Flings and Long-Term Relationships Actually Look Pretty Similar at First
You’ve just started seeing someone new. Exciting! Maybe you met online, or perhaps you locked eyes at a bar — and haven’t stopped texting ever since. You’ve been on a few dates and you’ve started to share the news with your friends and family. It’s early days, of course, but why shouldn’t they be in the loop about a new development that’s making you so happy? You’ve caught yourself daydreaming about this person once or twice on the job and you may or may not have casually started browsing travel deals for two in hopes that you’ll be together next summer. Based on your instincts, it seems like this should all mean that you’re on track for a long and happy partnership, but you’re obviously still looking for clues that might help you figure out if you’re at the start of a fling or a lasting romance.
We hate to break it to you, but according to the results of a new study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, short- and long-term relationships are more similar than different in the early days. Over the course of a series of five studies, researchers surveyed 86 people, asking them to reflect on different kinds of relationships. The findings seem to be so inconclusive as to suggest that there really aren’t any hard-and-fast rules about which new relationships are bound for glory and which are bound for purely a good time.
Rachael Kloek, a Seattle-based matchmaker for Three Day Rule, tells us that these findings ring true with her personal experiences helping couples find love. “Even a matchmaker cannot predict if a couple will go the distance!” she says. “While we try to eliminate as many future value clashes as possible, sometimes the big stuff comes way later.”
Kloek agrees that flings and long-term relationships do often share many similarities in their earliest days. Romantic connections of all kinds, she notes, begin with an initial attraction and some common ground. “From there, it comes down to what both people are looking for and if they have similar values,” she tells us. “Am I saying a one-night stand will turn into your soulmate? Probably not — but I’m not throwing it out completely.”
In the absence of striking differences in the nature of a new relationship that might indicate whether it’s bound to be a fling or something more long-lasting, we’re left to be proactive and figure it out on our own. Kloek says that the kinds of questions someone is asking can be a great indication of the relationship’s staying power. If the questions are more superficial or mostly focused on immediate date plans, you might be looking at a fling. Deeper questions and more meaningful conversation, on the other hand, may be helping to set you up for something more serious.
If you’re trying to gauge the future of a new flame and are feeling a little discouraged by all of this ambiguity, you can also take matters into your own hands by asking those deep questions yourself. Are you close with your family? Are you active in your community? What values are most important to you? Is religion a part of your life? “These questions are going to help you determine if this is someone you could see building a future with, as we see the most successful relationships stemming from a place of similar values,” Kloek says.
There comes a time in the early-ish part of any relationship where the question of the future needs to be addressed (you might call this the DTR conversation), and this is another opportunity to get some clarity about how things might unfold.
“If you’ve decided — and by that I mean you know in your gut that you want to be with this person — it’s important to put those thoughts and feelings out there so you know you’re both on the same page,” Kloek advises. “It’s a daunting conversation, but if that person feels the same, great! And if not, better to cut it off sooner than stay in a fling with no future.”
Either way, it seems that you are going to have to have the conversation, as it looks like there won’t be enough evidence based on the relationship itself to determine how serious things are bound to get.
Do you have any advice for these kinds of conversations? Tweet us @BritandCo!
(Photo via Getty)
Pocket doors are so delightful in and of themselves. They appear when you need them, get tucked away when you don't, and make it easy to define rooms while keeping an open floor plan. Add to the pocket door a joyful patterned wallpaper surprise, and you will be sent right into fits of visual jubilation! Or something ;) Today we're sharing two simple and impactful pocket door makeovers that zhuzh up your space in a jiffy.
Anjelika Temple here, co-founder of Brit + Co and proud owner of several pocket doors! When I moved into my first real grown-up house a couple years ago, I knew I wanted to incorporate wallpaper so reached out to our friends at Chasing Paper to see how we might collaborate. It felt like a total lightbulb moment when I realized I could create a surprise pop of pattern on a couple sets of pocket doors.
Not only is it a whimsical way to bring color into a space, but the doors double as picture-perfect backdrops for all your SFH (selfies from home, obvs).
A few pro tips about install:
- Removable wallpaper is miraculously forgiving! You can take it on and off multiple times without it losing integrity (or mucking up your surface).
- I ordered this adhesive wallpaper installation kit with a squeegee and xacto knife and it worked super well. I also recommend a sharp pair of scissors for cutting longer lines.
- This is a two-person job! Get a friend, put on a playlist, and get ready to bond.
- Wild, organic patterns like Tally are great because it's challenging to spot any imperfections in pattern alignment; keep pattern choice in mind if you've got a lot of corners to match up. More geometric patterns and larger shapes leave less room for error (but are awesome in their own right!).
BATHROOM POCKET DOORS
In our primary bathroom, we chose the wallpaper pattern Tally, designed by Kelly Ventura, in White and Navy. In our space, the navy reads as a soft black, which is perfect for the space. It's easy to combine an ever-rotating collection of linens with the Tally pattern.
I love how the white trim becomes the perfect frame around this pocket door piece of art.
My favorite moment in this space is the fact that you actually get a third pop of pattern thanks to our serendipitously placed mirror!
And yes, this one works pretty darn well as a backdrop too ;)
LIVING ROOM DOUBLE DOORS
This set of doors is definitely a focal point of our home. It separates our living room from our primary bedroom which opens onto our backyard. The doors are pretty much always open, but when they're closed we wanted to evoke a fun, nature-inspired vibe. With that in mind, we selected the Lines and Moons pattern by Thimblepress in Green and Brown.
Earth mama vibes up in here! I love how the shapes and colors echo the ferns you see through the windows and the acorn wood details throughout the house.
Love this pattern moment, and xacto-ing out the door handle is def on the oddly satisfying DIY list.
For a pattern lover like me, I love that now I have this instant photo backdrop!
Thanks to Chasing Paper for providing these rolls of pure pattern amazingness. Head to chasingpaper.com to find our own favorites and start adding patterns to your home!
(Wallpaper wingwoman: Kayla Haykin; Photography: Kurt Andre)