The first few dates can be pretty touch-and-go. How do you know if your date is really feeling it? As a rule of thumb, we’d say it’s pretty promising if they communicate with you, like, at all. Maybe they haven’t yet reached that level of comfort where they’re speaking to you in real human English, but keep an eye out for the subtler nuances. Do they occasionally bob their head up from behind their menu to grunt in your general direction? Or maybe they’ve started a cute habit of thrusting their thumb into your sternum while letting out a sustained, dead-eyed wail? Be patient—you’re definitely on the right track! You’ll be hearing the “L” word (or any word at all, hopefully) in no time!
2. They give you a cute nickname
So you’ve reached date #17 and they’re finally letting their playful side out with a sweet nickname? Congratulations! The trick here is not to be choosy. Sure, we all strive to be in a relationship where monikers like “boo boo bear” and “my love, my light, my liege” are casually thrown around, but the fact is, intimacy of that calibre takes time. Are they giving you a sly wink while saying something like, “It’s nice to see you again, Tianna,” when your name is Jen? OMG! Fire up the group chat and get those bragging thumbs ready. You’re off to a promising start with this one.
3. You’re finally sleeping in the same bed
As we’ve all learned by being a Millenial-about-town, a sleepover does not a lasting relationship make. You may be bumping junk on the regular, but it doesn’t necessarily mean this person sees you as a potential spouse (or even as a real person, for that matter)! However, if they’ve taken the next step—that is, allowing you to sleep in their bed rather than gesturing to the pile of soiled sawdust next to their place of slumber where you’ve spent innumerable nights tossing and turning post-coitus—it may mean they’re ready to take things to the next level. As all romantics say, a bed shared is a shavings-pile spared. Keep at it, babe! You’ll be inseparable in no time.
4. Their friends know about you
Umm, hello! This is HUGE. Their friends know who you are? You might as well change your name to Bae-yoncé. So what if it’s because you found out where they were all having dinner together and showed up “coincidentally” after 9 months of your boo finding various excuses to tell you that their casual meetup with friends “didn’t have room for plus-ones”? You’re part of the group now! Make sure you take the time between screaming “I EXIST!!!!!!!” as your mascara runs into a stranger’s ratatouille to tell each friend how many wonderful things you’ve heard about the strength of their character. Look at you racking up those bonus points!
5. You can see a future together
We don’t have to spell this one out for you. If you can’t imagine a future together, why bother? If there’s absolutely no way you see this union panning out, it’s better to pull the plug now. However, if you can see this person being a part of your life, months or even years in the future—how exciting! And, come on, let’s not be choosy about the kind of future you see. Restraining orders? Pages-long defamatory emails sent by both parties from various burner email accounts, detailing the ways in which you’ve failed to meet one another’s expectations as a lover? That’s passion, friend! As long as you can see them being a part of your own personal narrative in some way or another, we’d say that’s better than nothing.
Well, there it is. The mirage you can limp towards for the foreseeable future of your love life. If your sweetheart exhibits any of the behaviours above, you can bet at the very least that you’ll be spending Valentine’s Day with this person, which, as we all know, is the benchmark by which you should be measuring your personal worth for the remainder of the year. So go ahead, make that dinner reservation! A warm body is better than nothing. Happy Valentine’s Day, lovers!