Dating has become more and more complicated but you can still learn how to avoid time wasting relationships if you’re looking for something serious [Courtesy]

The differences between dating and hanging out can sometimes be hard to spot. In these confusing situations, you will find that you’ve been seeing someone for a while and even met their friends and family but at the back of your mind, you don’t really know if you’re actually dating for real.

In these modern times, dating has become more and more complicated but you can still learn how to avoid time wasting relationships if you’re looking for something serious.

In case you’re in that awkward position where you’re not sure if what you have is a situationship or something exclusive, here’s how you can tell.

The fact that you’re questioning whether or not you’re in a relationship exclusively could be a big sign. If it’s something more than just a fling, the signs will tell you that what you have isn’t just for fun.

If you think about it and see that they don’t care if you’re seeing other people or that you still don’t know what to introduce them as whenever people ask, it’s probably not that serious.

  • Does it go beyond the physical?

Casual relationships can mimic real relationships when it comes to sex. One way of knowing the difference is checking whether your dates are more of a Netflix and chill kind of thing or if there’s more substance to it.

If the main focus is on bedroom fun, it’s not exclusive. Yes, you might have had a few intimate conversations and showered each other with romance but that’s most likely all there is to it.

  • Do they put in a lot of effort?

When you’re dating someone, you make an effort to show them that you love them. You will be there for them when they’re having a bad day, you will want to work things through when you’ve had an argument, and try your best to remember each other’s birthdays at least.

When it comes to something that’s not official, these things will be missing most of the time. If one of you is catching feelings, the effort will feel like it’s coming from one side only.

 When you’re dating someone, you make an effort to show them that you love them [Courtesy]
  • How do they treat you in public?

In a real relationship, you will have no problem defining what you have. Holding their hand in public won’t be a big deal, if you’re comfortable with PDA, and there will be no hesitation if anyone asks whether you’re together.

If you’re just hanging out non-exclusively, things will be different the moment you’re in public. Small details like avoiding daytime dates or not publicly showing any sign that you’re romantically involved will help you know the difference.

  • Does bringing up exclusivity feel awkward?

If you’re just buddies with benefits, there will be some awkwardness surrounding the topic of relationships. Maybe you’re the one that would want to define the relationship but every time you try, it just feels like they’re uncomfortable.

To be sure, just ask them directly instead of sending mixed signals. This way you can get the clarification you need and finally decide if you’re okay with it or not.