In a perfect world, if the person you're dating wants something serious with you, they would simply say, "Hey, I want a serious relationship with you." But it's 2017, our president just stared directly into a solar eclipse, and the world is far from perfect. Your date could have an engagement ring picked out for you, and they might still adhere to "Saturdays are for the boys" as a mantra.
Sometimes, your partner is just being chicken due to past heartbreak, while other times, they are just being as noncommittal as I am when I'm picking out a flavor of gelato. Millennial dating seems to either move at an incredibly glacial pace (casual dating forever), or comes in as hot-and-heavy as global warming (swiping for a bone-sesh on Tinder). After six weeks or so of dating, it can be hard to tell what the F is going on. (Shout out to the dudes I've dated for, like, six months or more without committing.)
So what signs can you look out for that might indicate that the person you're dating wants a serious relationship? Elite Daily spoke to relationship and etiquette expert April Masini about what people will only do if they want a serious relationship.
1. They Show You Off
The first step: Are they taking you out to dinner in normal, populated areas? Great. Next step: Are they bringing you around their friends? This is one of the first signs that you are "in," says Masini.
"Anytime a partner shows you off — to friends, at office parties or company dinners, or to parents and relatives, it's because they want approval and to show you off, as well as to integrate you into this very important part of their lives," she explains.
So if your boo thang is bringing you around people who are important to them, that's a great sign. After all, you wouldn't bring someone you were only "meh" about to dinner with your parents, you know?
2. They "Pair Off" With You
If a partner is serious about being with, they will do "coupley" things with you. This indicates that they see you as a unit... which is at least a little closer to seeing you as "in a relationship."
"When your partner starts taking you out with other couples and hanging out with friends who are part of couples, it's because they want a long-term relationship with you," explains Masini.
I've definitely been on double dates that were perhaps more out of convenience than because my date was particularly interested in dating me forever, but overall, this logic holds up. Perhaps your partner has a lot of friends in relationships and wants to see how you fit into the mix.
Obviously, if your partner is acting single outside of your hangouts, they might not be ready for the big R. But "double dating, partying with couples, and vacationing with others who are in committed relationships means your partner is serious about you," says Masini.
Verdict: Double dates are a great sign.
3. They Change Plans For You
I love my independence. The hardest thing about liking someone for me is having to acquiesce to their needs. (Some people would just call it a compromise, but I have trouble changing my ways for others.)
Masini says that if your partner is turning down jobs to stay near you, they want to commit. "Same goes for wanting to spend holidays with you and making plans for winter or summer holidays months in advance. [These] are all ways your partner is showing you they're serious about you."
Even a simple change of birthday plans to make sure you can both have a special dinner together is a good sign. Commitment requires just that: commitment.
4. They Put You On Their Social Media
Are you in their Snap stories on the regular? Did they post a picture of the two of you at a recent wedding? Even if it's the third scroll in their Instagram album from the weekend, "it's a sign they want other people to know that you're a serious couple," says Masini.
She adds that ambiguous, hidden social media is a sign that your partner may not be looking for real commitment. Don't demand a couple's selfie shoot tomorrow, but see how willing they are to have you on their profiles.
5. They Talk About The Future With You
Not just next weekend, but the actual future. If your partner is talking to you about plans even just six months down the road, it's probably because they see you as a part of their life then, too.
"These conversations can be bucket list conversations, retirement conversations, and conversations about family planning or even estate planning," explains Masini. She mentions that these aren't the sexiest of topics, so if your partner is sharing their five-year plan with you, it's because they want you to be a part of it.
6. They Invest In You (Literally)
OK, so some people love to show off and pay for tabs and even fly you to Miami on an early date, but those people are easy to spot a mile away. If your partner is suddenly spending money on gifts for you, it's a shallow but very real sign that they want to invest in you. They wouldn't waste their time on someone they weren't serious about.
"When your partner invests in a car, expensive jewelry or real estate, for or with you, it's because they're serious about being with you for the long run," explains Masini.
So if bae turns up with a Tesla, consider yourself on the way to a very serious relationship.
If you aren't sure what's going on after weeks of dating, it's also OK to ask. If you're looking for something serious and the person you are dating is not, I know it hurts, but rip it like a bandaid and get out of there. I've wasted so much time waiting for people to change, and here's the thing: They don't. If someone wants to be in a relationship with you, they will let you know, whether you have to ask, or whether they surprise you with that Tesla. You'll figure it out.
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