How to turn your fling into a serious relationship

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You meet. You go on a date. You have fun. You have some drinks. You share some laughs. You text. You flirt… lather, rinse repeat. And that’s all well and good, but what if you want a little more than just good fun? What if, in the course of casually dating someone, you find yourself craving something more meaningful with them?

I won’t lie to you – there are treacherous waters ahead – but it is possible to turn your casual romance into something more if you know how to steer the ship.

Step 1

Understand that it’s okay to change your mind. Life doesn’t always work out according to plan, and the same goes for relationships. Just because you entered into a casual relationship doesn’t mean that you’re not entitled to change your mind and decide you want more than just fun. And, at the same time, you also need to understand that they’re entitled to disagree with your new relationship terms. Just because you want more doesn’t necessarily mean that they’ll want the same, and you’re taking a risk by letting them know this. Are you okay with that? Could you handle rejection if they don’t want the same things? If so, proceed to Step 2.

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Step 2

Before you even think about letting the words “I think I want more” out of your mouth, you need to do some internal reflection – work out what you actually want from this relationship, and why. Forget about your partner for a second. Is it security that you crave? Do you think this person might be “the one”? Are you uncomfortable with the idea of them dating other people? Dig deep and do some soul searching. Once you’ve got your “how’s” and “why’s”, you’ll be able to approach the conversation in a much more rational way.

Step 3

Avoid dragging things out and let your date know your feelings as soon as possible – it’s an uncomfortable conversation, but putting it off will only leave your feelings hanging in limbo, and they’ll probably have a sneaking suspicion that something is a little off. The best way to communicate your wants is with complete honesty – let them know that you entered the relationship just looking for casual romance, but that you’ve started to feel more strongly. Important: make sure you let them know they don’t have to make a decision then and there. That way, they won’t be pressured into making a hasty decision that isn’t right for both of you.

Step 4

Make plans to follow up. After you’ve let them know how you feel, suggest another time to meet up and chat. This part is crucial because often, where casual flings fail to grow into anything more meaningful is due to the nature of dating, i.e. no solid plans have been laid out. As they say, there’s no motivation like a deadline! Agree on a time (1 week from when you tell them your feelings is a good guide!) then and there, so that both of you know that there’s going to be closure, either way.

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Best-case scenario: you meet up for coffee, they let you know that your feelings are reciprocated and it turns into your first official date. Yay!

Worst-case scenario: they don’t feel the same way. You’ll have a casual chat about it, you’ll both have closure and you’ll both move on in a healthy and productive way; now both knowing more about what you each want from your relationships.

Step 5

Play the waiting game – this is perhaps the hardest part of all, knowing that your feelings are hanging out there on a limb and you’re stuck, anxiously staring at your phone hoping for a text that says “Let’s be exclusive!”

Okay, so maybe it’s not that dramatic for you – but waiting it out is tough. Right now, it’s best to take the pressure off yourself. The next move is up to them and, if you’ve set a follow up date, you know when you’ll see them again.

Take this time as an opportunity to focus on some solid “you time” and then, when the time comes for your follow up date, go into it with an open mind. Whatever happens next is an opportunity!

ADDITIONAL TIPS

  • Don’t beat yourself up if they don’t feel the same. After all, you did commence the relationship with completely different expectations.
  • Avoid using overly emotional or connection-based terms when you tell them your feelings. Just be as honest and straightforward as possible. You’re just having a chat, not writing them a sonnet!
  • Tell them your feelings on neutral turf, such as a café. This will avoid them feeling trapped (i.e. if they’re at your place) or you feeling intimidated (if you’re at their place).
  • Respect their wishes. If they choose not to continue the relationship, move on.

By Anastasia Amour

Do you want more out of a casual fling? Did you find this helpful? Let us know in the comments below or join the conversation on FacebookTwitter & Instagram. And if you are ready to narrow down the world of possibilities, sign up to eharmony today- find someone made for you.

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