Figuring out whether or not a guy wants something real with you can be a challenge, especially in the early stages of dating. If he’s doing these things, it’s a good sign that he sees you as more than just a casual fling to distract him from the real world.
- He invests in you. It’s great if he buys you gifts and dinner, but money isn’t the only form of currency you can invest when it comes to dating. A guy who always expects you to drive to his place isn’t giving up his energy and time to see you. However, if the man you’re dating is willing to go out of his way to see you or make you smile, it shows that he’s looking out for your happiness in the long-term, not just his happiness in the short-term.
- His friends know who you are. Meeting a guy’s friends is considered A Big Deal in a budding relationship. If and when you do get invited to a social gathering with his buddies, pay attention to how they react to you. If they seem disinterested, they might be used to their friend bringing a new woman around every few weeks. But if they refer to you as “the girl their friend never shuts up about” (or better yet, they know your name before you even introduce yourself), it’s solid evidence that this guy has been talking to them about you as though he wants you in his life for a long time.
- He seems to be a “relationship guy.” At some point, previous relationships will come up in conversation and it may reveal a lot about what this guy has in mind for his time with you. If his dating past seems to include one serious relationship and nothing but quick flings for the past five years, your odds of ending up as his girlfriend are slim. If he mentions having a few serious relationships, though, he might see you as having a more permanent role in his life. Lots of people take advantage of their single phases, so a period of one-night stands and friends-with-benefits isn’t anything to worry about unless they take up the vast majority of this man’s recent dating life.
- He’s consistent in his communication with you. No matter how sweet he is when you’re together, don’t let him fool you into thinking that his once-a-week booty calls mean that he’s falling in love with you. A guy who’s really into you will make the effort to keep in touch with you over the course of the week, not just when he wants to bang. He’ll miss you when you’re apart and make an effort to text or call you during his free time.
- He marks his territory. Humans (usually) don’t pee on things to mark what they believe is theirs, of course, but they have other ways of letting others know that they’ll be back. For a guy, this can be as simple as asking if he can leave a toothbrush or a clean pair of underwear at your place. He’s testing the waters, essentially asking if you expect him to be around enough to necessitate having some of his stuff with you. If you ask the same of him and he declines, he either isn’t sure if your time together will last long enough for you to actually use the stuff you left at his place, or he’s worried about another woman in his life noticing that she’s not the only one he’s bringing around.
- His single status becomes less apparent online. Becoming “Facebook official” is a big deal. However, some guys make smaller steps online to indicate that they’ve found someone they can see a future with. Deleting dating apps and removing his relationship status from his Facebook profile are subtle changes that can indicate that he’s ready to give up the single life (even if it hasn’t officially happened yet). Don’t get your hopes up if he’s still getting dating app notifications when you hang out, though — he’s not into you enough to stop his swiping hobby.
- He doesn’t hang out with you just to hook up. Great sex doesn’t always lead to a committed relationship. If you two end up naked every time you’re together, ask yourself if it’s really just unstoppable sexual passion at play or if you really think he’d spend time with you if sex wasn’t on the table. The time he spends with you at a diner on his lunch break or cuddled up on the couch with you while you’re on your period (and not in the mood) is far more significant than even the most mind-blowing sex when it comes to figuring out what he really wants with you.
- He remembers tiny details about you. Is there anything hotter than a guy who remembers the name of your childhood dog? These details aren’t just useful for security questions to your online bank account — they reveal a lot about how much this guy is paying attention to what you say. A man who just sees you as a temporary, unimportant fling isn’t going to bother remembering your favorite type of sushi or even your birthday. Leave him behind and go for the guy who’s clearly invested in what you tell him.
- He doesn’t try to keep you a secret. Feeling like a man is keeping you hidden from the world truly sucks. For a guy who’s just using you as a distraction, though, this is a logical and easy route to take. Bringing you around his social circle or commenting on your Instagram selfies means showing the world that you have a somewhat important place in his life, and it makes no sense for him to do so if he’s planning on moving on from you when he gets bored. On the other hand, a guy who’s proud to be with you will show it. He’ll take you out in public, hold your hand, and won’t act like you’re “just friends” around people he knows. If you’re looking for something real, go for a man who isn’t afraid to show the world that you’re real.