A Trusted Friend in a Complicated World

10 Subtle Signs Your Partner Sees You as Just a Fling

So, you just met someone, and you're completely over the moon. Unfortunately, sometimes your partner might not be on the same page as you are. Here are the red flags to look for early on so your heart doesn't get crushed.

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“Commitment” isn’t in his vocab

If your partner gets antsy when you bring up the “C” word, it could mean that he isn’t ready for a real relationship with you. “If someone avoids the topics of commitment or exclusivity like the plague, it’s probably a sign that they don’t see any longer-term future with you,” explains Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Bregman, a rabbi and matchmaker based in New York City. “Obviously, the appropriateness of this talk, and what it might look like, will vary depending upon the stage of your relationship (i.e. eight weeks vs. 52 weeks). However, if your partner takes you seriously, he will realize this is a reasonable human expectation and be open to talking about it, and want to address your feelings,” explains Bregman. Find out the signs that your relationship is solid as a rock.

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You’ve never met friends or family

If you’re hoping to meet her friends and family but your partner prefers to keep those relationships separate, it could be a major red flag. “Someone who views you as a fling will only make last-minute plans that always entail her leaving what she’s doing and breaking off from her group to come see you, alone,” says Bregman. What’s more, “if someone is really into you, she will eventually want to show you off—she’ll want the broader circle of people she cares about to know that she’s met someone terrific,” he adds. And, if she puts friends before you on a regular basis, it could also mean he doesn’t take you seriously as a potential future partner and a sign that you’re headed to a breakup.

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It’s purely physical

Sure, physical attraction is super important for a successful relationship, but if you’re banking solely on that connection, it could mean that you’re in a “fling,” as opposed to a serious commitment. “There are many facets to a relationship, including the emotional, social, and spiritual. Being physically involved with someone else is only one possible point of connection with another human being,” says Bregman. He adds, “If the person you’re seeing is only interested in physically connecting with you, to the exclusion of all others, it probably means that he’s not trying to get to know you very deeply and a sure sign that their intentions for this relationship will remain in the realm of the casual and superficial.” On the other hand, someone who is envisioning a possible future with you will ask you a lot of personal questions that cover a broad spectrum of life’s experiences and will want to get to know you on a multitude of levels.

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You’re always the one to reach out

In a healthy relationship where both partners want in, it’s typical for the initiation of plans to be pretty even. However, if you’re the one who’s constantly reaching out or sending texts, it could mean it’s one-sided. Bregman shares, “All in all, who seems to be doing the ‘chasing’ in this relationship and initiating contact? If someone is inclined to view you with a more serious set of eyes, then the balance here is probably equal; you are both actively pursuing contact with each other and opportunities for more time together.” Try this: Don’t text for a few days to see how your partner reacts. If it’s been a while, it might mean you’re on different pages. And, if the relationship fizzles, use these tips to get over a breakup.

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Plans are always last minute

While being spontaneous can be great for a relationship, if you’re unable to make actual, solid plans with your S.O., it could mean you’re seen as a fling, or a plan B. “If the person you are seeing never wants to make proper plans with you, but only wants to text/talk/message/see you at random, spontaneous times (ex. at 11:03 p.m. on Thursday night) it’s probably a sign that in her mind you’re in the fling category,” explains Bregman. Instead, see if you can lock your partner in for a formal dinner or day-time date. If she hems and haws, you might want to re-evaluate the relationship.

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They haven’t had long-term relationships before

Sure, if you’re of a younger age, maybe the lack of experience is more common; but, if your partner has never had a long enough relationship, it could mean that he isn’t quite ready for a commitment with anyone. “This could well be a sign that he doesn’t want to commit to anyone and isn’t going to be tethered to any one person, including you,” explains Bregman. So, don’t take it too personally, but make sure to be extra vigilant when discussing previous relationships with your partner. And, if your partner refuses to talk about this topic, it could also mean that something shady is going on.

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You only meet up in the same place and time

Think about what activities you do together. If you’re only meet up at the same random bar on Tuesday nights at nine, it could mean you’re in fling territory. (It could also be a sign your partner is in a committed relationship with someone else.) When you only meet up at night or your plans always involve alcohol, these are all clues that the other person sees you as a fling, explains Bregman. If he or she thinks of you as a potential partner long-term, those day-time activities should exist, and you should both be willing to share different experiences together.

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Milan Ilic Photographer/shutterstock

You aren’t Facebook “friends”

If you are privately together, but can’t be associated with each other in public, it could mean either your partner isn’t interested in a real relationship with you or he is even hiding something. “It well could be that they don’t want you to be able to see all of their pictures, including all of the other men or women they’re seeing or hanging out with,” explains Bregman. If your partner is interested, you’d get full access, without any secrets. But, if your partner doesn’t want to change his status to “in a relationship,” don’t sweat it, in the early days at least. And if you’re active on social media, be wary of these social media mistakes that can sabotage a perfectly healthy relationship.

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Conversation is superficial

For a relationship to reach a higher level, you’ll need to transition from talking about the weather, sports, and your latest Netflix binge to more pressing, meaningful issues and really opening up. So, if you’re not at that point after a few dates, it could mean your partner isn’t looking to get there with you. “If you don’t share your feelings with one another, and discussions stay on a superficial level, you are not creating a deep emotional connection between the two of you,” explains Rhonda Milrad, LCSW, founder of the Relationup online community. Try and bring up more impactful topics and gauge your partner’s reaction. These are the 11 signs you can totally trust your partner.

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Attractive young African-American entrepreneur typing sms on smart phone with thoughtful and serious look, sitting alone at cafe table with mug, papers and laptop computer, waiting for his lunch
WAYHOME studio/Shutterstock

There are gaps in time between “dates”

If you go days without hearing from or seeing your partner, and you don’t know where you stand, it could mean that you’re not in it together for the long haul. What’s more, “if you have that gut feeling that you do not know where the relationship stands and where it is going, or you don’t get hints or signs from your date that there is a future,” says Milrad, it could be a major warning sign that you’re not seen as commitment-potential. And, “if your hints are met with vagueness, or you never know if and when you will see them again,” Milrad adds, it could be problematic regarding communication, a huge factor for a healthy relationship, down the road

Isadora Baum
Isadora Baum is a freelance writer and content marketer, as well as a certified health coach. She writes for various publications, such as Bustle, Shape, Abbott Nutrition Newsroom, Men's Health, Clean Plates, the Vitamin Shoppe, SoulCycle, and more. She also can't resist a good sample, a glass of red wine or strong margarita, a new HIIT class, or an easy laugh. Beyond magazines, she helps grow different businesses through blogging and content marketing strategy. To read her work or inquire, please visit her website: isadorabaum.com.