How to Turn a Casual Fling Into the Real Thing

It’s Monday and you have a coffee date with Steve. Tuesday arrives, and it’s time to have lunch with Paul. On Wednesday, you’re hooking up with Ryan. Thursday rolls around and you’re having a “sleepover” with Alex. Friday comes and you meet a new guy at the bar. You're texting him all weekend long.

You’ve got yourself a handful of mini dates, hook-ups whenever you want them, and attention all around, but you’re missing out on the whole boyfriend/girlfriend thing. It can be hard to juggle multiple guys at once and even harder to say “bye bye” to all but one guy and turn the chosen one into the real deal (especially in college when long-term relationships are almost nonexistent).

Her Campus is here to help you pick and choose which guy is boyfriend material and learn how to replace your one-too-many casual flings with the one real thing. We’ve even talked to the guys themselves to learn what this oh-so-mysterious species thinks (you’re welcome!).

First things first, distinguish between a casual fling and the real thing.

Weigh the good and bad.
There are pros and cons to both: the go-with-the-flow feeling of a casual fling, and the date nights/meet-the-parents moment of the real thing. Flirting and texting is not the same as dating. And neither is drunkenly hooking up on the weekends.

Figure out where you stand.
You can generally figure out where the relationship is heading (or ending) by the way you treat each other. More clearly put, does he only text you late at night? Have you still not met his friends? Then it’s most likely not the real thing.

“Usually I decide whether or not I want to take the next step when we start having heart to hearts and we begin to confide in each other like a real couple. With casual flings, it's just purely a flirtation-ship, we usually don't have deep conversations, and I try to keep our relationship as light and unconnected as possible,” says Nicole, a sophomore at the University of California Riverside.

"Getting a feel for the other person, and how that person treats you is important. If you don't know, just ask!” says Adam, a recent graduate of Illinois State University.

Decide if the “real thing” is truly what you want.
Do you have a super busy schedule? Did you just go through a messy breakup? If so, you might not be ready for the real thing. If you can barely make time to meet a guy for drinks, how do you expect to commit to a serious relationship? Give some time for the initial “can’t get enough of you” feeling to wear off and see if you’re still crushing on the guy. If you can imagine yourself bringing him to family functions and are ready to do fun couple-y things with him (like staying in on a Saturday night and ordering take-out), go get it girl!

Whatever you do, do not act like you’re dating on day one of your casual fling. 
This will freak the guy out and jeopardize the future of your relationship. If you’re texting him 24/7 and always wanting to know what he’s up to from the very beginning, he’s going to feel smothered and you’re not going to get the boyfriend you want. “Go into it without expectations. You can't put pressure on it. If it's supposed to turn into the real thing, it will. Just have fun and see what happens!” says Lauren, a senior at the University of Michigan.

Next you have to define “boyfriend” and figure out which guy fits the description. 
Some casual flings are meant to be that and only that, but others have the potential to be more. “If he's really social and easygoing, you know he'd be good boyfriend material. If he's really stand-offish and negative, you may want to rethink trying to make him into your next boyfriend,” says Laura, a junior at Virginia Tech. Remember that your idea of a “boyfriend” may be entirely different from your best friend’s. If he’s great in bed but doesn’t have much else to offer, he’s probably not your best bet for the real deal. But if he gets along with your friends and acts interested in you (and not just your body), he may be a potential suitor.