You've been hitting up their DMs and chatting day and night with your crush. The two of you can hardly go a few hours without texting, jumping on the phone, or Facetiming.
At what point do you move from "just talking" into a bona fide relationship?
Like everything when it comes to dating and love, it depends (and dating apps only make things more confusing). Everybody has their own expectations and ideas of how relationships should progress. Some couples simply ease right into a committed relationship while others have to sit down and talk things through.
At this point, you've got two options:
- Go with the flow and see what happens.
- Have "the talk," which could be super-awkward... or it could create your next great love story.
Let's see what relationship experts say about the "talking" phase of a relationship and the 13 questions you need to ask before you commit to someone.
What the research says
There's no formal "rule" for how long you should talk before making things #FacebookOfficial. But relationship experts can give you some insight into how long you should stay in the talking phase with a potential bae — and how you know you're in an actual relationship.
According to one study, 23% of people would consider themselves in a relationship after kissing each other — but plenty of others would label that as just "friends with benefits," sooo...
If kissing isn't a surefire sign that you've gone from "just hanging out" to something more serious, what is?
Psychologists say you should wait at least two months until you ask the other person to be exclusive with you. You might decide to commit to each other sooner than that, but generally speaking, eight weeks is a good timeline.
Keep in mind that this depends on how often you talk to your crush. If you only text a few times a week, you're probably going to have to wait a little longer. If you're together 24/7, you might move more quickly.
13 questions to ask before you become exclusive with someone
I know you're eager to declare your love from the rooftops, but let's slow down for a sec. Are you ready for a committed relationship? Is the person you're hitting up actually a good fit as a long-term partner?
You've got to ask yourself these questions to make sure you're down to make things official:
- Am I ready to commit to someone? Avoid the "It's not me, it's you" breakup by making sure you're ready for a relationship. Do you have the time to hang out with a partner? Are you mentally and physically able to make them a big part of your life?
- Do I like spending time with this person? Unpopular opinion: Loneliness is better than being with a partner who gets on your nerves. If their behavior is annoying or cringe-inducing, don't convince yourself otherwise.
- Do they share my morals? Sure, opposites attract, but you've got to agree on the important stuff with your crush. Whether it's politics, religion, or your personal ethics, make sure your chat buddy has a similar worldview.
- Are we on the same page about our life goals? It might sound weird to talk about kids, marriage, and career right now, but you should have a general idea of what your maybe-bae wants out of life. If you can't wait to have kids but they don't want any, that should be an immediate deal-breaker (sorry).
- Would my friends and family like this person? I know your crush is AWESOME, but what do your family and friends think about them? Make sure you aren't blinded by puppy love; get into a relationship with someone who fits into your existing network of relationships.
- How do I know this person is trustworthy? Trust is a must. If this person has done anything to make you question their honesty or integrity, this probs isn't the relationship for you.
- What's my gut feeling? When it comes to love, you've got to trust your gut over your head. Someone may sound great on paper, but if there isn't a spark (or you feel like something is off with them), it won't work out.
If you really like someone and want to make sure they aren’t dating other people, the best way to know for sure is to ask. Here are questions you need to ask your crush to see if they want to be exclusive (while making sure the two of you are a good fit):
- Are you interested in a committed relationship? I mean, you gotta ask! If they don't believe in monogamy or just want something casual, you need to know that so you can make a decision to stay or go.
- Have you ever cheated on someone? Sure, a crafty cheater would say, "No," but it’s still a good question to ask.
- How are your relationships with your family? This will say a lot about how your crush will interact with your family.
- What are your thoughts on sex? This can get into sexting territory quickly, so try to keep things on topic. Ask what they think in terms of frequency, positions, and any of their other sexy-time preferences. It's good to know how freaky they are ahead of time.
- When was your last relationship and how did it end? It's helpful to know your crush's dating history — or at least the headlines. You don't want to be a rebound relationship, so it’s good to find someone who’s ready for a new partnership, not someone who just broke off an engagement.
- What are your plans for the next five years? You're trying to build a future with this person, so you need to make sure their plans are in line with yours.
You'll never know until you ask
There's nothing more nerve-wracking than showing your cards and asking a crush if they want to be exclusive. Sometimes it doesn't work out, but more often than not, asking these questions can help you get on the same page and (hopefully) start a beautiful romance.
When in doubt, trust your gut and go with what feels comfortable. By asking the right questions before you become exclusive, you can save yourself a lot of heartbreak and find love that lasts.