Making the transition from being in a casual relationship to a more serious partnership isn't always clear cut. Sometimes, relationships progress gradually, and before you know it, you're spending most nights of the week together. In other cases, it's clear early on that you're both committed. However, if you're in the grey area between dating and being in a serious relationship, it may be helpful to keep an eye out for the signs your partner is committed to you. If you're wondering how long it usually takes to move from casual to committed, Nicole Richardson, licensed marriage and family therapist, says there is no standard timeline.
"There isn't a perfect way to do it," Richardson previously told Elite Daily. "There isn't a certain number of times or dates or milestones. It's when your partner is showing up the way you need them to feel safe. Some people know on the first date that this is the relationship they want to be in." You shouldn't have to feel like your relationship needs to fit into a box. As long as you're both satisfied with how things are progressing, there's no need to rush. That said, Richardson also noted that it's important to be attuned to what's going between you and your partner.
"The number one thing I wish people would do is really listen to what's happening, and what [their partner] is saying, not hearing what they want to hear," said Richardson. "A lot of times, we hear what we want to hear, and we see what we want to see, and that's when we get hurt." If you're not sure whether your partner is fully committed, here are some signs they are.
You're Having Conversations About The Future.
According to behavioral scientist Clarissa Silva, if you and your partner are openly talking about the future of the relationship, this is a major sign you're both committed. “You begin discussing what your life goals are and begin evaluating the other person’s fitness in your life,” she previously told Elite Daily.
They Don't Run Away After The First Fight.
The first fight you have with a new partner can be very telling. How someone handles conflict both in the moment and after the fact can also shed light on how dedicated they are to the relationship. “If they stick around to work it out instead of acting out and running away — that's a sign that someone is committed to you,” matchmaker and CEO of Exclusive Matchmaking Susan Trombetti previously told Elite Daily.
You've Met Their Family
Meeting your partner's family is a big milestone that can signal the relationship is growing into a committed partnership. “You are important to them, and they want everyone to know,” said Trombetti. “They don't really care what they think of you either, except they may hope their parents like you because you are going to be in each other's lives.”
They're Open About Life's Ups And Downs.
One of the best parts about being in a relationship is having someone to share your dreams, hopes, accomplishments, and failures with. So, if bae is eager to open up about what's going on in their life with no filter, then there's a good chance that they want you to be a part of their future. “It's like they are an open book,” explained Trombetti. “They are sharing their life with you. You can feel their investment in this relationship.”
You Have Keys To Their Place
"Once [someone] gives you the keys to where [they] live, [they're] 100 percent committed," dating expert and consultant for Modelclub.com, James Preece, previously told Elite Daily. "It's a fantastic sign that [they] completely trust you and are quite happy for you to stay even when [they're] not there." Seriously folks, if someone hands you unlimited access to their personal space by giving you a key, then this is a clear sign they want you around as much as possible.
Although there are plenty of ways you might be able to tell if the person you're dating is serious about you, ultimately, starting a dialogue about it can help clear up any confusion. Talking about it openly is the best way to really know where their head is at, without any doubts or worries that you're overanalyzing or not on the same page. If you're both equally committed to each other, then an honest conversation will probably be a welcome approach. This way, you'll both have the clarity you need to move forward in your relationship.