- If you’re looking for a serious, long-term relationship, you probably want to know that the person you’re dating is looking for and committed to the same thing.
- If your partner says they aren’t looking for something serious, they’re probably telling the truth.
- If they don’t seem to be entirely into your new, burgeoning, potential relationship, that’s likely the best sign you can get that they don’t intend to make things serious – now or ever.
When you’re ready for a more serious, long-term relationship and you start dating someone new, it’s not unusual to want to know if the person you’ve just started dating is on the same page.
Though you might not be able to know for sure, there are some subtle and obvious signs that might mean the person you’re dating doesn’t actually want a serious relationship. If you recognize these signs, having a conversation with your partner might help you find clarity.
They told you they weren’t interested in something serious
If the person you’ve started dating said that they’re not looking for anything serious, you should believe them. Chances are, they’re telling you the truth.
“While everyone wants to be the special person that shows them commitment is worth having, that’s more for the movies than real life,” Theresa Herring, LMFT, a licensed marriage, and family therapist, told INSIDER. “So, if you’re looking for a fling, go ahead and have fun. But, if you’re looking for something serious, run in the other direction before you get your heart broken.”
You’re clearly not their priority
When someone is looking for a more serious relationship, they often make the person they’re dating a priority. If that’s not happening, they might not be as serious about you as you may have thought.
“When a dating partner acts as if you are merely a convenience – they’re clearly showing that they’re not very serious,” Dr. Carla Marie Manly, a clinical psychologist, and author told INSIDER.
They’ve deliberately never introduced you to their friends or family
If your partner has a strained relationship with their family or has family that lives far away, it might make sense why you haven’t met them. But, if they deliberately keep you from the most important people in their lives, that might be a sign that they might not be planning a future with you.
Meeting your partner’s friends and family is oftentimes an important part of taking things from casual to a little more serious.
“When people are really into someone, they want to incorporate them into their lives,” Herring said. “When they are hesitant to introduce you, it often means that they have hesitation about you, the relationship, and/or the likelihood of a future together. If you’re looking to build a life with someone, you want to be included in their life. If you’re looking for something casual, this arrangement might work out just fine.”
They refuse to talk about the future
They’re not present when you’re together
Spending time with the person you’re dating should mean being mentally and emotionally present when you’re together. Heidi McBain, a licensed marriage and family therapist, told INSIDER that if the person you’re dating isn’t focused on you or seems distracted when you’re together, it could be an indication that they don’t plan to make the relationship serious.
They don’t want to meet your family or friends
Bringing the person you’re dating to meet your friends and family is also an important step in a relationship, especially if you’d like them to be part of your life for a while. If the person you’re dating seems to avoid meeting your favorite people, that’s not a great sign.
“Particularly in the early stages of dating, it’s easy for passion and fun to distort reality,” Manly said. She said it’s important to be aware of how you’re being treated once the beginning stage of the relationship begins to fade.
And, Manly said, it’s important to address these needs with the person you are dating.
They don’t seem to be as quick to respond to texts or calls or follow through with plans
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If they keep postponing plans or taking a longer time than usual to respond to texts or calls, it could mean that they’re not as invested in the relationship and may not be planning to make things serious.
If the person you’re dating is ignoring or dismissing your requests and plans, Manly said you may want to move on to someone who will be a better match.
They’ve never been interested in a serious relationship before
Of course, someone might have a history of casual relationships and then decide they’re ready for something more serious, or vice versa. But, if they’ve never been interested in anything serious before, it could mean that they’re not going to make things serious with you either, Manly said.
The way you’ve acted in past relationships could inform how you act in current and future relationships, but it’s definitely not definite. Having a more detailed conversation with your partner could provide more clarity.
If the person you’re dating isn’t going to make things serious, but that’s what you want, you may want to have a conversation with them about it. And if you can’t figure out things together, but want to do what you can to make it work, working with a couples counselor might help.
If you can’t figure things out, finding someone who wants the same thing that you want ultimately might allow you to be happier and more satisfied in your relationship – and that’s worth waiting for.