The TOTALLY Unexpected Way To Know If Your Relationship Is About To Go DEEP


And it's NOT what you think.

The hardest and most confusing part of any relationship is figuring out how to label your relationship.

When you're first dating, you can't help but wonder, "does he like me ... or is he just being polite?" and that feeling is the literal worst.


Second only to that is the always-confusing question: what are we?

Are we a couple? Is he my boyfriend? What should I call our relationship?

Dr. Stan Tatkin — couple therapist and author of Wired For Dating — explains in our latest YourTango Expert video (which you can watch above) that the way you know your partner has become your significant other (and that your relationship has turned serious!) is something you'd NEVER expect:

You start to get scared!

Every relationship has to go through the same stages.

When your partner starts to feel more like a permanent part of your life, that's usually when your deepest fears and concerns begin to surface.

Think about the things you're scared of when you get close to someone:

What if it doesn't last?

What if my snoring scares him away?

Is he ever going to ask me to move in?

As backward as it may sound, your fears mean your brain and heart are thinking of this relationship as long-term.

That nervous feeling tends to come at the point in your relationship where you no longer have to question how you feel about one another. But rather if it's safe to care so deeply. 

And you may notice that your partner feels this way, too. Are they holding back a little when you start to get close? Do they seem to be holding back saying something important when you're sharing an intimate moment?

This sort of behavior can make this stage even scarier! 

But there is a solution. Share how you feel! 

Try to do it without pressure or coming on too strong.

Just share a simple feeling and see how your partner reacts. Try something like, "I have so much fun hanging out with you. Sometimes I like you so much, it actually makes me nervous." 

Pay attention to how they react. This may be the exact type of opening your partner was waiting for in order to share their feelings, too. 

Regardless of the outcome, it's always better to be honest!

Your relationship is primary in your lives and you both strive to put each other first.

But that doesn't mean you should let your fears overwhelm you.

So if you're noticing that you are starting to have your deepest fears of all the horrible things that could go wrong, don't worry.

It's not a sign your relationship is over.

It's a sign it's only getting stronger.

Dr. Stan Tatkin is a couple therapist known for his pioneering work in helping partners form happy, secure, and long-lasting relationships. His method — called PACT (Psychobiological Approach to Couple Therapy®) — draws on principles of neuroscience and teaches partners to become what he terms “secure functioning.” Join the conversation about secure-functioning relationships via the PACT Institute's Facebook page. You can also follow Dr. Tatkin's Twitter account and Facebook page.