The Difference between a Serious Relationship and a Fling ...

Alison

So you're dating someone new, and you really like them. After a while, it may become clear that this is shaping up to be a long-term deal. But until this happens, you may be unsure about where it's going. And you may think you're in it for the long term while the guy you're dating sees it just as a fling. How can you tell if what you have is going to develop into a serious relationship, or if it's just a fling …?

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1

He Makes Seeing You a Priority

It's fine for a couple to spend time apart, in fact it's healthy for you to have your own interests. But your partner should make seeing you a priority at least some of the time. If he'd always rather see a game with his friends than go out with you, then he's really not that enthused about seeing you - and it's possible that he's just using you to pass the time.

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When someone is genuinely invested in a relationship, they plan their schedule with you in mind. This might mean rescheduling a casual meet-up with pals to attend something that's important to you, or simply dedicating a weekend evening for some quality time together. Sure, impromptu plans can be exciting, but consistently being an afterthought is not the sign of a serious connection. If you're often left feeling like a placeholder until something better comes along for him, it may be time to reevaluate where you stand in his life.

2

Meeting the Family & Friends

Getting serious with someone means that you'll become part of each other's families. You'll also have been introduced to his friends. If, however, you've never met his family, and distance isn't an issue, he probably doesn't see you as fitting in to that part of his life. And (unless his family are awful) why would someone who was serious about you want to keep you separate?

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Similarly, if he's keen on a future with you, his friends will know your name, your likes, and probably some of your inside jokes. Friends are the extended family we choose, and they play a significant role in validating our choices, including romantic ones. If you're part of his life, integration with his social circle isn't just a possibility—it's expected. Conversely, if you're always hearing about these mysterious friends but never crossing paths, it's worth considering where you stand.

3

Talking about the Future

Can you imagine a future with your partner? Do you talk about plans together such as going on vacation, whether you want children, or buying a home? If you've been dating a while but he always changes the subject when you talk about the future, the signs point towards him not seeing this as a serious relationship.

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Conversely, a partner who enthusiastically engages in conversations about shared long-term goals is likely considering a serious commitment. This includes discussing the intricacies of life plans, like deciding on mutual financial goals or how you'll spend holidays with each other's families. Their readiness to integrate you into their future signals they're treating the relationship with the gravity it deserves. If your partner is proactive about setting dates for future events, or openly mulls over potential life changes with you, it's a good indicator that they're in it for the long haul.

4

Going in V Staying out

I'm beyond embarrassed when I look back and think of one guy I 'dated'. It was so clear that all he wanted was a fling, but I fooled myself into thinking it was a relationship. If all you ever do as a couple is stay in … it's not a relationship. A fling is sexual, a relationship involves going out and doing other things.

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A relationship blossoms in the light of day, growing through shared experiences, conversations, and adventures that extend far beyond the bedroom. It should involve dinner dates, movies, family gatherings, and just enjoying each other's company in a variety of settings. When every interaction is shrouded in secrecy or limited to one location, it's a red flag. True connections are built on more than just physical chemistry; they are nurtured by the emotional and intellectual bonds that form when you truly invest in getting to know someone in all aspects of their life.

5

One of You Has Recently Split up with Your Ex

While you can't rule out the possibility that a rebound relationship might actually work, jumping into a new relationship straight after leaving another is usually a mistake. Taking time to recover from the split and working out what you want is more likely to lead to a serious relationship next time around.

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Immediately leaping into the dating pool post-breakup often means you're carrying unresolved issues and emotions into the new romance. It's important to allow yourself a period of self-reflection, healing, and personal growth. Understandably, the excitement and distraction of a new partner are tempting, but these quick fixes can cause more harm than good. A true foundation for a serious relationship is built when both parties are emotionally available and not using the relationship as a bandage for previous heartaches. Take the time to rediscover who you are alone—your next partnership will thank you for it.

6

He's a Player

Does your guy have a reputation for being a player or a flirt? You might just be the one to convert him into a long-term love … but it's not that likely. Guys who have a series of short-term flings rarely change. A better prospect for a relationship is someone who's has longer relationships but can also handle being single.

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Often, men labeled as players revel in the thrill of the chase and the ego boost that comes from winning someone's affections. They may not be equipped for the emotional demands and responsibilities that come with a serious, enduring partnership. While the idea of taming a wild heart is alluring, it's wiser to invest your energy in a mate who appreciates and is ready for the depths of a meaningful connection. Remember, changing someone is a Herculean task often fraught with disappointment. Look instead for a man whose actions speak of commitment and stability.

7

He's There for You

Finally, one crucial issue is whether he's there for you when you need him. Flings don't want to be bothered with emotional needs, whereas serious guys know that it's not all fun. Guys who are serious will support you when you're going through tough times.

It's not just guys who pursue flings; you may be the one who isn't after anything serious.

Flings can be fun, providing that's what both parties want. Communication is important, and so is honesty. If all you really want is a fling, you should make that clear. It's hurtful to the other person to let them think you want a serious relationship if you don't. Have you ever thought you were in a relationship, when it turned out to only be a fling?

Feedback Junction

Where Thoughts and Opinions Converge

Uuhhmm.. i got someone and now he's staying at NewYork and im here in Philippines. He visits me every 2 months and treats me very well. I cant say any bad thing bout him coz he's really a gentleman but what makes me worried is bcoz he is a player before and im afraid he's just playing around again :(

I feel I was tricked by this guy into thinking he wanted more than what he actually wanted. He lied to me to get sex and I still feel so violated. I realized what an arrogant spoiled brat he is and dropped him on his ass which he didn't like much. So now he's messing with my head and won't leave me alone. Im just trying to shake off that sickening feeling and consider him the ugliest cruelest thing I could ever let in my life that way. Lies are extremely hurtful, downright cruel. There's a lesson in all this after I get over the serious mind fuck

I agree with "SnowLion."& I have sympathy for Steph5-what a jerk he is!

It's happened to me. Texting he was very romantic and was always all talk, but when it came to doing things all he wanted to do is stay indoors, and he would always choose his friends over me. I thought it was a relationship and he would always blame work for not seeing me often. He would always talk about places that he would take me but 3 months later we never went to a single place. He was also very verbally abusing when I said something he didn't like. I always told him that he made me feel like just some chick and he didn't make me feel special but he would always deny it. I'm glad I got out of that one though

quick question.. so i knew this girl since middle school we were coolish i was somewhat dating her older sister.. we went up to 10th grade together then she moved to the next county over she literally moved to the next county over and she changed schools so we stopped talking..fastword about 5 years i went to the local university she did not, she did whatever with her life .... well we started talking again on instagram / facebook at first it was just banter/ flirting catching up etc.. but then she started asking me for money and then i started asking her for sexual favor.. i know she is using me for money and i am using her for sex, she rude to me she does not even got me as a friend on social media even sometimes when her so called Bro's her around they are nicer to me than her,, her so called Bro would even let me do stuff to her/ force her to do stuff to me .. my question is should i cut her off she is toxic she not good for me but then i am enjoying the sexual favors she is the only girl in my area that is letting me do stuff like that but we dont even go out i invited her out a couple of times but she was like Na . so should i just cut her off completely and find a new girl which is probably going to take a while because i am a nerd/geek/ whatever you want to call it and i have trouble connecting with people so the question is should i just cut her off completely and find a new girl sincerely a recent university graduate

Steph5 . Please stop beating yourself up! Direct your anger at him not yourself! You win some,you lose some dear. Does not sound as if you lost a wonderful man at all - more like a boil on your butt! Laugh at yourself a while and put it up to experience. And never ever give up your moral standards !

Met someone who did all of the above and I had no concept or idea it was a fling. I liked him very much, but sadly it was all about sex. I am embarrassed to say I thought it was a relationship🙀! It has put me off dating anyone else this happened 15 months ago and still embarrassed that I let myself be used. Lesson well learnt. I should have known better I am a mature woman. Thing I still care about him but have refused to be used just for sex.

OK Steph5 don't feel too bad. Believe me you will get over him. I think women should be thought things about some men. Men want to sleep with women one way or the other because that is how they are made. If they like you sleeping with you is their way of expressing this. Now a good man will wait if he likes you and have that connection. A bad man's intention is that he will want to sleep with you come what may and if it is just about sex the chances are he will pretend to like you or not esp if he knows that he has messed about with your head. So I will say it isn't we women are emotional creatures and we like to be happy and make our men happy but take a step back if things don't seem to be going your way. Listen to your gut and get rid. Also not all men are like that so it is up to us to not mix love with sex. Just saying.

@Ask The Universe, I feel the exact same way about what I thought was a relationship. In the summer he stood me up 3 times after making plans with me. He never initiated conversations and he never took me out and always wanted to stay indoors. When school came around, I went to university and he spent his fall semester abroad (he was in a National Outdoor Leadership School course with no technology). Knowing this, I hand wrote him 82 letters and personalized them and gave them to him to read while he was on his trip. He said he'd write to me while he was away... Never did. When he came back after Thanksgiving and I saw him I got sick to my stomach. I thought it was because I was excited to see him after all this time.. but as time went on, I realized that wasn't the case. I continued going to school (an hour away from him), and I'd continue initiating conversations to try to talk to him, and wouldn't hear from him for 5 days straight. In December, he began to get very physical with me in ways that I was not comfortable with (sexually). I personally am planning on waiting until marriage until engaging in sexual activity; but that didn't matter to him. He forced me into situations and made me extremely uncomfortable - and I got sick to my stomach every single time I'd come home from school because his behavior became a regular thing... To top it off; he did all that and followed up by saying he didn't want anything "too serious". He didn't care about anything that was going on in my life, and he couldn't even remember my birthday!!! I broke up with him in early March, but after 4 months of dry-heaving because of extreme anxiety (because of him) and 1 month crying over him because I cared about him so much only to get treated so so so terribly, I feel awful, and I can't believe I put myself through that...I found out that he didn't have feelings for me, and he knew that before leaving for his semester abroad (in September)... he just kept me around so he could have his fun... I've never felt so hurt or disrespected or used in my life :( Why I waited so long to leave, I don't know why... But I feel so silly for thinking he actually cared, it's very clear now that he didn't; and that hurts, especially with all he did to me. It hurts to give 110% being loyal and caring and loving and respecting of someone only for them not to give you the time of day. it's gonna take a while to heal, that's for sure :(

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