I was a one guy kind of girl until recently when I started what I call “double dating,” or going out with two guys in one night. These days, I can’t guarantee I’m not calling it an early night because I need to drive across town to have a drink with someone else. If a guy wants to be exclusive, there are a few things I need to see before I close my eyes to other dating prospects.
- He needs to prove he can make time for me. I’m not expecting a guy I hardly know to bend over backward to adjust his calendar or make me a top priority, but I’m human and the guy I get the most exposure to is probably the one who’s going to win me over. Quality time is my top love language and that face-to-face interaction is his only chance of getting and keeping my attention.
- He needs to actually make plans. Asking me to get together last minute is a surefire way to get crickets in response. I need at least 24 hours to hype myself up to do just about anything, and if I don’t have something else going on, I’m probably spending all day excited about the lounging I’ll do that night. I’m no one’s backup plan or booty call.
- He needs to set himself apart. If all the guys I’m getting to know talk about how much they love college football and beer, want to found a startup, and do Crossfit to stay active, there’s literally no way I can keep from mixing up their stories and our conversations. There needs to be something that distinguishes him and our budding relationship from the others.
- He needs to do his part to form a genuine connection. I have the hardest time knowing what questions to ask a guy, namely because I’m trying not to come across as an interviewer. But what I’ve learned from interviewing guys is that talking about exes, why you’re single, and all your flaws are off-limits early on. It’s all about asking the right questions.
- Speaking of communication, he can’t be extra. I’m not like most women. Giving me too much attention before we’re serious will freak me out. Too many compliments, “good morning” texts, and blowing up my phone aren’t going to make me ditch the other guys I’m talking to. I need a guy who shows he’s interested but isn’t trying to get emotionally intimate prematurely. In other words, there needs to be a balance.
- He needs to be clear on his intentions. I don’t have the emotional bandwidth anymore for ambiguity. I’d much rather be taking a nap or watching House for the sixth time all the way through than spending my time questioning whether a guy is into me. If I don’t know he’s into me, there’s no way I can justify closing my other accounts and focusing on just him.
- He needs to make me feel like there could be a future. A guy who can successfully get me to think about him other than when I’m texting him back is one who shows me he sees himself sticking around. If I’m putting other guys on hold while I explore this relationship, I at least need to believe there’s potential for the long-haul. My best shot at a long-term relationship will be with a guy who respects me, holds back on the physical aspect as long as possible, communicates well, and slowly integrates me into his life.
- He needs to show me his values are similar to mine. If he feels some type of way about gender roles or getting married, or he sleeps around or does drugs or has kids, we just aren’t aligning in the things we want in life. If we’re not aligning in our lifestyles, it isn’t worth it to stop seeing other people.
- He needs to show me he’s serious about finding his person. Double dating sounds like I’m just looking for a good time, but it’s really a method I’ve used because I’m serious about ending up with one awesome guy. It’s just a faster way to weed out the ones who aren’t a strong match. At the end of the day, I’m much too introverted to maintain all the conversations and relationships for long. If he’s serious about settling down with one woman in the next few years and has proven himself in all the other ways, I’d be happy to set my sights on him.