Casual Dating or Serious Relationship? How to Know For Sure…

When it comes to dating, different couples have different ways of managing their relationships. What is healthy ranges from one extreme to the other because really, it’s not about what is “normal,” it’s about what is right for you and your partner.

Some couples take it day by day while others start planning for marriage and kids down the road. How can you make sure you and your partner are on the same page?

Dear Dan and Jennifer,

I have been dating a really sweet and generous guy for about a month now. We decided to take it day by day. Today he texted me and ask me “How do I feel about him”. What does this exactly mean? I am sort of confused.

–Tina, FL

Taking It Day By Day

When dating, taking it day by day can mean a couple different things. For most people, taking a relationship day by day means living each day to the fullest and making the most of each day, while still leaving your options for the future open.

Some couples, however, take taking a relationship day by day quite literally, and consider whether they want to continue dating each day. While a day by day approach can be great for a newly forming relationship, taking it too literally may mean one partner might not be on the same page as the other.

Your partner might be wondering how you feel about them if you’re consistently re-evaluating your relationship on a daily basis to decide if you want to continue dating.

Taking a relationship like this by the week or month might be a better option, because while you’re still leaving the future open, you’re giving a little bit more of yourself to your partner without making a heavy commitment.

Whether you’re taking a relationship by the day, week, month, year or century, you and your partner won’t be on the same page unless you talk to each other about the relationship and where you see it headed. Talk to your partner and be open and honest about how you feel about them.

Talking To Your Partner

You don’t have to skirt around issues. If you can’t be honest with your partner about the relationship, the relationship probably isn’t going to last much longer anyways.

When dating, it’s perfectly fine to say, “I like you and I enjoy spending time with you. I want to continue to spend time with you, but that’s as far as I’ve gotten. Making a commitment doesn’t feel right to me right now.” Your partner should respect what you have to say and how you feel about the relationship.

You should encourage them to open up about how they feel about the relationship as well. For example, if your partner comes back and says, “I love you and I’m ready to make a commitment,” you and your partner might have some more discussing to do. It’s definitely possible to make a compromise, especially if you both really like each other.

This can never happen, however, if you and your partner don’t talk about the relationship with each other. No one likes to be left in the dark and going without talking about it because it might seem “awkward” will leave one or both partners really wondering where things are headed.

Just sit down with your partner, keep it light and casual, and give each person a turn to talk about the relationship and how they feel about it. You might find that you really are on the same page, but if you’re not, you’re giving yourself the opportunity to get there.


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