Does he quickly pull away when you try to hold his hand while walking out of his dorm? Or does she ‘forget’ to call you back all too often? Do you find yourself at the receiving end of one too many phone calls with ‘impromptu’ or ‘spontaneous’ plans – almost like as if you were an afterthought? Or worse, a back-up plan? Oh, and the scariest one – their friends know absolutely nothing about you. If these examples seem all too familiar in your ‘relationship’ (yes, unfortunately those air quotes belong there), then it’s possible that you are in a fling relationship and you don’t even know it. 

As annoying and confusing as it may be, it is in fact all too common to land up in a relationship where the expectations between two people are completely mismatched. With all the great sex and the excitement of this new dalliance, your “What are we?” question seems to get lost in the chaos. 

And so, when the high of the honeymoon stage wears off, the result of that is a horrible confusion. What stings the most is when you actually realize that you were far more invested in this relationship than they were. That when you two were sitting under the stars and searching for constellations, he was actually texting another girl back. That when she said she could only make it to the coffee shop for an hour to see you, it’s because she had to leave quickly to go and see her ex. 

Are You In A Fling Relationship? Here Are 10 Signs 

There’s nothing wrong with the concept of fling dating as long as there’s an understanding between both people involved. In fact, sometimes when people have just gotten out of a long and serious relationship, they choose to try a fling relationship for a change of pace and to take their mind off things. 

As convenient as that may sound, having a fling can have disastrous consequences too if you realize all too late that the two of you were never on the same page and were actually fling dating. As much as one wants to run from the conversation of commitment, boundaries and expectations – it is absolutely essential and even more so, when you are in a fling relationship. 

So if you think your partner has been dilly-dallying in their behavior or you keep sensing there’s something off, it’s probably because they were just having a fling all along. But you never picked up on it before because you were just too smitten. To avoid this from happening to you, here are 10 signs of a fling relationship that you can use to judge your own. 

Related Reading: Casual Sex Is Great As Long As You Treat it Casually

1. They push and pull you 

Now it may or may not be as serious as the problems of a push-pull relationship, but in a casual fling your partner will sometimes be too hot and sometimes way too cold. This inconsistency in their interactions with you comes from a deep confusion within them with regards to their own feelings about you. 

On the one hand, they probably love your company. But on the other hand, they are too scared of falling in love or crossing the line of the fling relationship over to the other side. Is it a relationship or a fling? They are probably too confused to answer this question themselves. But this still leaves you in limbo. Suffice to say that the answer to your question, “Is it just a fling?”, is still a hard “Yes”.  

2. The sex is great, but in a casual fling it often just ends there 

If you’re having great sex in this relationship that is intimate, raw and real – there is still a good chance that you are in a fling relationship. As amazing as the physical chemistry might be, think about what the two of you do after it. Does he often just zip up and walk off? Or does she just quickly hop off and then glom on to her phone the moment that the deed is done?

If one really wants it to be, sex can be a massive experience in bringing two people closer together over and over again. But if you feel like there’s a lack of emotionality in your sex life or even a sweet round of post-sex cuddling in your relationship, then you may just be involved in a casual fling. 

relationship or a fling
In a fling relationship, you may love the sex. But that might be all there is to it

3. You are not on their social media 

Billy Kitzhaber had been going out with Nora Stein for a couple months. The two never really had a conversation about exclusivity but since things were going so well, Billy assumed that they were. This is until he asked Nora why she never posted a picture with him even though she has photos with her exes on her Instagram page. Nora said, “We’re just having a fling Billy, you’re not my real boyfriend yet.”

Now we don’t mean that you need to start doubting your partner, because they’ve never posted about you – some people just don’t use social media in a generic way – but something like this does raise a question along the lines of, “Is it just a fling?”

4. They never discuss the future with you in a fling relationship

Are they happy to discuss what you two are doing tomorrow night? Absolutely. It doesn’t take them long to decide whose house you’re hanging out in after work tomorrow. But when it comes to discussing your relationship in the next year or even as soon as six months down the line – they seem to freeze and lose their ground completely. 

This is not because they don’t like you. It’s only because they are not seeing you as seriously as you may be seeing them. Which is why, considering a future with you in it, is something that barely passed their mind. In this casual fling, all that matters is the fun and excitement of seeing you the next day.

Related Reading: Dating For Marriage? 15 Important Things You Should Be Prepared For

5. You’ve never really met their friends or family 

Carla Wescott had been seeing Jason Breibeck for a while. She had never met his friends or family, but since she wanted to take things slow, she never pressed Jason about the same. That is until she ran into Jason and his college buddies at a bar near her house. That’s when she learned that Jason’s friends didn’t even have any idea who she was! 

Is this a relationship or a fling? Time to seriously ask yourself this question. If they run at the thought of introducing you to the other people in their life, it’s clearly because they don’t see themselves that close to you. Out of all the types of relationships, it’s only a fun and casual one from their side.

6. When fling dating, there’s not a lot of PDA 

Not that public displays of affection are a yardstick to judge the success of a serious relationship, but when two people are actually in love, it definitely shows. And sometimes in the form of indulging in PDA. Forehead kisses, hand holding, random hugs, arms around each other’s waists – you name it. So if you’re wondering whether your relationship is just a fling or something more, think about how often you two are close in public. 

Do you rarely ever meet up in public? Is it just easier to hang out at the other person’s house? Because these are some signs of a fling relationship that you may have completely overlooked. They don’t admire you in public simply because it does not come naturally to them. 

7. You have been making all the plans and check-ins 

From deciding where you two head to dinner to being the one that checks up on them when they are sick, think about whether they have ever done any of those things for you. That is reason enough to rethink whether your relationship is just a fling or something more. To show someone you care, staying in touch with them regularly, are just some of the very basic things one does in a real relationship. 

But if that is uncommon in yours, you have all the right reasons to raise your, “Is it just a fling?” question. If your partner had been as invested as you, then you wouldn’t be the one double texting them all the time only for them to respond to you seven hours later. 

8. They never prioritize you 

When you’re having a fling, the person you are in a fling relationship with is essential to you, but not really important. And this reveals itself in a lot of ways like when a guy cancels a date because of another commitment. Perhaps they were supposed to meet you for brunch but an ‘emergency’ came up and they had to cancel. Or any other reasons they keep coming up with to blow you off again and again. 

A work emergency, taking their dog out, babysitting their cousin or anything else under the sun. It seems like everything else in their life matters more than you do. This is not a feeling that you can just sit on while you let it happen to you. This is clearly a fling relationship and nothing more. So it’s time you adjust your lens similarly. 

couple dynamics

9. In a fling relationship they hardly make an effort to get to know you 

Knowing that you like to dim the lights when having sex does not count. What we mean is that they hardly make an effort in getting to know a deeper side of you. Your past relationships, experiences or stories, are of no real value to them. Their goal is to have fun with you and as long as they get to do that, then other things don’t matter. So think again – is this just a fling or something more?

When Sylvia would go on dates with Cole, they’d order a couple rounds of drinks and engage in a fun conversation. But Cole never seemed to scratch beneath the surface and ask Sylvia a real question. And a couple weeks into dating, Sylvia realized that Cole did not even know the name of her dog. Now to a dog lover, that is straight up rude and a rather telling sign of disinterest.

Related Reading: How Long Does A Crush Last And 11 Ways To Get Over It

10. They seem to mention other people in their life when fling dating 

If things like, “My coworker Jody…”, or “My ex Nerissa…”, are often peppered into their conversations with you, are you sure you are the only person in their life? Because you need to seriously think hard  about whether this is a relationship or a fling. If they casually mention their exes or any other encounters that could possibly be dates, then it’s time to assess whether you are in a fling relationship or not. 

Fling dating means that they probably are seeing multiple people. So keep an eye out for cues that help you confirm the same. Is he getting frequent texts from another different girl? Or is she constantly talking about the new guy that’s moved in next door? 

It’s natural to mistake a growing attachment to someone as a serious relationship only to realize that there’s not much future there. So don’t blame yourself or feel disheartened if this has happened with you and you’ve stumbled into a fling relationship. Just make sure that the next time, you can better decide for yourself how you want to take things.


1. Can a fling turn into a relationship?

Sure it can. If, with time, the love blossoms, then it is possible that you can stop worrying if it is just a fling or something more. Love can strike at any time. So there’s always that possibility! 

2. What is a casual fling?

A casual fling is sort of no strings attached situation where you both primarily meet up for sex but don’t really do the other regular things that people do in a relationship. It’s mainly a short, sexual relationship and one where you are also allowed to see other people at the same time. 

3. What does ‘a fling with someone’ mean?

A fling with someone means that you do interact with them (mostly sexually) but not in the traditional ‘dating’ sense. There’s not a lot of love or future plans involved in your relationship. It’s a short stint where you two have fun and sex, and leave the emotions out of it. 

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