Contact Author What is a "Serious" Relationship? If you're dating someone who you really like, it's normal to eventually come to that point where you ask yourself: Do you want something casual? Or are you looking for something serious? When is a relationship "serious," though? Where do you draw the line? Well, obviously everyone has a different definition of what this means. The idea of a serious relationship will also vary widely across cultural lines.
In modern Western culture, such as the kind you will find in Europe and the US, a "serious" relationship usually has these traits: The relationship is long-term. The people in the relationship are not expected to part ways suddenly or easily, or at least not without some discussion. Often by the time the relationship is considered serious, both members of the couple have stopped seeing other people romantically. In the case of people in an open or polyamorous relationship, monogamy doesn't always factor in.
Both partners can see a future together. In a serious relationship, people usually can see themselves with their partner a year, two years, five years, or more years down the line.
The couple lives together or is planning to live together. Making a household together is a major factor in the modern concept of a serious relationship. The end goal is probably marriage. This isn't always true. Some people are content with being unmarried forever, but most people see marriage as the natural end for a serious relationship.
The couple may intend to have children together. For many people, the point of "getting serious" is to settle down and start building a life that can produce children. In fact, this is so common that some people who don't want to have children may have trouble getting into long-term relationships or marriages. In short a serious relationship for most people has to do with the future more than just being in the present. It is about commitment to the idea that you will stay with this one person for awhile and attempt to make a life with them--usually, but not always, with the intention to make a family someday.
A serious relationship often means weathering life's storms together. If you're just dating or "talking" to someone, usually: You are not entirely monogamous.
You might be seeing other people besides this person, and they may be seeing others, too. Even if you are only seeing each other, it might just be incidental. Neither of you has agreed to exclusively date the other. The focus is on getting to know the other person, not making a life with them. You don't really know the other person yet, so all your efforts with them center around having fun in the moment and learning about each other.
You don't live together. Unless you happen to be room mates who decided to get romantic, you typically don't live with someone who you're just casually dating. You don't call the other person your "girlfriend" or "boyfriend. You haven't made long-term plans with the person. If you avoid making plans with them even a few months in the future, then you're probably not in a relationship. There's no expectation that you will spend time together. If you see each other whenever you want, but there's no expectation ahead of time that you should see each other X days per week, or that you should call X times per day, then you are probably not in a relationship.
On the other hand, you're probably in a relationship if: This means there's some sort of commitment between you. You expect to see your partner frequently. This is especially relevant if you've taken steps to see them more often, such as moving in with them.
If your partner were to move out of your city, you would move with them. Again, this is a sign of commitment to the other person. You have gotten to know your partner reasonably well and they are well-established in your life. You are talking to each other about marriage. You would have to "break up" before you stopped talking to each other. In other words, there is something between you that would need to formally be addressed if you were to stop hanging out. In a dating situation, this isn't necessarily the case, and people just randomly stop talking sometimes.
Every situation is unique, of course, but these are the basic differences between dating and being in a relationship for most people. Your Relationship Status Based on the above, would you say that you're in a serious relationship?