Dating is complicated, and figuring out where you stand can be confusing. It is always best to sit down for a straightforward talk that defines the relationship. In the meantime, step back and take a look at how the two of you relate. Each relationship is different, but all healthy, serious relationships share some common factors.

Honesty and Trust

In the article "Am I in a Healthy Relationship?" the website TeensHealth points out that in a serious relationship, trust comes easily because you are both honest. You relate not only your secrets but also your daily activities. You aren’t required to check in with each other or ask permission to go about your lives, but it feels natural to keep each other informed. This leads to an open, trusting atmosphere in which neither of you feels shut out or suspicious.

Communication and Conflict Resolution

Conflict is an inevitable part of life. Yet conflict should not lead to drama, note the staff writers at eHarmony.com. In a serious, healthy relationship, you are both comfortable expressing your needs and desires. You follow fair fighting rules, debate the issues without attacking each other and come to resolutions that are mutually beneficial. You know you can talk about anything and your partner will take you seriously.

Sharing Your Lives

In “Six Signs He’s Serious About You,” the eHarmony staff explains that in a serious relationship, both partners fully invite each other into their lives. If you meet each other’s family and friends, find ways to become part of each other’s hobbies and make spending time together a priority, the odds are high that your relationship is serious. Of course, as TeensHealth notes, it is important to maintain your individual lives as well. In a serious relationship, you feel like part of each other’s daily lives but do not try to smother each other with too much togetherness.

Fairness and Respect

In a serious relationship, both partners respect each other for who they truly are, according to TeensHealth. You might not always be into the same things, but you show respect for the things that are important to each other. Your relationship has a healthy blend of give and take in which both people’s opinions are important. For example, you might go to the basketball game with him this weekend, while he sits through dinner with your grandparents next week.