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Wellness > Sex + Relationships

8 Signs They’re Not Actually Looking for a Relationship

All relationships have different stages of developing. Many of us have heard about the honeymoon and puppy love stages, but what about the commitment stage? This period of stability and seriousness in young couples seems to be fleeting with the rise in popularity of casual sex and low-key relationships. Because of this, people are either too embarrassed to have “the talk” to define the relationship or they tend to stay with people who are just never going to fully commit. If one person is expecting much more than the other, it’s going to lead to massive disappointment from the lack of progression in the relationship. Here are some ways to know if you’re with someone with no desire to be your long-term serious bae.

1. They only contact you to hook up

This is one of the clearest signs someone is not interested in a full-blown relationship. The difference between hooking up and a committed relationship is a mutual understanding that you care about each other and want to spend time with one another outside of the bedroom. Sorry, but sending a “u up?” at 1:50 a.m. might mean they only want one thing, and it’s not a relationship.

2. Going on dates is out of the question

In conjunction with the reason above, dates are obviously not a priority to the noncommittal person. Both planning and showing up to dates requires time, energy and money that this person is not willing to expend. However, you’re allowed to have certain expectations.

Sarah*, a sophomore from Lehigh University, understands this quite well. “I used to hook up with this guy who would only try to hang out in his bedroom or mine,” she says. “He was clearly only interested in sex and not going out more. I moved on.” That’s an explicit example of someone who is simply not looking for something serious, or not looking for something serious with you.

3. They’re not interested in meeting your friends or family

Perhaps you thought things were going well and maybe it would be appropriate to invite your hookup buddy to a family gathering or even a friend’s birthday brunch. But instead of attending the function with you, your offer has him or her running for the hills instead. This could be a sign that you’re either moving too fast for them toward a relationship, or they’re simply not interested in taking this step altogether. Healthy relationships involve making memories together and reaching milestones that everyone is comfortable and excited aboutDragging your hookup buddy to meeting your parents they don’t even want to meet is quite the contrast to something wholesome and relationship-worthy.

Getting to know your SO’s parents and family is a big deal and should not be taken lightly since these are the people your girlfriend/boyfriend grew up/spends time with. For example, It’s normal to have your significant other’s parent’s phone number once you’re in a committed relationship. By the same token, your significant other should want you to meet and get to know the important people in his or her life as well. Committed people are immersing their lives together, and that usually involves meeting the people they spend time with on the regular.

4. Spending holidays together will never happen

As holidays approach, it starts to become a bit clearer if someone is interested in being with you long-term. Spending a holiday together might seem like a harmless offer, but it might be too big of a step for them to handle. Perhaps getting drunk together at a 4th of July barbecue seemed casual and non-committal at first, but having your family ask them what they want to do with their life might scare them away. Sophie*, a sophomore at Lehigh University, says she once “went to a holiday party with a guy who ended up crying about his ex saying he needed to figure himself out before fully moving on.” She thinks the act of spending holidays together was a step taken too soon. Even if it’s a simple event, holiday parties are typically somewhere you can show off your SO—which is definitely not a place a person not willing to commit would want to go.   

Related: 5 Signs You Really Are Afraid of Commitment

5. They only communicate through Snapchat or text

In a world where connecting and conversing has never been easier with the help of smartphones, avoiding committed relationships have also become a norm among young millennials. Rachna, a freshman from Dartmouth College experienced someone who only “texted or Snapchatted but never wanted to meet up in person.” The famous beginning stage of relationships known as “talking”—where both parties are communicating mainly through their phones—is common in this day and age, but when this stage never evolves into more intimate meetups, couples tend to fall into a lingo of remaining “together, but not, like, dating.” You want to avoid this if you’re looking for a relationship. Hint: it’s not that romantic to get a text first if that’s all you get from them.

6. Conversations are mostly about hooking up

Maybe you do extend your conversations outside of the realm of Snapchat and iMessage, but what is the actual quality of your discussions? Is the content mostly about sex and the next time you’re going to do it? If so, remember that a healthy relationship has a lot to do with caring about the well-being of the other person. There’s much more substance to learn about your SO than just their sexual preferences, and if someone is not willing to learn about that, then they are probably not willing to be in a relationship.

7. They send you mixed signals

Maybe you don’t resonate with the obvious signs of noncommittal reasons above, but something still doesn’t feel right. One day your significant other is saying how he can see you in his future, but he doesn’t bother taking you to his brother’s wedding. Phoebe, a sophomore from Lehigh University experienced this early on when a guy “said cute things one day and I thought it was flirting, but then the next day he’ll treat me like a bro. And the next interaction is flirty again. It’s like the most confusing thing until I finally realized it wasn’t going to happen.” If what he says doesn’t measure up exactly to how he’s treating you, it’s a sign that he has no intention of a serious relationship.

8. They are scared of typical relationship milestones

This one is a big one for people who are technically “dating,” but one person’s needs are not being met entirely. Partially to blame is the #goals tag on Instagram filled with couples holding hands in exotic places and kissing expensive jewelry together. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to do this! However, it’s perfectly normal to post pictures online of you and your SO. It’s 2018! Not only should you feel comfortable sharing photos of your relationship, but your significant other should be comfortable with it as well. No one should feel the need to validate their relationship online, but it’s quite normal to create memories together in a healthy manner. Some normal committed relationship behavior involves taking photos, planning future trips or buying gifts in advance. Basically, it’s a good sign if they’re not afraid of seeing you in their future plans. If your partner tends to back away when things get too relationship-y and public, then maybe it’s a sign they aren’t looking for a serious relationship after all.

Relationships are about being comfortable and happy with the arrangement. If you’ve read this feeling defeated that you or your potential SO is probably not looking for a relationship, don’t sweat it. Sometimes the timing—or even the person—isn’t right. There is no perfect way to enter into a relationship, but there are healthy habits. If you’re experiencing any of the above and you’re not happy with it, it’s okay to speak your mind. Good luck!

*Names have been changed.
Stephanie is a senior at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania where she is currently studying international relations with a minor in psychology and Asian Studies. When she's not researching and writing assigned articles for Her Campus, she is working on-campus jobs and saving up for her next traveling adventure!