You've reached solid ground, and while many things in the world remain gray and uncertain, you generally know where you and your partner stand. There are some blatant signs that a relationship is getting serious: You might have a discussion about making the relationship exclusive, discuss moving in with each other and of course, there's no greater sign than when a ring makes an appearance.
Aside from the formal discussions, game-changing decisions and Kodak moments, there are some subtler ways of knowing if things are going from gray to golden. This goes beyond making out or the occasional butt pinch in public.
You're discovering the other person and maybe even falling in love, but also keeping your guard up.
Questions arise such as whether to use the “boyfriend” and “girlfriend” titles, who is going to take down his or her online dating profile first and when to start showing routine signs of coupledom, such as holding hands or using pet names in public.
Picking up dinner or buying two movie tickets shows that you're willing to make sure you both are provided for.
Simply asking how your partner’s day went (even if you start going into autopilot at the hour-long mark) becomes a way to support each other and show that you care.
A relationship is starting to get serious when you and your partner proudly display each other as significant others in the public eye.
In addition to the time you and your partner spend privately together is the time you spend including your partner in your world.
There is a certain point, however, where you can let your guard down and know that the relationship is real and there's no sign it's going to end.