Commitment-phobes are all too common in today’s dating world, and while many of us would like to avoid them entirely, it can be hard to tell which guys have one foot out the door and which ones are in it for the long haul. Even the men who come across as being pure, undiluted boyfriend material can turn out to be the leaving kind, but if the guy you’re seeing isn’t doing these basic things, it’s a sure sign that you should keep looking if you want something real:
Talking about the future
Marriage and babies don’t need to be on the table, but if he’s not even willing to discuss plans for a concert next month with you, it’s because he isn’t sure that you two will still be seeing each other by the time it rolls around. A guy who intends on committing to you, on the other hand, will think it’s a given that you’ll still be together in the near future, so he won’t worry about making plans ahead of time.
Introducing you to his friends
If you’ve been seeing each other for a while and still haven’t met any of his friends, it’s likely because he sees you as temporary. A guy who wants a real relationship with you will want you to be familiar with other people he cares about, whereas a guy who just wants a casual fling won’t bother making the effort to integrate you into his social circle.
Appearing anywhere on social media with you
Some people just aren’t big social media buffs, but there’s a difference between someone who doesn’t put their life all over Facebook and someone who untags himself from all your Facebook photos. If he tries to avoid showing up on your Snapchat story or “likes” every girl’s Instagram photos except yours, it’s because he wants to avoid having people think that you’re together. If you’re hoping to have something long-term with a guy who pulls this, you’re not going to be happy with the outcome.
Going out in public with you
It doesn’t matter if you spend every single night at his house — if he’s always coming up with an excuse not to go out to movies or restaurants in the area, he doesn’t see you as more than something casual. A guy who wants to make you his girlfriend won’t be ashamed to show you off. In fact, he’ll be proud when he runs into people he knows and gets to introduce you to them.
Making it clear that you’re romantically involved
Does he refer to you as his “buddy” when you meet people he knows? Does he find ways to avoid holding your hand when you do spend time in public together? Bad news, sister: you’ll never be more than a fling to him. This is another tactic commitmentphobes do not only to show the people around them that you’re nothing serious, but also to show you that you shouldn’t get your hopes up for anything long-term.
Going out of his way for you
A guy who’s only interested in sex and cuddles won’t be the one who rushes over to your house with soup and tissues when you’re sick. For him, the investment just isn’t worth it when he knows you won’t be in the picture much longer anyway. But a man who wants to create something of a future with you won’t think twice about helping you out even when it’s not convenient for him.
Spending time with you without having sex
A man who comes to your place to “help you study” and ACTUALLY helps you study is a man who wants to be your boyfriend. For a guy who only wants something casual, doing all of life’s more mundane activities with you when he knows the clothes are going to stay on the whole time isn’t worth it. He’s in this for the fun of it, after all, and running errands with you all day is probably not his idea of fun.
Showing interest in your life
If he’s genuinely curious about your hopes and dreams, if he asks to try out your hobbies, if he asks how your family is doing, he wants this to be something real. But if his interest in you rarely gets deeper than asking how you’re doing, he’s not going to bother to genuinely find out about who you are as a person and why.
Deleting his online dating accounts
To be fair, some people are just forgetful and leave their accounts inactive when they find someone they want to keep around. But most of the time, once a guy decides he wants to commit to you, he’ll take his online dating apps off his phone. On the other hand, a guy who isn’t planning on sticking around will still be swiping left and right. He might tell you that it’s “just because he’s curious” or that he “does it for laughs,” but don’t listen to that BS. He’s just making sure he has a backup plan.
Making an effort to keep you around
In the end, a casual partner who clearly isn’t trying to prove his worth is never going to be anything more than a casual partner. When we really like someone and want them in our lives, we try reasonably hard to keep them happy and show them why they should want to stay with us, too. If he seems pretty flippant about what you have going on, or if you have your doubts that he’d care if you broke things off tomorrow, you’re wasting your time if you’re waiting for him to commit to you.
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