For some couples, it can be weeks or months before they put any kind of label on their relationship. Maybe you’re in a situation where things started out casual and your feelings crept up on you. Or that window where you clarify that things are now serious somehow came and went, and things just feel awkward. Or maybe you’re just on the cusp, and neither one of you wants to blow up the status quo, so you both just play it cool.
1. You’ve met his friends. Specifically, he made a point to bring you along to meet his friends. This is very different from him messaging you at 1 a.m. to swing by a party and pick him up, so you meet his friends fleetingly. But if he actually makes plans with you to go out with his friends, and it all feels like a big deal, he’s at least a little into you.
2. He’s bringing you around to “couples’ events.” Meeting his friends is one thing. But if you’re unsure of how he views you, and you go out to a dinner that’s all couples … you’ve pretty much got your answer. No guy who wants to keep things casual is going to take you out with a bunch of other couples.
3. You slept over and didn’t have sex. When you can spend the night with a newish hookup and not feel obligated to actually hook up, it’s a good sign. The more this happens, the more likely it is you can have a “talk” without it being cringey. Any guy who wanted to set boundaries with a casual fling wouldn’t have even let this happen once.
4. His family knows about you. Meeting his parents is a huge step. So even if he isn’t ready for that, his family knowing you exist is a big deal — he wouldn’t tell them about some random hookup.
5. You’ve done an overnight trip. I’m obviously not talking about a couple’s retreat at a bed and breakfast, otherwise this wouldn’t even be a question … or you both just have the weirdest relationship ever. But if he’s asking you along to visit his friend in college or wants you to come with him when his friends all get hotel rooms for New Year’s Eve, he sees you as a girlfriend or boyfriend.
6. You got through a tough time together. On a much more somber note, it’s likely that he’s not going to see you if he’s going through the death of a close relative. Or he might not want to crowd you if you’ve got your own struggles. If you’re both sticking around through the worst of it, it’s because you care about the other person.
7. He makes plans around you. You’re probably not at the point where he’s going to make major career changes with you, but he’s thinking of you beyond the next few weekends, that’s a sign. Whether it means you made casual plans to go see a movie in three weeks or he’s taking you as his plus-one to a wedding in a month, that’s something.
8. You get some kind of “thinking of you” texts. His messages go beyond trying to schedule the next hookup or sexting you. If he wanted to keep his distance and make things casual, he wouldn’t be texting you every day. Or, he just really loves DMing. To be fair, that’s also a possibility. He might just be really bored at work.
9. He really goes out of his way to see you, even if he’s already seen you a few times this week. He’s braved snowstorms or driven an hour out of his way to show up at your place. Maybe he even busts his ass to see you multiple times in a week even though it isn’t exactly convenient. That’s definitely relationship-level effort.
10. When someone asks who you are, he stammers and says, “my girlfriend/boyfriend.” You’ll probably want to clarify it with him after the fact (it’s possible he just felt awkward and panicked), but this is as good a sign as any. If he just called you his “friend,” you’d know he’s still trying to keep his distance.