There comes a time in many
long-term relationships, after things have been progressing for awhile, when you might step back and think to yourself, “Wow, we’re really in this for the long haul.” Maybe it’s one super romantic moment that brings about this realization, or maybe it’s a collection of shared experiences that build up that deepening bond. The signs your relationship is serious aren’t always easy to spot, but when you know what to look for, you can feel more confident in your growing connection.
When you start to establish a routine together as a couple, you might not even notice how serious things are becoming. After all,
relationships take hard work, and there will definitely be days when you’re frustrated and angry at one another. But these challenges, if worked through in a healthy way, can help your partnership grow strong enough to weather the storms. Before you know it, your friends might be asking, “So, things between you and your SO seem pretty serious!” And you realize… wow, they’re totally right! But if you want some expert approval that your partnership is super solid, look no further than this list of reliable signs. If several of them feel like they apply to you, congratulations! You and your partner share an amazing connection that took real time and energy to build. And if you're not quite there yet... don't sweat it! Keep spending time together and making memories, and you'll be heading in the right direction. 01
Your Walls Are Totally Down Around Each Other
“You don't need to pretend to be a different person in order to please your mate," love and life mentor
Susan Winter previously told Elite Daily. When you’re not embarrassed to throw on your comfy old toothpaste-stained t-shirt (you know the one) or sing Beyoncé songs out loud in the shower, you know you’re super comfortable around your SO. "Your partner has seen your best moments and moments you wish you could delete,” Winter said. “At the end of the day, you feel safe being the real you.” 02
You Talk About The Future
According to behavioral scientist
Clarissa Silva, you know you’re on solid ground when you start openly considering your future together. “You begin discussing what your life goals are and begin evaluating the other person’s fitness in your life,” she explains. Whereas early relationships are usually focused on the present moment, serious relationships require thought about how you’ll work together in the long run. Do you catch yourself evaluating your compatibility often? And are you and your partner talking about it regularly? There’s definitely a future on your mind. 03
Your SO Is Always Asking For Your Advice, And Vice Versa
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If you find yourself
running big decisions by your partner, or when they come to you for help with work or friendship struggles, it’s evident that you trust one another’s opinion. “[If your partner] regularly asks for your suggestions on advice and includes you in important decisions in their life,” that means you’re in a good place, intuitive dating coach Diana Dorell previously told Elite Daily. Trust is essential for a relationship to grow and thrive, and if you’re each other’s go-to source of advice, it means you really value one another’s perspective. 04
You're Super Close To Each Other's Friends
Silva explains that when you've gotten to know your
partner's closest friends (and vice versa), it's a sign that your relationship has really progressed. It's a way to have more shared experiences together through your mutual friendships, which "show the level of commitment the person has for you," Silva says. And if their friends have welcomed you into their lives, it's pretty likely they're on board with your love. 05
You’re All Over Each Other's Social Media Accounts
When you’re comfortable sharing your relationship with friends and family on your social networks, Silva explains that you’re in a good place. “Instagram is all about celebrating you,” she says, and your
willingness to post about each other reveals that you’re proud to show each other off. 06
You Share A Netflix Account And Watch Shows Together
Sharing a Netflix account is a strong indicator of trust and future planning,” Silva explains. It’s a way for couples to plan date nights together and bond over shows they both love. “Having and watching your show together indicates that you want to experience novelty with your partner,” Silva says. Sharing a TV show will build up your bank of inside jokes and give you something to geek out over together while you wait for the next episode. 07
You’ve Navigated Your Share Of Fights And Arguments
Fighting is never fun, but it’s part of any serious relationship. No couple is going to experience smooth sailing through every moment of every day. "All
couples argue and have differences of opinion," Winter previously. "You and your partner are able to weather the storm and come out on the other side. This is essential for having a healthy relationship and maintaining a future together." The more you learn to work through conflict in a healthy way, the better you’ll get at navigating arguments and coming out stronger. 08
Your SO’s Parents Treat You Like Part Of The Family
You Don't Need To Know Where Your Partner Is Every Second
You Can Read Each Other's Emotions And Feelings
daily communication becomes almost like a shared language, you know you’re in it for the long haul. You’ve become so in tune with each other’s emotions that you can sense when your partner is upset, worried, or angry. "The two of you have found your own communication style," explained Winter. "You know how to read your partner and they know how to read you." Your open dialogue allows you to be vulnerable with one another, which in turn deepens the bond you share. 11
You Begin To Create Your Own Traditions
Having certain experiences set aside for when you and your partner have your alone time might suggest that your relationship is meaningful and sincere.
Eileen Conroy, former therapist and current mental health expert, says your partnership is going down a more dedicated route when you develop your own private, special rituals. “This might mean making homemade pizza and wings every Friday night or going for a hike every Sunday morning,” Conroy tells Elite Daily. So, establish your favorite Chinese restaurant together and order in every Tuesday night. These are little sneak peeks of your committed future together. 12
You Openly Discuss Your Personal Finances With Each Other
Let’s be honest,
sharing both your financial successes and struggles can be very difficult, because it’s easy to feel judged or attacked when talking about such a sensitive topic. Relationship expert Ian Lang tells Elite Daily that if you feel comfortable sharing your spending tendencies with your partner, you’re definitely classified as being in a committed relationship. By understanding each other’s individual financial situation, you’ll create a strong foundation of trust.
“There is no need to spend your money buying expensive gifts or going to high-end restaurants if you cannot afford them — because aside from the fact that you do not need to, your partner already knows that it does not matter as long as you’re together,” Lang says.
You Find Intimacy With Your SO In Other Activities Besides Sex
Of course sex can be a
pure form of intimacy between you and your partner. However, if you recognize that you both can feel intimate during other experiences and encounters together, this could be a sign of a serious relationship. Laura Doyle, relationship coach, says there’s an intense difference between intimacy and sex, and finding the balance is key.
“When you are willing to be vulnerable with one another without the risk of feeling embarrassed, true intimacy starts to form,” Doyle tells Elite Daily. “It's a deeper, more meaningful connection that illustrates that you are open and trusting of one another.”
You’re On The Same Page About Exclusivity
Having accounts on dating apps is a regular occurrence for today’s dating community, so when you’re able to
delete them without hesitation (if you’ve chosen to be monogamous with each other), you’re definitely in a serious relationship. “Often, many singles tend to hold onto those dating apps for the ‘just in case’ factor. But when things are getting serious, there is no need for that additional option,” relationship expert and certified matchmaker Jaida Pervis previously told Elite Daily. 15
You Both Assume You’ll Be Together For Future Events And Holidays
Finding a plus one can make a wedding or family gathering very stressful. If you get an invite to an event and automatically assume your partner will be there as your plus one, relationship expert Nicole Moore says this is a sure sign that your relationship is serious.
“If it’s just a shared assumption that you’ll be together for the event, or at minimum run plans by each other first, your relationship is serious,” Moore says, “Single people typically consider only themselves when making future plans, and in non-serious relationships, there is no assumption that the person you’re dating will be your date to future events. Once the only possibility in both partners’ minds is that the other person will be their
plus one as a given is there, it’s safe to say that the relationship is serious.” 16
Your Partner’s Phone Background Is A Picture Of You
Being your partner’s screen saver might seem like a small gesture, but in the grand scheme of things, Pervis says it can mean more than you think. “When your partner intentionally sets a photo of you on their phone, it's because they want to be reminded of you daily, and quite frankly, they do not care who sees it,” Pervis tells Elite Daily. 17
Your Partner Is Your Go-To Person
Fabio Formaggio / 500px/500Px Plus/Getty Images
Who’s the first person you call when something happens? Big or small, who do you call? If it’s your partner,
Amber Lee, certified matchmaker, says your relationship is definitely serious. “When you find yourself reaching out to your partner before anyone else, your relationship is solid. Your partner becomes your go-to person to share life's highs and lows with,” Lee tells Elite Daily.
If some of these signs apply to you, it’s a good indicator that you and your SO are serious about each other, which is such a beautiful thing! You should be proud of the partnership you’ve built. A great relationship takes dedication, patience, and love to grow, and you’ve clearly got those in spades. Now go kiss your someone special — you’re doing the dang thing together!
Sources interviewed: Susan Winter, love and life mentor Clarissa Silva, behavioral scientist Diana Dorell, intuitive dating coach Eileen Conroy, former therapist and current mental health expert Ian Lang, relationship expert Laura Doyle, relationship coach Jaida Pervis, relationship expert and certified matchmaker Nicole Moore, relationship expert Amber Lee, certified matchmaker Don't miss a thing
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