You’d probably be thinking, “if I’m dating someone, then I am in a relationship”… It’s a confusion zone for everyone in the circus called dating.
What is a relationship?
A relationship is the way in which two people are connected and the state in which they are connected (mutually) and this affects how they regard and behave towards each other.
How then is dating different from relationship? We’ve all ended up in this confusing zone. We might call casual dating a real relationship. So how do you know whether you’re in a relationship or it’s a casual dating…?
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1. When you’re in a real relationship, you’re not afraid to show your ugly and bad side to your partner. We usually keep our real selves wrapped when we’re getting to know someone. We try very hard to appear as angels in front of those we want to impress. But you know you’re in a relationship when you’re not afraid to show your partner who you are even in your worse because you’re confident they will still hang around. You’re not afraid to get angry, you’re not afraid to meet your partner even with your unkempt hair and face, you’re not afraid to show him what you like and dislike no matter how weird it sounds or looks because you know at the end of the day they will still be there for you.
2. You know you are in a relationship when you’re not interested in any other person except your partner. You’re not willing to try the waters or if there are others already, you put them away and go all in with your partner because you believe you pulled the special one out of the pack. If you’re with your partner but still willing to listen to offers from outside, or holding on to another person because of an “in case” situation, then I’m sorry you’re not in a relationship. In a relationship, you’re not compelled to message that new guy who showed an interest in you. You’re content with your partner and you believe he is the one to take you all the way.
3. In as much as, intimacy is very important in a relationship, one thing that differentiates a relationship from dating is that, in a relationship, the couples are independent in their hobbies. One sign to show that you’re in a relationship is when your plans don’t necessarily involve your partner. If your partner is content reading a romance novel while you sit in the hall to watch wrestling or football, meanwhile you’re comfortable involving your partner in the less glamorous aspect of your everyday life then you’re in a relationship. But in the case where the couples have no independent hobbies and do everything together, they don’t have plans on their own or try to exist on their own, it’s a sign that they still in casual dating and are yet to move to a relationship.
4. If they are your first point of call in times of making plans, taking decisions or advices, that is a sign of being in a relationship. When you receive a promotion at work, who is the first person you are going to call? Who is the first person you are going to invite for that movie you are planning to see. Do you check to see whether your partner is busy before you commit to other plans? Do your endeavor to make her the first person to know your next step? If you answered yes to all these questions and if all this has to do with your special one, then you are already seeing that person as a long term stay in your life and you are indeed in a relationship.
5. Can you confidently assure yourself that they will be there for you if you need them? Can you comfortably ask a favor from you special one? If you can confidently assure yourself that they will be there when you need them, it means a level of trust which is very necessary for the health of the relationship has been established and you’re ready to move on to the next level.
6. How involved is this person in your social? If you’re able to comfortably introduce your special one to your friends, it’s a great sign of intent. If your friends can freely say embarrassing stuff about you in the presence of that special person without him or her freaking out, it shows that he or show has come to relate with you on that same personal level and that is very essential for a relationship but in a casual dating, you might not want to risk getting embarrassed by your friends in front of your sweetheart.
7. Finally, the feeling should be mutual. Nothing hurts more than being 100% in only to find out that the other person is not on the same page as you. You can only know if both of you are on the same page through observation and communication and frequently approaching the question that most couples happily avoid, “what are we?”. Making assumptions will not make things any better. And if you find out the other person is not in the relationship zone as you thought, don’t work things up. Allow things to go on naturally and the person might end up appreciating your openness which might take things to the next level.
By: Ezekiel Allotey (Eze)
Facebook: Ezekiel Allotey