There needs to be mutual interest and compatibility with a guy and you have the right to turn him down and walk away for any reason, including not matching up on what you want from the arrangement. Instead of letting him call all the shots on what you two are doing, here’s how to let him know you’re not here for a good time — you’re looking for a long time and not settling for less.
Ask him what he wants first. If he’s intentionally trying to play you, he may try to follow your lead and pretend to want what you want. If you tell him first, he’s going to say what he thinks you want to hear in response, so don’t give him any leads and open yourself up to getting played. Keep a poker face on when you ask what he’s looking for and see what he says without knowing what you’re interested in. If he stumbles or changes up what he says after you reveal your answer, take that as a red flag.
Act like it. Ever heard Lyfe Jennings “Statistics”? Well, “don’t be a nickel out here looking for a dime.” If all he sees is you partying, flirting, and posting thirst-trap selfies for the ‘Gram, is he really going to think you’re trying to be wifed up? Dress for the job you want, show him you have it going on and can bring something to the table, and don’t give him any other choice but to come at you with high expectations because you clearly mean business and aren’t to be fooled with on a superficial/casual level.
Just say so upfront. Going with the flow when the tide is going against what you’re looking for will not serve your best interests. You’re just paddling upstream toward a disappointment disaster. Of course, you’re not going to hit him with a “marriage or bust” your first convo, but be sure to make it known right away whether you’re looking for a hookup, casual dating, or a lifelong/long-term partner. If you’re not on the same page starting off, then wish him well and continue your search elsewhere. Don’t try to change his mind or convince him otherwise. If he says he just wants a friend or doesn’t know what he’s looking for, he’s probably just going to waste your time.
Be firm with and stick to your boundaries. Don’t agree to something you don’t actually want. If he says he wants to be friends first then see where it leads, just know this may be total BS and he may just string you along until he finds the next opportunity. If you want something serious only don’t even get started unless he agrees to reasonably pursue you. You don’t have to force someone who doesn’t know you yet to commit, but just make it clear that you’re not giving him any girlfriend privileges without being his girlfriend.
Be consistent. Don’t start slipping because you like him or got comfortable with what you were doing and end up the girl in the 10-year relationship without a ring or wedding. If you want something serious just say so and hold him accountable to it. This may need to be a convo you revisit every now and again. Guys can be lazy, and he may just assume no news is good news if you don’t bring any concerns to his attention. Stay focused and make sure not to start letting him come over all the time instead of taking you out on dates and falling into a Netflix and chill routine.
State your deal-breakers. If you continue to hang out with him without establishing exclusivity you may be setting yourself up for an open relationship. If you’re not willing to share, then tell him you’re not okay with being on rotation. If he wants to talk to see and date multiple people, that’s his choice, but you’re better than being on a lineup if you’re looking for someone who only has eyes for you.
Set a reasonable timeline for getting to know you. If he says he’s hoping to find a partner this doesn’t automatically guarantee you two are a match and will hit it off. It’s okay to agree to keep things light for a bit but don’t let him waste your time either. If he drags his feet or there are no signs of progression in your interaction with him tell him he has to step it up if he doesn’t want you to step away.
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