If you are currently a user of online dating apps, or just dating app free, you know that there are as many variations in relationships as there are people seeking a relationship.
One-night stands, Friends With Benefits, polyamory, alternative sexuality, open relationships, monogamy, casual and serious relationships. And this is just the tip of the iceberg! But this is not an article exploring all the diverse ways that people find companionship. In this article we will explore the serious relationship. What is it, and how do you find one?
Dating apps for those seeking a serious relationship
If you are using dating apps to find your significant other, you would be well advised to concentrate on the apps that have the best record for finding a serious relationship. That would not be Tinder, which branded itself early on as an app for casual hook-ups, although there are more and more committed couples, even marriages, that came about as a result of Tinder.
But a more sure-fire way to find a serious relationship is to use the apps that draw other like-minded people. Favorite online dating sites for those looking to build a serious relationship are
- Elite Singles
- Coffee Meets Bagel
- The League
Pro-tip: To meet other serious-minded singles, pay the fee to become a member.
This already bumps things up a notch, since those who refuse to pay to meet people usually are those who are only looking for hook-ups. Also, state clearly in your profile that you are only looking to date people interested in a serious, long-term relationship.
That should weed out the users looking only for casual sex. Lastly, if their profile does not contain information, or the type of information that resonates with you, don’t contact them. Waste of time.
What does “serious relationship” actually mean?
What is a serious relationship? Only you can define what the words “serious relationship” mean to you personally. But in general, a serious relationship implies:
- You work together to make room in your life for each other
- You put your partner’s needs before you own, with a few exceptions for self-care
- You are exclusive and monogamous
- Both of you are committed to making the relationship last
- You both have the sense you are building towards something, a future vision
- You are both involved in nurturing the health and well-being of the relationship, sharing the work (and joy)
- You’ve met each other’s family, parents, children (if any)
- You’ve met each other’s friends
- You consider your partner when making large and small decisions
Signs a relationship is getting serious
You’ve been dating a month or so and are very much enjoying your time together. You sense that you both could build something real, meaningful and long term. What are some of the signs that a relationship is getting serious?
- You spend more and more time together
- You talk and text every day and do not worry about this seeming clingy or needy
- You have met each other’s friends and family
- You leave things at each other’s houses, like clothing and toiletries
- You buy your groceries together and prepare meals together
- Your topics of conversation center around future plans
- Before you make a decision, you consult with your partner
- You openly discuss finances with each other
- You’ve discussed the possibility of living together and marriage
Moving into the “serious relationship” phase?
Consider these serious relationship questions:-
- The why. What is motivating you to make this a more serious relationship than it currently is?
- How do you handle conflict?
- Are you pleased with your communication styles?
- How will you manage your mutual finances?
- How do each of you envision the future?
- Will you always have each other’s backs?
- What are your individual definitions of cheating? From internet flirting to real life affairs, talk about what constitutes cheating for you
Can a casual relationship become a serious relationship?
Yes, of course. Many serious relationships start out as friendships or just casual dating.
In fact, that is often a great, low-pressure way to begin. Starting out with a casual relationship offers you the luxury of getting to know your partner slowly, and a chance to build a solid foundation step by step.
If you are eager to move your casual relationship towards a more serious one, here are some tips:
- Ask to spend more time together. If they agree, you will know they are also interested in escalating things. If they say no, then take that response for what it is, and think about the reality of this becoming a serious relationship.
- Do activities at different times. Don’t just date at night, or go over to your partner’s house each time they text you asking you to hang out. Do daytime activities. Take a run together. Go off for a weekend. Volunteer together at the local soup kitchen. The point is to spend some time together not “dating” but “doing”.
- Start integrating each other into your respective circle of friends. In the context of your casual relationship, you may have not yet introduced your partner to your friends. Propose this. If they say no, they really aren’t interested, take that as a sign that they don’t want to become more serious with you.
If they say yes, this is a great opportunity to see how they interact with your friends, and of course what your friends think about your new partner. They know you and are invested in seeing you happy, so their opinion will be important.