How To Go From Casual Dating To A Serious Relationship

Lesbian Dating

How to Go From Casual Dating to a Serious Relationship (LGBT Advice)

Jordana Michelle

Written by: Jordana Michelle

Jordana Michelle

Lesbian Love Coach Jordana Michelle is the creator of Magnetic Attraction For Lesbians, the premier online program for mastering the secrets of same-sex female attraction. She is also the creator of, the place to be for finding and keeping lesbian love.

Edited by: Lillian Castro

Lillian Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro brings more than 30 years of journalism experience to ensure DatingAdvice articles have been edited for overall clarity, accuracy, and reader engagement. She has worked at The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, The Gwinnett Daily News, and The Gainesville Sun covering lifestyle topics.

Discuss This! Discuss This!
Advertiser Disclosure

I get emails all the time from women who are single and wanting a committed, long-term, loving partnership. Oftentimes, the reason they email me is because they’re dating someone in a casual way and wondering how they can turn their relationship into something that’s more serious, deep, and committed.

There are five steps for successfully turning a casual same-sex female relationship into a committed relationship.

1. Get Clear On Your Standards

Most of us think we know what we want, but oftentimes the truth is that we don’t know, with specificity, what we truly want out of a relationship. When I ask my clients what they want out of love, they usually answer by giving me a list of characteristics: what they prefer her to look like, what kind of a job (and/or income) they prefer her to have, what level of education they want her to have, what kinds of hobbies they want her to engage in, and what kinds of music/entertainment they want her to enjoy.

External attributes, like looks, status, wealth, popularity, or other people’s opinions, certainly matter in the initial attraction. However, those things don’t tell us anything about how well a person will treat us, how deeply they are capable of loving us, or how happy they make us when we’re together.

Photo of a woman writing

Writing down what you want out of a relationship can help you truly understand where your head is at.

The more important question is: What are your standards? In other words, how do you want to be loved? How do you like to be treated? What can you contribute to and receive from your partner physically, emotionally, and intellectually?

When you don’t know what your standards are, you have no good way of figuring out whether someone is right for you. When you want to turn a casual relationship into a serious relationship, it’s vital that you start by choosing someone who is right for you. Otherwise, you risk setting yourself up for massive amounts of unnecessary heartache and frustration.

2. Determine If the Woman You’re Dating Can Meet Your Standards

Once you’ve gotten clear on your standards, the second step is to carefully assess the woman you’re casually dating to see whether she’s willing and able to meet your standards.

Not everyone wants what you want. Not everyone is willing or able to offer the same things as you are in a partnership. How much is this woman offering?

As much as you might want a serious relationship, the important thing is to have a serious relationship with someone who meets your standards.

Oftentimes, when women want a serious relationship, they try to make it work with whoever is in front of them, even if she doesn’t meet their standards. They say things like “She’d be perfect if only she [fill in the blank].”

Photo of a woman looking at a crossroads

It’s important to know what you want out of a relationship, but it’s just as important to know if the woman you’re seeing can give you what you want.

One major reason why women fall short of meeting your standards is if they’re emotionally unavailable. Emotional unavailability can be the result of trauma, addiction, co-dependency, depression, mental health issues, still being hung up on an ex, or countless other reasons.

When a woman is emotionally unavailable, it means she isn’t willing or able to fall deeply in love at the moment, and this means she will not choose to step up and meet your standards.

Falling for women who are unavailable always leads to heartache. To succeed in taking a relationship from casual to serious, you have to be real about who the person is and what she has to offer.

A serious relationship can only be real and sustainable when both people want the same things from each other. Imbalances of power and desire lead to pain, frustration, hurt, and disappointment on all sides.

3. Look Out for Red Flags

Once you’re clear on your standards, and you determine that the woman you’re casually dating can meet your standards, the next step is to look carefully for red flags.

Red flags are visible warning signs that show up early in a relationship and foreshadow the fact that the relationship can’t work out the way we hope.

Photo of red flags

Most of us tend to ignore signs that a person isn’t right for us or that a relationship is going south — please don’t do that.

Whenever clients come to me after a bad breakup, they always report that they ignored red flags from the very beginning. The difficult thing about red flags is that nobody wants to see them. Nobody wants them to be there.

But, to successfully turn a casual relationship into a serious relationship, you first have to make sure you aren’t ignoring signs that the relationship is doomed.

4. Throw Away Any Idea That You Can (Or Should) Change Her

The next step in turning a casual relationship into a serious relationship is to fully accept the woman you’re dating as she is.

People generally don’t change. One of the biggest mistakes women make is trying to change the women they meet. Whether they try to make her break a habit or alter her behavior or meet their standards, trying to change someone is always a losing battle.

Photo of a sad couple

If you can’t accept this woman for who she really is, then maybe it’s time to walk away.

People do things for THEIR reasons, not for our reasons. People see things from THEIR perspectives, not from our perspectives.

If you cannot accept this woman for everything she is, then you’re setting yourself up for a relationship full of frustration, and it probably means you’re chasing the wrong woman.

5. Communicate Clearly What You Want

And see if she’s willing to meet you there.

Once you’ve determined that this woman meets your standards and she’s the kind of woman you want to be with, exactly as she is, the next step for turning your casual relationship into a serious relationship is to let her know, clearly and confidently, that you want to be in a committed partnership with her.

Photo of a woman texting

You’re going to have some serious conversations with this woman, so this isn’t the time for texting.

You should be confident that you deserve the things you desire. It’s sexy when a woman communicates her desires with self-assurance and openness.

You’re not needy for wanting the things you want — as long as you don’t expect any one particular woman to fill those needs for you. You have to always trust that you will have the love you want regardless of whether this particular woman you’re dating gives it to you. This last step is extremely important, and I teach about it in far more detail in this VIDEO here.

Why Don’t Some People Want to Be in a Relationship?

Relationships are time-consuming. Relationships are hard work. Being a good partner requires investing in each other, being there for each other, listening to each other, and taking time away from your own needs to support each other.

Relationships tie people down. Being unconnected brings a lot of personal freedom. When you’re committed to another person, you have to consider the other person and her needs. You can’t simply do whatever you want (or flirt with whomever or take attention or favors from whomever).

Photo of a couple fighting

Relationships can take up a lot of time and energy, and some people just don’t have the physical, emotional, or mental capacity for that.

Many people prefer the security of a relationship, but some people aren’t willing to trade away the freedom of being single, especially if they have other goals or obligations (building a business, making art, taking care of a family member, or traveling the world without being held back by another person’s needs or desires).

Some women are emotionally unavailable. It’s impossible to change this about someone. If a woman is emotionally unavailable, there’s nothing we can do to convince her to become available. She’s not withholding anything; an emotional connection is simply not something she has to give. Whatever you think she’s withholding is just your own projection (your own desire to love and connect).

What Does “FWB” and “NSA” Mean?

“FWB” means “Friends With Benefits.” Two people are friends (nothing more than friends), but, when they’re both single and horny, they can help satisfy each other’s sexual needs by hooking up. However, the hookup doesn’t change the fact that they’re friends. When both people are on the same page (able to enjoy hooking up without seeking more and jeopardizing the friendship), then this is a great arrangement.

“NSA” means “No Strings Attached.” This is about sex, nothing more. Not even friendship, necessarily. The sexual play does not come with any further expectations of any kind.

What If She Decides She Doesn’t Want to Even Be in a Casual Relationship Anymore?

Let her go. Hot lesbians are everywhere. There’s no benefit to trying to hold on to someone who doesn’t want you. Believe in love. Someone is out there waiting for you. She needs you to believe in her. You block her from finding you as long as you stay hung up on someone who will never love you the way you deserve.

If She’s the Right Woman, Things Will Work Out. If She’s Not, You Don’t Want to Waste Any More of Your Time

The truth is, when someone isn’t giving us what we want, there’s a good chance she doesn’t have it to offer. Lesbians stereotypically bring a U-Haul to their second date. When they don’t bring the U-Haul (and the relationship stays casual more than your gut instinct tells you it should), it’s probably a sign that you’ve chosen the wrong woman.

But don’t despair. Love is real, and if you want to be in a loving partnership, you WILL find someone to share that with. The only thing that blocks us from the love we want is either giving up and/or wasting time trying to get it from the wrong women. The five steps outlined above will help you avoid ending up with the wrong woman while also helping you take things deeper if she is, indeed, the right woman.

Advertiser Disclosure is a free online resource that offers valuable content and comparison services to users. To keep this resource 100% free, we receive compensation from many of the offers listed on the site. Along with key review factors, this compensation may impact how and where products appear across the site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). does not include the entire universe of available offers. Editorial opinions expressed on the site are strictly our own and are not provided, endorsed, or approved by advertisers.

Our Editorial Review Policy

Our site is committed to publishing independent, accurate content guided by strict editorial guidelines. Before articles and reviews are published on our site, they undergo a thorough review process performed by a team of independent editors and subject-matter experts to ensure the content’s accuracy, timeliness, and impartiality. Our editorial team is separate and independent of our site’s advertisers, and the opinions they express on our site are their own. To read more about our team members and their editorial backgrounds, please visit our site’s About page.