Knowing what your relationship status is can be tricky to figure out.
Are you just friends who casually hang out now and again—maybe with some added benefits?
Or are you still dating and haven’t moved on to an official relationship yet?
The worst is you may even feel you want to change your status to “in a relationship” on all your social media and delete any dating apps, but you don’t know if the other person feels the same.
Luckily, there are ways to tell where you two are on the dating continuum and where things may be heading.
But, before we can figure out if you’re in an exclusive relationship or just dating, we have to understand what “dating” means.
To explain what constitutes dating is problematic, considering that, over time, it has become an umbrella term that covers everything from ‘hooking up’ to ‘being more exclusive’.
One thing, however, is clear, there is a difference between dating and dating someone.
When you say you’re dating, you mean you’re actively looking for people to spend time with and possibly hook up with.
But, dating someone makes it more personal—it means you’re seeing one person regularly and usually with something more long-term in mind.
The definition may vary from person to person, but here are some universal signs that usually show you’re dating someone.
- You want to get to know the person better.
- You’re spending a lot of time together and would like to move to the next step—a committed relationship.
- You’ve thought about settling down with this person exclusively.
As you can see, dating someone is driven by purpose. You want to spend time with someone you like to get to know them in an attempt to see if things can get more serious, and who knows, maybe even end up with wedding bells chiming.
To sum it up: If your objective is to find someone to be with, in the long-term, then you’re “dating someone” and not just “dating” around in general.
It’s confusing, but also not—it’s all about what you want out of it.
Something that is not difficult to define: relationship clues.
If we look at the general progression of building a connection with someone, we’ll find that it starts with dating, then it gets more private where you date a specific person, and then it gets more meaningful, and you decide to devote yourself only to that person.
It is when you reach a point where you accept someone entirely and are willing to stick through the good and bad together.
There are also certain behaviors that go with choosing to get serious—honesty, loyalty, patience, and passion.
Are We Dating or Just Friends?
If you’re brave, if you can just ask your friend, “are we dating?” But that’s a scary thing to do, we know. There’s always the worry in the back of your mind that you’ve read the signals wrong and will make things awkward should you ask.
On the other hand, you can’t live in limbo and miss out on other opportunities.
So, here are ten signs that show you’re ready to raise the question, “are we just friends with benefits, or is there more to it?”
If you can tick the ten boxes below, you will most likely get the answer you’re looking for.
1. You tell each other everything
Whenever you get good news, you want to share it with them first. Similarly, they always tell you what is going on in their life and share their secrets with you.
You know what their fears and worries are, as well as their goals and dreams—and they know yours.
2. It’s a tradition to spend weekends together
There’s no question about it; you’ll always be together on weekends. You’ll start making plans during the week already.
It doesn’t matter if it’s dinner, a movie, or just hanging out, it’ll be you two.
3. You know each other’s friends
Your circle of friends knows that it’s a two-for-one package and where you are, the other person will be. The same goes for their buddies. They’ve accepted you as part of the group.
4. You’re a little obsessed
You catch yourself thinking about them a lot of the time during the day. If you miss them too much, you may even stalk them on their social pages just to see their face.
You’ll also notice that you cross their mind randomly if they text you out of the blue, or they like your Facebook and Instagram posts.
5. You two are planning holidays together
Nothing screams, “things are getting serious,” like talking about spending time together in a romantic cabin in the woods.
If you start talking about places you want to go on holiday, you can be sure that being friends with benefits is something of the past.
6. Doing it with someone else has lost its allure
You actually feel a little grossed out when you think about getting down and dirty with someone else.
You’re also not interested in gawking at the hotties in the club—you already have your own.
7. Thinking of them with someone else makes your stomach churn
You feel possessive and don’t want to imagine them touching anyone else. The thought of them doing it with anyone, but you drive you crazy.
8. There’s no pretending
You can be yourself around them—no make-up, a messy bun, even in PJs that have seen better days, it doesn’t matter. You know they don’t care how you look and like you regardless. Likewise, they don’t pretend to be someone else around you.
9. You’ve met each other’s parents
You’ve gone through one of the most daunting steps of a relationship, so that must mean you’re actually in a relationship, right?
If you two started as friends, the whole “meet the parents” step may have been a little more chilled.
It’s different when you introduce “a friend” to your mom and dad than when you bring a girlfriend or boyfriend home.
10. You can’t imagine your life without them
If you don’t ever what to let them go, and they tell you the same, then there’s no question about it—you’re more than just friends.
The best thing you can do is to sit down and have a chat. Dating is hard enough without having to read signals to figure out what is going on.
Take the guess-work out of it by asking the other person what they think is going on between the two of you. While you’re at it, ask them where they see it going.
Also, don’t be afraid of telling them what you’re looking for. An honest face-to-face conversation will manage expectations.
There’s no use in wasting your time on something that is going nowhere.