Sometimes you have to pull the words out of someone's mouth to know how they feel about you. And sometimes you know in your gut and it's clear as day. But other times we miss out on the signs that people are sending us because we're looking in the wrong places. We're looking for grand gestures and declarations. We're looking for cinematic statements and are totally skimming over the subtitles of love's presence that are even more potent.
When a relationship starts to get serious, feelings become more concrete. And while it might be hard to wait for someone to be comfortable enough with their feelings to share them with you and solidify the relationship, the best thing to do is nothing. The affirmation you get after shaking someone down for answers is never as satisfying or fulfilling as the kind of affirmation you get when you weren't expecting it.
Your curiosity about your new partner's feelings might be coming from two very different places. Either you want to make sure that their feelings are as strong as yours, or you're worried they're developing serious feelings while you want to keep things casual. And while both curiosities deserve answers, you might already have them. So before you put pressure on someone to express themselves before they're ready, check out their behavior and see if you can figure it out yourself. These are 14 signs your casual dating partner is developing not-so-casual feels for you:
They're Using The Term "We"
When your date starts to see you as a partner, they'll start referring to the two of you as "we". It might sound subtle and unimportant, but there's a lot of meaning behind that word choice. It means that psychologically, they see you as a unit. That's definitely a sign of love and commitment.
You're Meeting Their Friends
When you're casually dating someone and it's clear to both of you that it's just fun and has an expiration date, chances are, you're not going to introduce each other to your friends. It's not really worth it for anyone to get to know each other. But if your partner is adamant about you meeting their friends, most likely that means they're planning on sticking around. They want you to be a part of their life.
Their Friends Have Heard About You
If you're introduced to their friends and they already know about you, it means they're pretty into you. You have to be pretty excited about someone to gab to your friends about them. It's definitely serious for them if their friends already know about what you do and how you met.
You Catch Them Watching At You A Lot
You might notice that they linger when you make eye contact. You might catch them looking at you sweetly from across the room at a party. You might realize that they're watching you while you're talking to other people. If they're this tuned into you, they're definitely holding more than casual feelings.
They're Invested In Your Day-To-Day
They want to know if your boss was nicer to you than they were the day before. They want to know if the repair man ever came to fix that pipe. They listen, they pay attention and they like to be involved and in-the-know about the little things in your life, too. They're invested in your life experience.
They Want To Meet Your Parents
The desire to meet the parents comes from a place of wanting to be included and wanting to feel implanted. Because let's be honest, meeting family is never actually fun. It's stressful and awkward and uncomfortable. If your partner is dropping hints that they want to meet your family, that's their subtle way of saying "hey, I'm falling in love with you and I want to feel secure."
They Assume You're Spending The Holidays Together
Only couples that are serious spend the holidays together. Even in some of my most serious relationships, we didn't spend the holidays together. It's a sacrifice and a commitment for one of your to forego your family's festivities for the other's. Making this choice is definitely a sign of something serious.
They Remember All The Details
That one time you were drunk and told them about your fear of bats because of a scary book you read when you were a kid — yeah, that story is ingrained in their memory. You're outside late at night and they put their coat over your head as a bat flies by. You don't even remember telling that story: that's amore.
They Hold You Tight
When you're in bed together, their cuddles feel more than comfort-seeking. You can feel their muscles tense as they hold you tight. It's almost as if they're trying to say the words with their arms. They want you to know that they're not just draping an arm around you, they're holding you close — with intent.
They're Emotional About PHYSICAL INTIMACY
Physical intimacy isn't just about pleasure with this person. They make an effort to show you their vulnerable side between the sheets. They go out of their way to make you feel comfortable and adored. There's nothing casual about the way they make you feel in bed.
They Miss You When You're Away
When you spend a weekend apart, they're overly excited to see you. They want to know all the details that transpired while you were away. They were able to have fun with out you but think it would have been more fun if you were there. You are their new standard of fun.
They're Always Thinking Of You
Not a day goes by without a message from them. Whether it's a simple "hi" or a question, or date proposal, they can't go a day without letting you know you're on their mind.
They Talk About The Future
Not in a dramatic way, just in an "it's obvious I want this to last" kind of way. Maybe they mention plans for Labor Day on Memorial Day. It's subtle, but it's significant.
You Can See It In Their Eyes
You can just tell. The way their eyes widen when you're in frame. Whether it's what you want or not, it's hard to ignore the love you can see when you look them in the eyes.