How To Ask A Guy What His Intentions Are

Few things are more frustrating than the period in a relationship when one person is ready to make things official and the other person is sending mixed messages. How do you balance your competing desires to play it cool and figure out whether you have a future together? Here’s how to ask a guy what his intentions are.

  1. Just ask! There is no shame in being direct, and it’s probably the quickest way to get an answer. Asking a guy where he sees the relationship going has the added benefit of showing him that you’re not a pushover. You are advocating for your needs, not waiting for him to decide it’s convenient.
  2. Don’t qualify it. Qualification is an easy trap to fall into because we all want to be liked (especially by the person we’re into) and we don’t want to pressure people. But asking a guy about his intentions is not a big ask. You deserve to know where he sees things going, and you should not feel obligated to preface the question with, “I hate to ask this”, or “If you’re not ready to talk about this it’s okay”. Don’t devalue yourself. It’s a reasonable and necessary question.
  3. Consider how you would answer the question if the tables were turned. Fear of rejection may have you desperate to know how he feels about you, but how do you feel about him? If he says he wants to make things official, would you want to as well? If you don’t know what you want, don’t be too hard on him if he isn’t quite sure yet either.
  4. Don’t leave it too long. The longer you leave it, the more awkward it will be. You don’t want to find out six months into a relationship that you both have wildly different views of where you’re headed. The sooner you ask, the less uncomfortable the conversation will be and the more likely you are to continue talking about your trajectory if anything changes. Create an expectation of openness early on and you’ll have a much smoother relationship going forward.
  5. Tell him what your intentions are. What you’re wanting is greater transparency, so why not be transparent yourself? After all, it will be easier for him to be open and vulnerable if you’re being open and vulnerable as well. Tell him how you feel and where you see the relationship going. Then see how he responds. If he continues to be evasive and non-committal, that is an answer in itself.
  6. Avoid asking in a roundabout way. You could waste years of your life trying to get a straight answer from an indirect question. Questions such as “Do you want children?” or “When do you see yourself getting married?” will likely lead to unsatisfying answers. Because while you may want to know his responses to such questions, what you’re really trying to figure out is how he feels about your relationship. General questions about marriage and children could lead to unspoken mind games and misunderstandings and ultimately, a great deal of wasted time.
  7. Even if you get a straightforward answer, take some time to observe his actions. We all know that actions speak louder than words. If he tells you that he wants to be serious but continues to act as if he’s single, trust your instincts. No conversation can compensate for conflicting actions. If he’s serious about you, he will show it.
  8. Don’t treat it like a big deal. The danger of waiting a while before asking is that you build the conversation up in your mind to be a huge, pivotal moment in the relationship. When you finally do ask, the mindset you’re in can translate into an unnecessarily intense atmosphere. It’s perfectly reasonable to define the relationship and asking casually but directly will reduce any awkwardness that you may be worried about.
  9. Do it in person. If you’re nervous about asking him about his intentions, you may be contemplating doing it over text. But this is not the time for texting. You need to be face to face in order to pick up on all his non-verbal queues. Does he avoid eye contact? Does he change the subject? It’s much harder to gauge a person’s reactions over text, and much easier to be brushed off. And if you do want a serious relationship, you need to know that you can have difficult conversations with him, because they are inevitable in any partnership.
  10. If you have to ask, it could be a red flag. If you’ve been together for a while and still don’t know how he feels about you, it may be more appropriate to ask why you don’t feel secure in the relationship than where he sees it going. If he’s inconsistent or makes you feel like an afterthought, forget about defining the relationship and focus on finding someone who leaves you in no doubt as to how he feels about you.
Rose Nolan is a writer and editor from Austin, TX who focuses on all things female and fabulous. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Theater from the University of Surrey and a Master's Degree in Law from the University of Law. She’s been writing professional since 2015 and, in addition to her work for Bolde, she’s also written for Ranker and Mashed. She's published articles on topics ranging from travel, higher education, women's lifestyle, law, food, celebrities, and more.