You also tend to make plans without thinking about your partner. If you have a wedding to attend in a month, you’ll probably be attending it alone. None of your vacations or trips involve your partner, and they probably don’t even cross your mind when you’re making these plans.
So, if you’re not sure if you’re just having casual sex, or if you’re in a relationship, the odds are you’re in neither. Your situationship could be the perfect balance between these two.
Dates, flowers, picnics, romance… Are you living in a romantic movie? Probably not, but by the looks of it, you have entered a serious relationship.
Whether that’s something you wanted or not is not important anymore. So, whether you want to take your relationship to the next level, or it seems to you that your partner does, here are your signs that this is more than just a hookup:
You are in each other’s social circles and social networks
The minute someone starts introducing you to their closest friends and family, you should know that they’re super into you. Especially if you’re meeting their friends for the first time, and they already know things about you.
When we’re getting serious about someone, they’re always on our minds. And we tend to talk about them constantly, we want everyone to know about them. So, we start sharing pictures with them on Instagram and Facebook, then we come to comments with inside jokes, then you start receiving friend requests from their family and friends.
Of course, the most obvious sign someone is getting really serious about you is when you make the relationship Facebook official. Why are you even wondering whether or not you’re in a serious relationship after this?
You talk about the personal stuff
It might just start with simple chitchats, like talking about your interests and hobbies. You soon find out you share some similarities, you enjoy the same things, and you even start talking about going to your partner’s tennis practice with them. You might develop an interest in something simply because your partner is interested in it.
Soon, the pillow talk moves on to something more meaningful. They start telling you about their job, you start to learn about their family and friends. You get an insight into their lives, and you learn about their background and childhood. Can you really classify this person as just a hookup once you’ve gotten to know them this personally, and once you’ve shared intimate secrets?
Once you get to know someone this well, you start to care about them, and your feelings for them become stronger and more intense. You want to listen to their problems and help them reach a solution. When you’re feeling emotional, you share it with them and they actually pay attention and lend a helping hand. You’ve definitely crossed the line from a casual hookup to a serious relationship.
You’re thinking about the future
It starts off with planning a picnic in the park or seeing a movie that is to come out in a couple of weeks. But you’ve started thinking about the not-so-distant future with your partner, and it just gets more serious from here.
You might not be talking about marriage and kids just yet, but you are talking about your future. If you’re planning a weekend getaway with them or talking about going on a vacation, that’s a sure sign you’re getting pretty serious.
And whenever you are invited to an event, be it a 6th birthday party of your cousin, or your best friend’s wedding, you know you’ll have a plus one. And you’re really looking forward to attending these events with your partner. You really start thinking about what’s to come for the two of you, and your relationship becomes a true partnership.
So, if you weren’t sure about your status before, now you know the subtleties that show you how serious your relationship really is. If you still can’t really tell, open communication is your friend. It doesn’t matter if you just want sex and your partner wants more, or vice versa, it’s best to be in the clear. No one wants to have their feelings hurt, so whatever your label is, tell your partner how you feel about them.