How can you tell when you go from casually hanging out with someone to unofficially dating them?
While there’s no clear line that must be crossed to move on to the next relationship phase with someone, there are numerous revealing signs that can tell you where you stand.
But before we go into that, let’s find out what it really means to date someone unofficially and when you should try to make it official.
What does it really mean to date someone unofficially?
This is pretty straightforward: When you date someone unofficially, it means you’re dating them, but you two didn’t make it official.
Making a relationship official is not just about telling other people that you’re dating. First of all, it’s about defining your relationship.
This entails having a talk with your crush about what you feel for each other and how you’d like to move further.
If you’re dating unofficially, it means that you both basically enjoy all the benefits of dating.
However, none of you has clearly expressed your feelings for each other or your view on your future together.
This may happen because of multiple reasons, such as:
- None of you knows for sure what the other is feeling.
- You both think it’s too soon to define your relationship.
- They’re shy and they’re waiting for you to make a move.
- One or both of you are afraid of rejection.
17+ Signs You Are Unofficially Dating
1. You didn’t have the DTR talk just yet
As mentioned before, having the DTR talk maybe be the only thing that separates you from dating this person officially.
If you didn’t have it yet, but you’ve been seeing each other for a while now, it’s a sure sign you’re unofficially dating.
You may have a romantic arrangement that works for you right now. However, to make it official, you two have to talk about what you want and need from each other.
Having the DTR talk is also about establishing boundaries. Its purpose is to clearly define whether you want to be exclusive with each other.
So, unless you talk about what you are for each other, you’ll continue to date them unofficially.
2. You talk as if you were a couple
The next sign you should look out for is related to your language and theirs as well. Let me explain:
When you stop saying “I” and “me” and start saying “we” and “us”, it means you talk as if you were already a couple.
And you could be! Even if you didn’t clearly express your desire to be a couple, it doesn’t mean you’re not already behaving like one.
These language clues are proof that there is a strong connection between the two of you. But, how can you be sure?
Pay attention to how they refer to you two, especially when you are in public.
3. You kissed and got physically intimate
No less than 23% of all responders to a study done on the language of modern romance think that kissing marks the beginning of a romantic relationship.
This means that if you already kissed, they might think you’re dating even if they didn’t say anything about it.
According to the same study, just seeing someone constantly is considered dating by 19% of all responders.
But what if you also get physically intimate? That scores an impressive 42% of people who believe it’s definitely a sign of dating.
So, if you’ve been seeing each other often, kissing each other, and/or getting intimate, you’re definitely unofficially dating.
4. You make plans for the future together
Another sign you’re dating them is when you two make plans for the future together. This applies to any plan, especially for weekends, vacations, and holidays.
Or, for example, if they invite you to their BFFs’ birthday next month, that also counts as a plan!
It shows they already know they want you as part of their life and are so certain of it that they make plans with you in advance.
The same goes for you. If they’re your go-to person for any event and you always include them in your plans for the future, you’re already acting like a girlfriend/boyfriend.
5. You text and call each other daily
If you text and/or call each other every day, you might be in the talking stage, which is a sort of unofficial dating as well.
The talking stage lasts between 2 weeks and 2 months and it gives people the opportunity to get to know each other with no strings attached.
It usually includes a lot of talking, but it may also include outings. In other words, it’s like dating, but without putting a label on it.
Overall, constant communication is a good sign. However, there’s a catch: If you always initiate conversations and they never do, things might be a little one-sided for you.
6. You are comfortable with each other’s touch
Do you know how, at first, touching someone new or getting touched by someone new doesn’t feel totally comfortable?
This strange feeling usually occurs in the early stages of dating when you’re not familiar with each other.
However, if you’re past that with them, it says a lot about your relationship! It says you’re comfortable with each other and open to physical contact.
So, if you no longer hesitate to touch them, hold their hand, and even kiss them, it’s a great sign. And if they do the same with you, even better!
7. You started leaving stuff at each other’s place
Who are you trying to fool? You’re definitely unofficially dating this person if they come by your place and leave some of their stuff, such as a toothbrush.
I am sure you’re familiar with the classic movie scene in which the man usually freaks out when he sees that the woman he’s dating starts leaving things at his place, such as tampons or a hairbrush.
It’s a scene that marks the moment when the guy figures out he’s in a relationship and doesn’t know what to do because he feels he’s losing his freedom.
However, if this doesn’t happen with you and the man or woman you’re seeing, take it as a good sign.
It shows you are both comfortable with each other and getting in each other’s personal space is no longer an issue.
8. You spend every weekend together
The next sign you are dating him or her without making things official yet is this: You spend all of your free time together, including the weekends.
In other words, you two are inseparable. You always find reasons to meet up and things to do together.
You don’t get bored with each other and you have a lot of activities lined up for every weekend. What’s more, you spend so much time together that you’re neglecting your friends and family.
And while that’s not exactly healthy, it shows you are indeed dating even if you didn’t label it yet.
9. You two are not on any dating apps
One other revealing sign that can tell you exactly where you stand with them is related to dating apps.
For example, if you’ve met on a dating app, but you both decided to delete your profiles without talking about it, it’s obvious you’re dating, so make it official already!
Or, maybe you two didn’t meet on a dating app, but you noticed they were using one at some point. Maybe you’ve seen the icon on their phone or computer.
Lately, though, they seem more invested in you are there’s no trace of any dating app on their devices.
As for you, you don’t feel tempted to see who else is out there either.
10. You are on each other’s social media
Answer the following questions:
Have they ever posted a picture of you two together?
Have they ever tagged you in a post?
Did you share anything related to them on your Facebook or Instagram?
If you both have, that’s great! Doing this increases the feeling of intimacy and satisfaction, as shown by numerous scientific studies in the field!
In fact, including each other in your posts makes you both feel more secure, not to mention that the negative effects of online disclosure are significantly reduced.
For example, they won’t post a picture of themselves hiking and say they had a blast without including you even if you went together on that hike.
On the contrary, they’d be happy to post a picture of the two of you and say how you both felt.
11. You have met each other’s family and friends
Are you a couple already, but you didn’t make it official? You might be, especially if you have already met each other’s family and friends.
Even in the modern age of dating, meeting the parents is still an important step that says a lot about the relationship between two people.
Family and friends have essential roles in both your life and your special someone’s life. That’s because they are the people you’re closest to, and because they are constantly present in your life.
Introducing someone to them, means you want that person to be part of your special group of people. It also means that you are seeking approval from your friends and family.
You want your friends and family to see the same wonderful things you already saw in them. If that’s true for you, it’s probably also true for them!
12. You go out together and attend social events together
Do you go out as a couple?
When two people go out together and they attend social events together, it means they’re dating. Maybe they don’t officially admit that to anyone, not even to themselves.
However, this doesn’t change the fact that they’re dating.
If that’s the case with you, and you go to movies together, as well as various parties, family dinners, get-togethers with friends, and so on, take it as a sign!
You are their go-to person and they are yours. What now, though?
If this sign also applies to you, you’ve got a green light for the DTR talk!
13. You often get mistaken for a couple
These days, we don’t have to be very observant to notice if two people are together. Couples usually hold hands, kiss each other, and stay close to each other.
These public displays of affection are of great help when trying to establish someone’s relationship status.
However, if you’re not doing anything like that in public and people still think you are a couple, it means they sense the connection and the chemistry between the two of you.
Just because you didn’t admit to each other or to yourself yet that you want to date them and make it official, it doesn’t make it less true!
14. You both use pet names for each other
Another indicator you’re unofficially dating? You call each other by your pet name.
Look, I don’t know how much time has passed since you two started seeing each other, but if you already use pet names for each other, that’s a big deal!
Why? Because it shows you both care about each other. It also shows you’re more comfortable and familiar with each other.
Using terms of endearment is actually something that all couples do. On top of that, such a cute gesture is proof that you’ve ended up trusting each other more since you met.
So, how are they calling you? Is it honey, baby, or sweetheart? Or, is it something funnier like Boo Bear or Honey Bunny?
15. You already have inside jokes
When two people spend time together, they often find things to laugh about and they turn these things into inside jokes.
These are jokes that no one else is capable to understand because they don’t know the story behind them. That’s why they’re called inside jokes.
The best thing about them is that they’re personal. They’re something that you and them share; and no one else.
It’s like your special thing that could be the result of your feelings for each other. But since things are unofficial between the two of you, you can’t know for sure.
16. You share everything with each other
Opening up to someone is not exactly easy. When you end up sharing everything with one person, it means you trust them and you feel understood.
In turn, they listen to you and they support you in every way they can. If that’s true, you two may already be a couple, even if you didn’t label your relationship yet.
Of course, this has to go both ways as well. Since we’re talking about dating, things can never be one-sided.
In other words, they also share everything with you. You’re the first person they call to tell you good or bad news.
17. You genuinely enjoy each other’s company
What other signs are you looking for? Things are pretty clear between the two of you if you genuinely enjoy each other’s company.
If you want to be part of each other’s journey with its ups and downs, it might mean you’re ready for a relationship, not only for dating officially.
However, the first step would be to make it official.
18. You want to date them officially
How can you tell if you’re dating someone unofficially? You want to make it official!
When you think about someone else having him or her, you feel an urgent need to DTR with them. It’s like you’re feeling anxious that they will start dating someone else.
Your desire to confess your real feelings for them and tell the world about the two of you is strong, which is a sign that you should take things to the next level with them.
When should you have “the talk” about becoming exclusive?
According to many relationship experts, it’s actually recommended to date someone unofficially for a period of 2 months.
Why? Because 2 months are enough to see someone go through different things. You can get a better grasp of who they really are.
If you constantly date them for 2 months, you can observe their behavior in favorable circumstances, as well as in negative ones.
On top of that, psychologists say that few people can keep up fake appearances for as long as two months.
What this really means is that if you’re dating someone dishonest, with hidden motives, or a player, 8 weeks is enough time for them to reveal their true self.
At the same time, 2 months are enough for them to see you go through different moods, observe your reactions in different situations, and ultimately decide if they want to take things to the next level with you.
By now you should know whether you’re unofficially dating. As you can see, there are many signs that point to a hard “yes.”
Even so, we are all different and we need different things. That’s why it’s important to talk to them about your feelings, your wants, and needs.
They may want to make things official as much as you do, or they may not be ready for it yet.
The most important thing is to openly communicate about it and put an emphasis on understanding what you want from each other.