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You’ve been seeing this guy or girl at least once a week for a few months now. You both love the same things. It’s great—except that you have no idea where things stand. They have yet to introduce you as their boyfriend or girlfriend and you’re craving that couple title and the security that comes with it. If you are in this fix, you are not alone. Read to know how to move or glide from a casual to a committed relationship.

happy couple

Make sure you want the relationship

You think you desire something serious with this particular person—but before you do anything else, be sure you actually want to commit to him or her. Step back and ask yourself the following questions: Do I have fun with them? Is my mood elevated when I’m with them? Do I feel good about myself after we part ways? Do they improve my life? Do I feel respected?

Avoid the “are we dating” talk

Allow things progress naturally and look at the evidence: Do they try to see you whenever they’re free? Do they seem genuinely interested in what you have to say? Do they have as much fun on dates as you do? These are likely signs they’re in it for real, so enjoy being with them and relax about making things “official. People who are wary of commitment want to feel like they’re the one choosing to be with you—they don’t want to feel like they’re being coaxed.

Lightly bring it up

If it’s been about six months and they haven’t dropped one hint about where they see this going, casually speak up. For example, if you’d like them to meet your parents, ask if they’d be up for going out to dinner, but let them know there’s no harm if they’re not quite ready for that yet. Above all, keep the tone light and maintain open lines of communication.

Unplug to Connect

Think beyond dinner and after-drinks for your next date. The best type of date allows you to stop texting, put the phone down, and really foster a deep connection. Restaurants can be nice, but try something a little outside your comfort zone from time to time. A new adventure can fortify your relationship since it gives you shared memories to reminiscence about later, and that stronger bond will increase the likelihood they’ll want to keep seeing you, exclusively.

Maintain your independence

It’s easy to let parts of yourself go when you meet someone you think is the partner of your dreams. But don’t. Instead, have your own interests to demonstrate how exciting your life is, with or without them. The most appealing thing to a partner is someone who has her own autonomy and strength. The more they see that you have a fantastic life of your own, the more likely they’ll want to jump in and be a part of it.

Show you care

There’s a fine line between playing a little hard to get and acting totally indifferent. When you’re out to dinner, make sure not to constantly check your phone or dart your eyes around the room. People appreciate and want to be with someone who makes them feel amazing. If you rock their world and they love being with you, why would they ever want to be with anyone else?

By Damilola Faustino

Read also: When You’re In Love With Someone You Can’t Have… Here’s What To Do

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