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From "Just Dating" To " Getting Serious"

Relationships are all about thresholds - crossing them, testing them, spurning them. On the misty and rutted journey from infatuation to realisation via tension and reconciliation, there are few markers to signify you've entered new territory. For men, there are delineated checkpoints along the highway of the heart. Gestures or moments you may overlook as inconsequential are in fact a man's equivalent of choosing to take the express route to commitment as opposed to the scenic "let's see what happens" path. Ready to analyse some route markers?

Unspoken Assumptions

In the early dating days, calling to ask you out on less than two days' notice signalled an assumption that you have nothing better to do than wait for his call. Even if you're free, chances are the man in question would get a rebuttal just to get the point. Slowly, however, the tango of negotiation is shelved. You know the relationship's progressing when he doesn't need to formally ask you out. It goes without saying that you'll be spending most of the weekend together.

Family Ties

OK, so you've met his family. Big deal. Maybe he just needed a date to his cousin's wedding. The true sign of the depth of his feelings is when he can introduce his kin to you then bob them in private. Should you start hearing about his father's unrealistic expectations, his mother's nagging, and his brother's slight pyromania problem, nod understandingly. Then smile knowingly to yourself because you've just been granted entry into his emotional vault.

Accepting "No"

Should you decline an overture and he backs off immediately, don't make the mistake of thinking he wants you any less. It only means your happiness and comfort have become higher priority than his libido. Respect's a significant marker.

It's Our Money

As you get more comfortable with each other, the fiscal situation becomes flexible. No more splitting bills down the middle or counting what each consumed. He pays for some items, you cover others. It all evens out in the end.

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