#SWAAYthenarrative
BETA

The Best Time to Move from Casual Dating to a Relationship

Sponsored

Have you been dating casually for some time now? Maybe, it is the best time to move this relationship to another level. But wait! Probably, it is not yet time. So, how do you know if all is ready? There are signs and factors to consider before taking this sensitive step. In many cases, this entirely depends on the people involved and how they view such things in life. For now, let us dive into these insights.

Be Sure That This Is What You Want

Before making the step from casual dating to a relationship, you need to understand whether this is what you really want in life. Many people have jumped to the other side, only to realize that they are not ready for commitments. The good thing is that your heart will always let you know whether you are ready or not. So, you must listen to it carefully.

Have You Set Relationship Goals?

Moving casual dating to the next level is not as simple as many people think. It requires preparation. The first thing to do is set the relationship goals and expectations. To make it even simpler, categorize them into short- and long-term goals. As a starting point, it will help to know whether both of you are ready for the next step or not. Most people will move forward once they have established the goals that they would like to fulfill.

Understand the Weight of a Relationship

Unlike casual dating, serious relationships come with a plethora of needs and commitments. There will also be some rules to guide both of you and ensure that you are both happy. Unless people understand what all this means, they are not ready to move to the next step. According to the experts, this is the time to talk to friends and relatives who are already in relationships. Better still, an expert will offer some helpful guidance.

What Does Your Partner Think About It?

After engaging in a casual relationship for some time now, you can tell whether it is a good thing or not. The casual dating rules and commitments might be great so far, but you have a desire to move into something serious. But does your partner have the same desire as you? Instead of asking directly, you can start by being aware of how she or he views you. Pay attention to every meeting that both of you have and even show commitment to the casual relationship.

It is also at this point that you must look at the red flags that will lead to problems when things are escalated to the next level. Having doubt is a good thing because it helps you to see the whole picture clearly. Otherwise, we are all aware that our own relationship desires can make us overlook some important things.

Are There Feelings Involved?

Casual dating, according to many people, hardly involves any feelings between the two parties. It is a form of agreement that both parties will make each other happy. But in many cases, feelings of love may develop. If your relationship has moved in this direction, you might be lucky because this means that you can move from casual dating to a relationship. The feelings have to come from both partners for it to work. Feelings of love are strong, and people can hardly resist them when they are formed. Today, either party can break the ice and propose to move to the next level.

Do You Have the Resources?

A relationship has expectations that must be fulfilled. For this to happen, resources are required. The main ones include time and money. If you are too engaged in other things like a career, education or family, then you are not ready to take casual dating to the next level. On the other hand, you need money to contribute to bills when you go out, buy your partner gifts and even surprise her or him with a holiday. As we all know, lives move because there is money to buy goods and services. So, if these two resources are available, then you can consider yourself ready.

Test the Waters

Even after looking at all factors and ascertaining that it is the right time to move from casual dating to a relationship, it is not wise to jump into it immediately. Test the waters to learn whether it will really work or not. Start acting as if you are already in a relationship but be cautious not to blow things out of proportion. If there is a positive response, then you can pop the big question.

Conclusion

Moving from casual dating to a relationship is a big step in the lives of many people. And making a mistake in this can be costly. Therefore, everyone should be very careful when making this move.

3 Min Read
Lifestyle

Help! Am I A Fraud?

The Armchair Psychologist has all the answers you need!


Help! I Might Get Fired!

Dear Armchair Psychologist,

What's the best way to be prepared for a layoff? Because of the crisis, I am worried that my company is going to let me go soon, what can I do to be prepared? Is now a good time to send resumes? Should I save money? Redesign my website? Be proactive at work? Make myself non-disposable?

- Restless & Jobless

Dear Restless & Jobless,

I'm sorry that you're feeling anxious about your employment status. There are many people like yourself in this pandemic who are navigating an uncertain future, many have already lost their jobs. In my experience as a former professional recruiter for almost a decade, I always told my candidates the importance of periodically being passively on the market. This way, you'd know your worth, and you'd be able to track the market rates that may have changed over time, and sometimes even your job title which might have evolved unbeknownst to you.

This is a great time to reach out to your network, update your online professional presence (LinkedIn etc.), and send resumes. Though I'm not a fan of sending a resume blindly into a large database. Rather, talk to friends or email acquaintances and have them directly introduce you to someone who knows someone at a list of companies and people you have already researched. It's called "working closest to the dollar."

Here's a useful article with some great COVID-times employment tips; it suggests to "post ideas, articles, and other content that will attract and engage your target audience—specifically recruiters." If you're able to, try to steer away from focusing too much on the possibility of getting fired, instead spend your energy being the best you can be at work, and also actively being on the job market. Schedule as many video calls as you can, there's nothing like good ol' face-to-face meetings to get yourself on someone's radar. If your worries get the best of you, I recommend you schedule time with a qualified therapist. When you're ready, lean into that video chat and werk!

- The Armchair Psychologist

HELP! AM I A FRAUD?

Dear Armchair Psychologist,

I'm an independent consultant in NYC. I just filed for unemployment, but I feel a little guilty collecting because a) I'm not looking for a job (there are none anyway) and b) the company that will pay just happens to be the one that had me file a W2 last year; I've done other 1099 work since then.

- Guilt-Ridden

Dear Name,

I'm sorry that you're wracked with guilt. It's admirable that your conscience is making you re-evaluate whether you are entitled to "burden the system" so to speak as a state's unemployment funds can run low. Shame researchers, like Dr. Brené Brown, believe that the difference between shame and guilt is that shame is often rooted in the self/self-worth and is often destructive whereas guilt is based on one's behavior and compels us to do better. "I believe that guilt is adaptive and helpful – it's holding something we've done or failed to do up against our values and feeling psychological discomfort."

Your guilt sounds like a healthy problem. Many people feel guilty about collecting unemployment benefits because of how they were raised and the assumption that it's akin to "seeking charity." You're entitled to your unemployment benefits, and it was paid into a fund for you by your employer with your own blood, sweat, and tears. Also, you aren't committing an illegal act. The benefits are there to relieve you in times when circumstances prevent you from having a job. Each state may vary, but the NY State Department of Labor requires that you are actively job searching. The Cares Act which was passed in March 2020 also may provide some relief. I recommend that you collect the relief you need but to be sure that you meet the criteria by actively searching for a job just in case anyone will hire you.

- The Armchair Psychologist