Figuring out what a guy wants from a relationship when you first start dating him is like trying to find a needle in a haystack. You might sit around trying to decode his texts over a bottle of wine with your BFF, but if you really want to find out if he’s interested in a serious relationship – short of asking him straight up, of course – just look for these signs.
- He doesn’t run from your friends. If he spends the night at your apartment, does he introduce himself to your roommates the next morning? If you’re out together and you run into your friends, does he excuse himself or does he stay and learn more about them? If he wants more than just a fun hookup, he won’t go out of his way to avoid meeting the people in your life because he wants to be in that crowd of people.
- He doesn’t shy away from the word “date.” Maybe you aren’t yet “dating,” but you still go out to dinner or go on hikes or whatever early lovers do. Does he call these small events “hanging out,” or is he a mature human who calls them what they are? If he squirms at the suggestion of a “date night,” then he’s not into the idea of dating. Also, he’s probably a big man-child and you can do better. Do not date him.
- He lets you borrow his car. Any expensive hardware that requires contracts and registrations is a big deal to lend out. Does he give you the keys to his apartment so you have somewhere to hang out during the weird amount of time between your dentist appointment and work, or maybe offer his car to get to your dentist appointment while yours is in the shop? He’s putting you in charge of the safety of the things in his life that would cost the most money to repair were you to damage them, and that takes more trust than a casual hookup allows.
- He wants to talk about problems. If you have a big crack in your phone screen, you’re not going to waste time and money on replacing it when you’re due for an upgrade next week. You just ignore it, which is exactly what a guy will do if he’s only with you for something casual. He’s not going to want to work on things when this is supposed to be just a passing fling for fun. Side note: if a guy compares you to a broken phone screen, do not date him.
- He asks you for help. He’s stuck at work late and needs someone to let out his dog, or maybe his building is being fumigated and he needs somewhere to stay for the night. He has friends, but he asked you. That says one of two things: he either sees you as someone he can trust, or he’s a mooch whose friends are sick of his crap so he can’t go to them anymore. Your friends will help you figure out which he is.
- He’s curious about your family. No one is ever excited to meet someone’s parents, but the curiosity is unstoppable. Is this a quirk just of his, or is it a family quirk? If he is wondering the same about you, and what your family is like, then he wants to know more about you than just what you put in your dating profile. The next time a conversation turns to families, pay attention to how much he pays attention to yours.
- He wants you to meet his friends. If he is excited for you to meet his boys, then you are either a) a big deal to him, or b) super hot. These are his chosen people of comfort and safety; bringing you into that is a huge testament to where he prioritizes you in life. That, or you’re an absolute knock-out and he wants to show you off. Probably both, you queen. Side note again: if he calls his friends “his boys,” do not date him.
- He asks for your opinions. Not just as to what movie you should watch, or restaurant you should go to. He’s getting a new shower curtain and wants your opinion, or he’s replacing his comforter and asks which color you like more. He values your taste and wants it to be part of his life. If that seems innocuous, think of it this way: if you break up, any girl he brings home is going to sleep in the blankets that you chose. He knows that and is risking it anyway.
- He tells you. The most reasonable (and least desirable) option is last: ask him what he wants out of his time with you. If he says he’d like this to become something serious, then the game is no longer afoot, my dear Watson. If he says he’s not looking to commit to a relationship but enjoys spending time with you, thank him for his honesty and go from there. If he says that he doesn’t like putting labels on things because it makes things complicated, he’s a loser and also probably really annoying. He probably plays bass in a really crappy band. Do not date him.