4 Early Signs Your Partner Isn't Looking For Anything Long Term, & What To Do If You Are

by Brittney Morgan

So, you're dating someone new, and you're really starting to catch feelings for them. You're looking for something serious, and you know that a casual fling just isn't in the cards for you right now. But what if your partner isn't looking for a commitment? If you haven't quite had the "What are we?" talk yet, but you're unsure of where you stand, it might be time to have a real conversation with them about it.

In the mean time, it might help to know some of the signs to look out for that indicate that your partner isn't actually looking for something all that serious. From small things like the language they use, to big things like whether or not they factor you into their decision-making process, there are a few ways you can tell — even early on — that the person you're dating isn't interested in a major commitment or a relationship that's more than just casual.

I reached out to a few different relationship experts to get the scoop on what signs to look out for — and what to do if you do suspect your partner isn't interested in something long-term (or if you're just not sure how to approach dating when you want a serious relationship!). Here's what they had to say.

They're not introducing you to their friends and family.

A partner who wants to make things serious with you is going to want you to meet their friends and family at some point, so if they're withholding that from you or making you feel isolated from the rest of their life, they're probably not interested in a real commitment.

"When a partner's not looking for commitment, they'll make excuses for not introducing you to their friends and family," relationship expert and love coach Susan Winter tells Elite Daily. "Remember, getting into your partner's inner circle means you're a priority and are considered an important part of their lives."

They're not factoring you or your relationship into their decisions.

Pricilla Martinez, a life coach at Blush, points out that a partner who is looking for a serious commitment with you will factor you into their decisions.

"[You can tell by] whether or not you're included in any decision-making, [or] whether or not you're taken into account even if it ends up being their decision in the long run, whether or not they consider you as part of that decision, and they factor in the relationship," Martinez tells Elite Daily.

If your partner is making decisions without talking to you, or is making major decisions about their future without considering you or whether or not you'll be together, that could definitely be a sign they're not interested in a big commitment.

They're not making actual plans with you.

One major thing all the relationship experts I reached out to agreed on? If they're not making actual, concrete plans with you or talking about your future together, that's a sign that they're not as committed to the relationship.

A partner who's not committed, "never wants to have 'the talk' about exclusivity," Erika Ettin, dating coach and founder and CEO of A Little Nudge, tells Elite Daily. "[They also don't] make any plans in the future, even the near future."

And as Winter points out, this doesn't mean that they won't talk about the future entirely — it just means they won't make long-term plans with you that are definite.

"They may lure you in with dreamy images of a fantastic life together that includes vacations, adventure, and excitement," Winter says. "But, you'll notice that no actual plans are made. This keeps conversations of this type in fantasy land, rather than reality."

Their language around you is very open and vague.

One major way you can tell your partner's not taking things as seriously is to pay attention to the language they use when they talk about your relationship.

When people aren't sure or not interested in something long term, Martinez says, "They purposely end up leaving things pretty open and vague, but anyone who's interested will make the plans, and will talk about the future in more than just the next weekend."

If your partner won't talk about anything in a concrete way with you, that's a sign to keep in mind.

So, now what?

Winter points out that, despite how nervous being honest about what you're looking for might make you feel, you should get it out of the way early on.

"Don't be hesitant to talk about your dreams and goals for partnership," Winter says. "Far too many people balk at being honest from the start. They're afraid of being rejected for speaking their truth. This results in daters sharing airy fairy, nebulous information that's confusing and inaccurate."

Martinez agrees, adding that you should make sure when you do have conversations about what you're looking for when you're in a new dating situation, come at it from a rational — not emotional — place.

"I think it's more about presenting what your goals are, versus your expectations of them, because I think reframing it in that way, it's more about, 'This is where I am, this is what I want to do, and this is the direction I'm heading, and you're either on board with that or you're not,'" Martinez says. "Any time you have a conversation like that, if you're coming from an emotional place, it can be really really off-putting because that's just a lot of pressure to put on somebody."

If you're not sure if your partner is looking for a commitment, it might be time to just ask them where they stand.

"The only way to know the answer to a question is to ask," Ettin says. "A simple, 'What are you looking for?' will do the trick. Assumptions and guessing don't help anyone."

And as both Ettin and Winter point out, what's the worst that could happen? As Winter says, "Lose the fear of being rejected by people that aren't right for you."

"Don't be shy about 'scaring someone away,'" Ettin says. "It's better to know sooner rather than later whether you are on the same page."

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