Transition from Dating to Relationship

There can come a time in your relationship where you want to make the transition from just dating to officially being in a relationship. If you feel like you and your partner are going in a great direction, you may want to take it to the next level. This situation is not necessarily easy to handle, but there are methods you can use to turn dating into a relationship.


Making the Transition

  1. Focus more attention on your partner. In your fast paced world of cell phones, social media, and busy schedules, you may be distracted a lot. When you start a relationship, try to focus more of your attention on your partner. This means you should put your cell phone down and stop texting while you are with your partner.
    • This will let your partner know that you are in the moment and want to be as present as possible. This will help make your relationship stronger and last longer. [1]
  2. Spend more time together. When you are in a relationship, you will be spending more time together than you did when you were just dating. This means you need to make time for each other in your weekly schedule so you can enjoy your new relationship. Your time together doesn’t need to be elaborate or extremely thought out. A relationship means you can do everyday things together as well, like making dinner in and watching a movie on your couch.[2]
    • This doesn’t mean you should be at your partner’s beck and call. Keep a little mystery in your relationship. Don’t agree to every date your partner sets. Instead, switch it up and keep your partner wanting more.[1]
  3. Call just to talk. When you are in a relationship, you want hear from your partner more often. This means that you may call your partner just to talk. When you are dating, you likely only called if you were trying to set up a date and time to meet. When you transition over to a relationship, you will likely talk much more.
    • This doesn’t mean you have to be on the phone all the time. It just means that there are times when you want to hear your partner’s voice.
    • You may also text or message each other more as well.[3]
  4. Do new things together. When you enter into a relationship, try new and exciting things together. Go for a long hike in the forest. Take up mountain biking together. Go out dancing in the city. Take a trip across the country together. The great thing about changing to a relationship is that you have another person to do exciting things with.
    • Compromise on what your activities will be. Relationships are a two way street, where each of your opinions matter equal amounts.[1][2]
  5. Meet each other’s family. When you enter into a relationship, you may want to introduce your partner to your family. If you are close with your family, consider having them over for dinner and introduce your partner to them. This will let your partner know that you care about them enough to meet your family and will also allow your family to get to know who you are in a relationship with.
    • Your partner may also want to introduce you to your partner’s family. Just be yourself and you’ll be fine.
    • If you are not close to your family, you don’t have to worry about this step. It only matters if your family is important to you.
  6. Tell your friends. When you are changing over to a relationship, you will want to tell those closest to you. Once you and your partner are an official couple, you should tell your friends. Go to group hang outs as an official couple and tell people that you are in a relationship.
    • This doesn’t have to be a formal thing, just make it obvious that you and your partner are together.[3]
  7. Keep your own interests. Being in a relationship does not mean that you have to like all the same things. You can do things with your partner you might not necessarily want to do as a compromise, you remember you are your own person too. Foster your own interests and let your partner do the same. This will make you both happier and give you something new to talk about when you are together.
    • For example. if you don’t want to watch football with your partner and instead want to go to the gym, go to the gym. Your partner will be there when you get back.[1]

Knowing if You’re Ready

  1. Be ready for a commitment. When you enter into a relationship, your dating life will become exclusive to that person. This means you will stop dating other people and only see the person you are in the relationship with. Before you decide to be in a relationship, you need to make sure you are at this point.
    • If you are still interested in dating other people, you are not ready for a committed relationship to one person.[4]
  2. Assess how you feel around him. When you are thinking about being more serious with your dating partner, you need to make sure he is the right one for you and that it is something that you want. You want to make sure your partner is making your life better and that you will thrive in a new relationship. Ask yourself:
    • Do I feel better when I’m around my partner?
    • Do I enjoy our time together?
    • Do I leave our dates feeling better about myself?
    • Do I feel respected?[1]
  3. Look at your own life. Even though you may really want to be in a relationship, you need to make sure that you are at a good point in your own life to start a relationship. Relationships take up much more time than just casually dating. You will have to make more time to be around your partner and be available when you are needed. This may be difficult in certain circumstances.
    • Decide if you have extra time in your week to spend with your partner. If you work 50 to 60 hours a week and barely have time to go on the dates you do, moving forward into a relationship may not be the right move.
    • If you really want to get into a relationship but you are busy, you may need to make time for a relationship if it is important to you.[4]
  4. Figure out how you feel around your partner. You need to make sure you actually enjoy spending time with your partner before you move from dating to a relationship. Do you feel comfortable around your partner and feel you can be yourself? If you don’t, then you may not be ready for a relationship.
    • Many of the best relationships feel as if you are with your best friend in addition to being with your partner.
    • If you find yourself wanting to be alone or away from him for long periods of time, you may not be ready to go to the next step.[5]

Determining if Your Relationship is Ready

  1. Assess the state of your relationship. You need to make sure your relationship is in the right place before you go from dating to a committed relationship. You need to decide if the two of you are ready to go to this next step. There are some criteria that you can look at to see if you are ready for the next step. Questions you can ask yourself are:
    • Do we hand out on a frequent basis (more than once a week)?
    • Do we talk to one another outside of our dates?
    • Do you both initiate conversations and dates?
    • Do we enjoy being around each other when we are together?
    • Have you met one another’s friends?[5]
  2. Talk to your partner. Communication is key to any relationship. Before you make the transition between dating to a relationship, you need to discuss some things with your partner about where the dating is going, if your partner wants to change the status of your interactions as well, and if your partner is ready for the next step.
    • Try to avoid having a ‘’talk’’, meaning you should try to bring it up lightly or at a comfortable moment. Don’t bombard your partner with a “Where are we going?” speech.
    • You should also ask what your partner expects out of a relationship so you know if you fulfill the requirements.[1]
  3. Look for signs you are already in a relationship. Sometimes, being in a relationship can sneak up on you without realizing it. This is common if you are comfortable with your partner and just haven’t verbalized it yet. If this is the case, you just need to tell your partner that you want to make things official. Some signs that you are already in a relationship are:
    • You date each other exclusively
    • You spend every weekend together without having to ask
    • Your partner has seen you at your best and worst
    • You’ve fought and made it through to the other side
    • You’ve talked honestly about your exes
    • You’re really good friends with each other’s friends
    • You stay in more often than you go out on dates[3]
  4. Do it for the right reasons. There are many reasons to want to start being in an official relationship with your partner. Feeling ready for the next step, wanting to be with the other person more, and wanting to connect with the other person are common reasons people being a relationship.
    • You should not begin a relationship, however, if you are feeling pressured into by your partner or because all your friends are doing it.
    • Also never enter into a relationship to save things between you and your partner.
    • If you move to this step too early, you may end up ruining your relationship.[4]

Source and Citations