Dating can be difficult, and there’s no guarantee things will work out when you’re first starting a relationship. Many people tend to overanalyze every little interaction and exchange, searching for a clue as to how things are going:
_“Why did he respond to someone else’s Instagram post before answering my text?”
“Did she mean to send that winking face emoji?"
“Is he really excited to hang out with me or does he say that to everyone?"
Instead of scrutinizing text messages and social media “likes,” you should look at some of the bigger signs that your partner is just as invested in the relationship as you are. Here are a few key indicators to watch for.
1. You notice eye contact and physical closeness when you’re together.
It’s a little creepy if someone’s staring at you intently without breaking their gaze, but if you notice an appropriate amount of eye contact during your in-person conversations, that’s a strong sign that your partner is into you. Eye contact shows that the person is engaged and interested in what you’re saying, and wants to connect with you on a deeper level. The desire for physical closeness – standing near you, leaning into you during conversation, subtly touching your hand or arm, etc. – is also a good sign in a new relationship.
2. You talk to each other throughout the day.
In the early days of dating, many partners only get in touch when they’re making plans, or chat late at night when they’re done with everything else for the day. When you move past that point and text throughout the day simply because you feel like talking to each other, Glamour says you’re on the path to “getting serious.” If you’re the last person your new partner talks to before going to sleep picks the conversation up first thing in the morning, you can be sure they’re eager for your relationship to progress.
3. They’ve deleted their dating apps.
Before you agree to become exclusive, it’s common (and maybe even expected) for new partners to keep their dating app profiles, just in case things don’t work out. When your partner officially ditches Tinder, Hinge, or whatever dating app they might have been using before you two met, it’s because they don’t feel like they need it anymore. They may or may not announce this milestone to you, but if you notice a missing app on their phone’s home screen, you can feel confident that the relationship is moving in the right direction.
4. Communicating with each other feels effortless and relaxed.
Perhaps the most important sign that you’re in a good relationship is when communication – whether it’s in person, on a phone call, or over text – feels natural. You laugh and joke together; you never feel like lulls in the conversation are awkward; and when it comes to sharing your thoughts and feelings, you don’t sense that your partner is putting up any walls. You don’t second-guess what they mean, nor do you feel uncomfortable asking or answering deeper questions with each other.
If your relationship is still in the very early stages, it’s wise to do some research on your partner. Check out their social media profile and run a public records search to make sure there aren’t any red flags in their background. Pay attention to your gut instincts and emotions, but also be open to new possibilities and experiences for this relationship.
No matter who you choose to date, keep checking in with yourself – and having open, honest conversations with your partner – to make sure you’re both feeling happy and fulfilled.