“Busy” in the dating game has become synonymous with utter disinterest. But is it always like this? Here’s how to tell that the guy you’re seeing really does have a packed agenda and isn’t just trying to blow you off:

He’ll explain what’s going on in his life. It’s not enough if a guy tells you he’s “super busy” as a way to get out of hanging out with you. If he really likes you and wants you in his life, he’ll give you more details about his work, his time, what he does, and so on. This helps you see that he’s making an effort to include you in his world even if he can’t see you right now.

He’ll make time to see you no matter how busy he is. Life is busy and everyone has crazy schedules. It might take some time for people who are dating to synchronize those schedules, especially if they’ve been single for a while or they’re used to work being their priority, but a guy who really likes you will make the time to see you. I mean, he makes time to sleep and eat, right?

He won’t drop off the earth when he’s super busy. If it happens that he has to cancel a date, a guy who’s genuinely busy and not just blowing you off will be clear about why and stay in touch, such as by calling and texting. He’ll share his day with you rather than going AWOL.

He might take longer to reply, but he’ll always reply. A guy who’s not interested in you will take ages to reply to your messages — perhaps even days. A guy who’s genuinely busy might take a little bit of time, but not that long. He’ll always reply to your messages, and when he does, he’ll give you more than one-word answers. The guy who answers “hey” or “k, cool” to your messages days after you sent them can GTFO.

He won’t ignore your messages. Thanks to technology, you can now see if the guy’s actually opened and read your messages. Maybe he’s really been swamped at work and so he hasn’t even checked his messages. That’s okay because you know he’ll get to you when he can. The guy who’s using his “busy” life as an excuse to keep you at arm’s length, on the other hand, will read your messages and just not reply. That’s dodgy AF.

He won’t lie if his weekends open up. Everyone needs downtime, but a guy who likes you will still be sure to fit you in on weekends. If he’s never available during his days off, then he’s not interested. No one’s busy every single day, right?

He’ll set another date if things don’t work out. A guy who wants to blow you off will take rain-checks like they’re going out of fashion, but then never actually make a plan to see you. A guy who wants to date you even though he’s busy might have to cancel every now and then, but if he does he’ll be sure to set another date immediately to show you that he’s keen to see you. He won’t say stuff like, “Let’s see how the week goes,” which just leaves you hanging.

His social media presence doesn’t clash with his “busy” excuse. If you can see he’s on social media, but he’s ignoring your texts, then he’s a loser. Block him and delete his number.

He won’t let his “busy” life get in the way of your relationship. A good way to tell if he’s busy or just lying to you is to see how often he excuses himself out of dates. If it happens once in a while, that’s understandable. But if he’s always doing it, he’s a slacker.

Your gut tells you he’s into it. Check how you feel when he describes his week as being “too busy.” If you feel anxious and like you can’t just be spontaneous and ask him out because you know he’ll ignore you, that’s no way to date. He should make you feel good no matter what’s happening in his life, or else he needs to GFTO of yours.

If you can make the time, so can heYou’re actually really busy leading your amazing life, so he shouldn’t think that he’s so special. If you can make the time in your hectic schedule to see him, then he should be able to do the same, even if it’s just for a quick coffee before work — if he’s worth it, that is. If not, then he can go be busy somewhere else, because you’ve got better things to do.

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