It can happen to anyone, even the most dedicated casual sex enthusiast. You meet someone you’re attracted to, maybe you’re the rebound guy, and you take them home.
And if you like the idea of seeing them again, maybe you decide to have a fling or tentatively enter into a casual friends-with-benefits relationship.
Then one day, you realize something’s different. You’re thinking about the person more and perhaps even missing them in ways that have nothing to do with sex.
You may even have reached a point where you’re interested in discovering whether there’s the potential for something more with this person.
If that sounds like you right now, then you’ll be thankful to know that it is possible to go from a fling to an actual relationship, should one or both people catch feelings.
But it’s still quite a transition, so it’s important to approach things from the right angle.
Assess whether it’s the right time
When you realize you’ve caught feelings for your fling partner, it’s only natural that “right away” feels like the correct timing by default, and you could be right.
But it’s still a good idea to assess the current state of your connection before proceeding.
Have the two of you been spending more and more time together? Are your lives starting to overlap in ways that don’t usually occur when you’re just having a fling? Do you suspect the other person might feel the same way? If so, then it’s the right time.
Sit down and talk about it
The first thing you need to do once you decide you want to explore the feelings you’ve been having, as opposed to just shaking them off, is to talk things out with your fling partner. In other words, you need to check whether you’re even on the same page.
If you’re not and they don’t want to move forward with a deeper relationship, respect their decision. Don’t try to push them into it or attempt to convince them that you’re right. And regardless of their answer, you’ll need to decide where to take your connection from there.
Avoid playing games
Whether you’re interested in a relationship or not, there’s really no excuse for playing mind games with people these days. So hopefully, you’re already handling your partner’s emotions with care. But being honest, forthright, and respectful becomes even more critical once you’re talking commitment.
If your fling agrees to take this journey with you and see where it leads, it’s up to you to show them you’re relationship material. Check the games at the door, avoid dishonesty like it’s your job, and focus on letting them know you’re someone who can be trusted with their heart.
Make sure your actions match your words
When you’re pursuing a relationship with someone, it’s not enough to tell them how you feel and talk about everything they can count on you for. Instead, you need to put your money where your mouth is and walk the walk, in addition to talking the talk.
Actions always speak louder than words, especially when you’re dealing with someone who may not have planned on exploring a deeper relationship with someone, they were merely having a fling with before. Without consistency and reliability, no relationship has a future – even one with phenomenal sexual chemistry.
Keep an eye out for red flags
It’s okay to be excited about possibly deepening your relationship with a fling. But don’t get so carried away that you forget to be smart and keep your eyes open. Now that you’re in a relationship, you’ll soon see your partner’s true colors, for better or worse, so make sure your rose-colored glasses are off.
Are they as honest with you as you are with them, or have you caught them in lies? Do they seem easygoing, act supportive, and have a healthy handle on difficult emotions like jealousy? If so, great. But if not, don’t ignore it. No relationship is worth your sanity and emotional health.
Have a backup plan
Before you go bringing up the idea of steering your fling into commitment territory, make sure you have a plan for what you’ll do if they’re not interested. If they still want to continue the fling, how would you feel about doing so? Can you put your feelings aside and go back to how things were, or is a commitment the only thing that will do moving forward?
It’s essential to be honest with yourself when it comes to your feelings when it comes to sex, love, and relationships. Don’t assume that the other person will eventually come around if they’ve said they’re not into getting serious. Take their words at face value, and decide based on what they’ve actually said. It’s the best thing for both of you in the long run.