Every woman’s idea of “The One” is obviously different, but in general, we all want the same things: someone who treats us well, challenges us and helps us grow, and protects us and lifts us when we fall. If that’s what you’re after, then here are nine subtle signs you may have found him.

He asks you to help pay for stuff. In a lot of cultures, a man’s ability to provide is a direct reflection of his manhood and how much he cares about his woman. As such, most of us expect a guy to pay for things, especially on a first date. It’s a sign that he’ll provide for us later on. Well, I hate to break it to you, but healthy relationships are all about balance. If a man asks you to help pay for something, he’s testing whether you’ll be a great partner and communicating the kind of relationship he wants moving forward. It’s not an insult, it’s a test. Pass it!

He tells you when he can’t afford something. I’ve heard so many women complain that whenever they want to do something, their boyfriends always say they’re broke. Here’s the thing: men are notoriously egotistical. If he’s a decent guy and he tells you about his financial situation, that means that he trusts you. Don’t complain about the fact that you can’t go out all the time. Celebrate because your guy doesn’t want to saddle you and your future family with debt for short-term happiness.

He cries in front of you. Some of us love alpha men, and that’s fine, but even alpha men break down sometimes. If you’ve been with your guy for a while and he lets himself be vulnerable with you, then that’s a huge compliment. It means that he’s comfortable sharing all the different sides to his complex personality with you. Don’t act shocked. Crying is what an emotionally intelligent man does from time to time.

He tells you all about his day. My boyfriend works the most boring job ever. I hate hearing about office politics and what’s going on, but rather than complaining about the fact that he bores me to death, I see it as a positive sign. My guy telling me about his day means that he wants to share in his triumphs and frustrations with me. That’s a level of emotional intimacy that many women would kill for. Count yourself lucky if you can get more than two words about his day from his mouth.

He gives you advice on your other relationships. So many women think that their boyfriend’s job is to be there for them but stay out of their drama with their girlfriends and family members. While there needs to be a level of respect, the fact is that any guy that cares about you wants to see you happy in every facet of your life. That means he’ll point out things that may make for smoother sailing. Don’t bite his head off; he’s just trying to help you have more fulfilling relationships all around.

He asks you for advice. Unfortunately, so many men don’t ask for help or directions because they don’t want to look unsure. Even though we’ve come a long way as human beings, we still expect men to have all the answers. Look, a guy asking for your opinion is a great sign. It means that he wants to build a life with you, not for you. I don’t know about you, but I want to have a say in the family I make. Him asking for advice now is just great practice for your future. It also shows that he values your opinion.

He insists on the two of you spending more time together. No, he’s not clingy, he just wants to spend time with you. So many women are so independent and fiercely protective of their time. Look, a guy wanting to spend time with you, is a good thing. It shows that he enjoys your company and wants more of it. Don’t label him as clingy. So many women would give to have their partner ask to spend time with them.

He wants you to spend time with each other’s families. I know how hard this can be. I hate awkward situations and meeting your boyfriend’s family is always awkward. There’s a level of distrust on both sides that can be taxing, but any man that’s serious about a future with you wants you to be comfortable spending time with his family and vice versa. If you’re the type of person that likes for things to fit into little boxes, then marriage and having a family will quickly dispel that myth. Life gets complicated and messy and we all need people to lean on. If your guy is insisting on you spending more time with each other’s families, it means he’s already laying the groundwork for a bright future.

He refers to you as his wifey. I know how sensitive a lot of women get about this word, especially when they don’t have a ring. The reality is that most men have massive egos. A lot of them don’t want to get married until they’re financially secure. In the world that we live in, that’s getting tougher and tougher to do. Sometimes, you have to read in between the lines. A guy that calls you his wifey is planning on making you his. Men are very intentional with their words. If he calls your relationship “casual” then you need to run, but “wifey” is a sign of where his heart is and where his actions will soon be.

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