How to turn a hookup into the real thing

Jan 28, 2011 at 2:07 p.m. ET

If your latest hookup has you dreaming of long-term love, there are some ways to turn him into a keeper. It’s not always easy to go from lust to love, but check out our guide to taking a fling to the next level.

Smiling, happy couple hugging.

Don't rush things

Scaring him off is the last thing you want to do, so before you go asking if he wants to have dinner with you and your parents, think about more subtle ways of showing him you're interested in more than just a friendly fling. Putting him on the spot or making him feel like he's being backed into a corner he doesn't feel comfortable in may just send him running the other way.

Introduce him to friends

Slowly integrating him into your circle of friends is a great way to start making inroads when it comes to taking your hookup to the next level. It will be good for him to see another side of your personality, and if he's comfortable with your friends, it may be a sign your fling has relationship potential.

Go on a date

Hookups are less about stimulating conversation that stimulating... something else. So if you want to turn a booty call into a boyfriend you're going to have to find more things in common than sex. Start small – go to a movie, have drinks at a relaxed local pub or catch some live music. If that goes well, you can move on to longer dates, but either way, getting out of the bedroom (just for a bit) can do wonders for elevating your relationship.

Boost your bond

What do you really know about him? Chances are, if you're still at the steamy hook-up stage, you know he has a nice body, what kind of cologne he favors and where he lives – not exactly the stuff of strong bonds. If you want to move from fling to potential BF, you'll need to find out more about him – ask questions about his life, his goals, fears and desires and do some sharing of your own. The more you know about each other, the better your chances of forming deeper bonds will be.

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