There's never been a better time to date casually if keeping things light and breezy is your speed. Dating apps make meeting tons of new people possible, so if someone isn't the right fit, there are new options just a swipe away. If that's where you're at right now, great! Live your best dating life. But what if your casual date starts to feel like it could be something more? Is it possible to know if they're on the same page just by paying attention to the way they behave? As it turns out, there are signs someone wants to commit that you can keep an eye out for. As Cherlyn Chong, dating and breakup recovery coach for professional women tells Elite Daily, these can give you hints that you're moving in the same direction. "People do change their behavior when they want to go to the next step," says Chong. "Commitment's a serious thing, and many become more serious, more secretive, or more nervous as the date where they want to bring it up to their partner approaches."
If you've got a feeling that your partner's ready to take the next step soon, here are some of the ways you could be seeing it before they've had a chance to communicate it more directly.
1. They Do Some Spring Cleaning On Their Phone.
If things in the relationship are casual, you (or the person you’re dating) likely aren’t feeling any pressure to remove any of the dating apps on your phone. However, if they start deleting their dating profiles, it's a clear sign of a change in their mindset toward the relationship, explains Chong. “They want to be exclusive with you and are taking the steps to stop searching for potential love interests,” she says.
2. They Bring You Into Their Inner Circle.
If your formally undefined dating partner decides they want to introduce you to their family, then Eric Resnick, professional dating profile writer and online dating coach, tells Elite Daily it's an indication your relationship is moving into a new phase for them. “If they haven’t shown interest in sharing you with their family, but suddenly want you to meet their parents and siblings, it's a good indication they're ready to take things to the next level,” he explains.
3. They Show Their More Domestic Side.
Have you noticed the person you're dating has begun making themselves at home at your place or encouraged you to do the same at theirs? If so, Resnick explains this is called “nesting,” and it means they're ready to get more serious in the relationship. “When you suddenly realize that your partner's gone from keeping a toothbrush at your place to keeping a couple of outfits and their hair products, they're nesting,” he says. Resnick does caution, however, that if you suddenly realize the person you're dating has been slowly sneaking their wardrobe into your home without having a conversation about it, it’s time to have a chat about the state of your connection and where it’s going.
4. They Start Asking The *Real* Questions.
When you're first getting to know someone, it's natural for the questions to be more surface level. But as the relationship evolves, those questions are likely to get deeper, explains Resnick. When they start asking serious questions, like what you see in your future, life goals, or even if you want kids, that indicates they're starting to consider the next steps in the relationship.
5. They Tell You They’re Ready.
The clearest sign that someone you're dating is ready to commit is obviously that they feel comfortable expressing what they want to you directly, says Resnick. “If you're in an emotionally healthy relationship with someone, they'll let you know what they're thinking, if they are ready for the relationship to be more committed,” he explains.
What To Do If You Recognize These Signs.
If the person you're dating is exhibiting all the signs that they're ready for something more committed, Resnick suggests first checking in with yourself to make sure that’s what you want, too. “Do you want to commit or take things to the next level? If you do, great, but if you don't, you might have to re-evaluate the health of the relationship,” he says. Once you know where you're at, it’s time to check in with them. “If you're going to have a healthy relationship, you need to talk to each other. Regardless of whether or not you feel like you're at the same place in the relationship, you need to talk it through and figure out if you're both moving in the same direction or if you need to end things before they get ugly,” he concludes.
In other words, while being able to pick up on the signs that things are getting more serious on your partners' side is great, nothing beats good old-fashioned communication in the end.
Cherlyn Chong, a dating and breakup recovery coach for professional women
Eric Resnick, professional dating profile writer and online dating coach