In my life, there’ve been so many guys who just didn’t take that next step to full-fledged boyfriend. Back then, I was a little ticked off that they wasted my time but looking back, they helped me learn. Not only did I figure out the signs that a guy wasn’t looking for an exclusive relationship, but I became clued into the subtle hints that he did. While you can never force a love connection that wasn’t meant to be, you can definitely be on the lookout that this guy is ready to make things official.
- The timing is right. He’s gotten over all of his last breakups and isn’t in the midst of a big life-changing job change or family issue. He’s able to dedicate the time to a new relationship and is emotionally ready to commit. Timing is really important to guys. Women are a bit better with multitasking and making everything work and fit in, but men need to be fully invested in order to move things to an exclusive level.
- He feels comfortable with you. Not in a brother-sister way (since, gross) but in a way where he knows he doesn’t need to impress you. When he gets the hint that you like him for him, the idea of a relationship becomes a lot easier. This doesn’t mean there’s no room for romance, but he doesn’t have to blow a ton of money on a fancy dinner just to make you want to go on a second date.
- He’s attracted to the real you. Similarly, you don’t freak out if you forget to wear mascara in front of him. Of course you want to look your best, but you can be comfortable showing who you really are. Guys really like a girl who doesn’t put her appearance over everything. The right match just wants you to be happy and comfortable in your own skin.
- He doesn’t like the fact that you’re going on other dates. Whether you’re just a friend at the moment or someone he’s just been on a date or two with, he gets a little sad if you go out with someone else. Even if it’s in the rules, the chance that you might fall for someone else is a lot for him to deal with. When the reality of the “just dating” situation comes out, you may realize he’s quick to try and make things exclusive. It often takes a little competition for someone to really know what they want.
- You don’t berate him. Both men and women have ridiculous standards they feel like they need to measure up to. For women, it’s often beauty. For men, it’s money. Maybe your guy has been in school for a while and doesn’t have a set career yet. Or maybe the majority of his money is going towards old student loans so dates are more or less takeout pizza and a 2-liter. He’ll appreciate the fact that you don’t bring it up as being an issue. It might not be the ideal situation, but everyone lives life at their own pace and when you accept that, he’ll realize you’re the real deal.
- You’re calm even during a stressful situation. It sounds a little weird, but people often feel comfort in the person who knows how to stay calm and optimistic. In demonstrating this, you’re showing that you’re a safe and loving partner. Exclusive relationships will have their ups and downs, so knowing that you don’t go off the rails the second things get difficult is a big plus. Controlling emotions altogether is tricky, so if you’re the kind of person who doesn’t jump to anger, he’ll want to spend more time with you. So will everyone, really. Both kindness and a soothing demeanor will go far in terms of your social life.
- You didn’t just come out of a long term relationship. Nobody wants to be the rebound. If you literally dumped your last boyfriend yesterday, any new guy who knows your history may have no problem hooking up with you, but they’ll be cautious when it comes to a long term relationship. It may be for the best — everyone needs some time to heal and get over their last ex. You have to show him you’re ready for something more.
- He recognizes that you see him as your equal. Gender stereotypes still exist (remember I mentioned ridiculous standards?) but it’s our job to squash them whenever necessary. That means that you know a great relationship is a real partnership. You’re both expected to have a job, help around the house, and be there for each other. When this is the case, your relationship will be built on a solid foundation for the future, if you decide to move in together or eventually have kids.