You’ve met someone new — maybe on your dating app of choice, or maybe while you were out at happy hour with your friends. There’s an immediate attraction, and you can tell already that you’re crushin’. You’re not quite sure if they’re serious relationship material — do you share the same values? do your five-year plans overlap? — but you’re not ready to let it go, so you decide to keep it casual. After all, casual can be fun, and there’s nothing wrong with having fun! Casual doesn’t always stay casual, though, and you may want to prepare yourself for things to get more serious. Whether you’re ready for it or not, your fling may just decide that they’re falling head over heels in love with you, and it’s to your benefit if you can spot the signs early on so you can decide how to proceed ASAP. Maria Sullivan, dating expert and VP of, offers seven signs that will help you see that the heat may just be turning up.

A couple poses for a selfie together against a river

1. You’re spending more time together. “During a casual fling, spending time together is based mostly on convenience, and plans are usually made last minute or late at night,” says Sullivan. “If your relationship is turning from casual to serious, you will begin to notice your fling is starting to look for new opportunities to hang out with you.” Start clearing your weeknight schedule, because you’re about to have plans with that special someone outside of the weekend!

2. They’re asking for your opinion. When you’re keeping things casual, it’s unlikely that the other person will check in with you about travel plans, potential purchases, or drama at the office. All of that may change, however, if they’re feeling like they want to make things more serious. If you find your fling suddenly asking for your advice, the tides may be starting to shift.

3. Body language is changing. Tune in to your fling’s movements. Are they reaching for your hand or knee when you’re out in public? Are they wrapping their arm around you in front of their loved ones? This could be an indication that their feelings are becoming more romantic, particularly if this body language is significantly different from what you observed early in the relationship.

A professional couple chats while crossing the street

4. You’re getting new kinds of compliments. When a relationship is less serious, the positive comments are likely to be more superficial and focused on your looks or your clothes. “The reason someone develops feelings is because they grow fond of more than just your appearance,” Sullivan tells us. “When they fall in love, they begin to notice the way you laugh and tell stories or the way you interact with family. Look out for compliments that show the person is paying attention to your quirks and personality traits.”

5. You’re being introduced differently to their friends. Anyone who’s ever been in a casual dating relationship knows how uncomfortable it can be to get introduced to their pals. How many times do you have to be called their “friend” before things start getting really awkward? When it’s about to get serious, those introductions just might change. Look for statements like “I want you to meet…” It could mean that they’ve told their friend about you previously and are looking for their opinion.

6. Your texting relationship is starting to shift. If your fling is beginning to crush harder on you, chances are that their texting patterns will change. You may start receiving “Good morning!” texts or more frequent messages simply checking in to see how you’re doing.

7. You’ve started talking about the future. “You can really expect for things to get serious if your partner talks about the future,” Sullivan asserts. “This can even mean next month or next week. If your casual fling wants to make plans, they probably want you to stick around and hope that you will.” If you seem to be setting your eyes on the road ahead as a couple, you can start making plans for things to get more serious.

Share your best relationship tips with us @BritandCo.

(Photos via Getty)