Things started out light and fun (no-strings-attached!), but now you’re developing serious feelings for the guy you’ve been seeing. Here’s how you can take things to the next level.
Yes, you can go from hooking up to having a serious, meaningful relationship. HollywoodLife.com talked to real men and women to find out how to bridge the gap between a fling and the real thing.
Dating Advice -– How To Get Into A Serious Relationship
Don’t overthink things. Those friends in relationships who are always preaching, “It just kind of happens,” and “you’ll know when the timing’s right,” might be annoying — but they’re also kind of right. “My friend, Adam, and I had been casually hooking up for awhile,” says Jennifer, 27. “We didn’t do anything special to go from that to seriously dating though. We just spent so much time together that we realized we didn’t want it to end.” When you live in the moment and focus on having fun — as opposed to focusing on a hookup expiration date — you’ll naturally grow closer.
Look for clues. Aside from paying attention to I-like-you vibes, keep an eye out for any “girlfriend” signs he may be giving off. Think: talking to you about friend problems or sharing childhood stories. These subtle cues are indicators that he feels comfortable opening up to you.
Graduate from drunk dials. “Before my girlfriend and I became official, I used to only call and text her when I was drunk,” says James, 28. “One day she told me if I was serious about liking her, I would have to text her during the day and when I was sober. I started texting her every day.”
And schedule more day dates. The texting rule above applies to hanging out IRL too. So, if you’re only meeting up during bar hours, make plans during the other 9 to 5. It’ll give you a chance to see each other in a new light. Literally.
Hang out without hooking up. Go bowling or take a walk through the park—whatever you do, it should be an activity that doesn’t end in, well, you know. This will establish that you have the groundwork for a real relationship—not just a physical one.
Find shared interests. “Don’t feel like you need to conform to stereotypes and act as if you like to drink whiskey, watch sports, and talk about cars—I’ve had a girl do that before and it’s awkward,” says Aaron, 28. “You’ll get closer by finding things you both genuinely like to do.”
Introduce him to your friends. Getting along with each other’s friends shows you have a deeper level of compatibility. “Whenever I introduce a girl to my friends, it means I think she’s cool enough to meet the people who are important to me,” says Caleb, 30. “It shows I definitely don’t think of her as just a hookup.”
Tell him you want more. Yeah, yeah, easier said than done. But wouldn’t you feel better knowing exactly how he feels about you rather than waiting around for “the next move” that he may — or may not — make? (The answer is yes.)
Give him a little space. Once you’ve opened up about how you feel, it’s his turn to make the next move. But don’t force him to give you an answer then and there. He may need some time to digest. “Even though I’m crazy about my girlfriend, I was really nervous to commit to her in the beginning,” says Mike, 25. “Thankfully, she was patient, because she knew I’d been hurt in my last relationship. Pushing to be serious would have intensified my stress.”
Stand your ground. At the end of the day, if what you really want is a relationship, then don’t be afraid to cut things off with someone who has different goals. If he’s the right guy for you, he’ll want to put a label on it.
What do YOU think HollywoodLifers? How did you take things to the next level with your significant other? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
— Susan Johnson