How to tell if he likes you or just wants a fling: 30 signs to watch out for

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You know how it goes. You meet someone, you like them, life feels like a romantic comedy. And then, it all fizzles out, or they right out ghost you.

This usually happens when one of the two isn’t on the same level of commitment as the other. In general, one might be trying to get serious, and the other is just looking for casual fun.

So, the question that will open this whole article: how can you tell when the relationship isn’t going to prosper?

We’ve got a few tips for you to not waste your time on something that isn’t going anywhere. Keep reading!

1) He doesn’t make an effort to get your attention

A good long-term partner is hard to find, but that’s because not all men make one. Men that know what they want go after it. They’re goal-oriented, and they won’t waste their time playing games.

Imagine this situation:

You’re a thirty-something-year-old man. You’re in a good place career-wise, and now you’re thinking about settling down and starting a family.

Not only that, but you’ve gotten over your ex, you are emotionally mature, and your trust issues have been solved thanks to a good therapist.

Would you be playing the “canceling at the last minute” game? Or the “I’m not ready for a relationship” mumbo jumbo?

If you were ready to settle down with the love of your life, would you string someone along for months just to boost your ego?

The answer has to be clearer now, doesn’t it?

2) He only plans group dates

Sometimes it’s a good sign that the person we like doesn’t “hide” us from friends and group dates.

Still, if you notice that he never invites you to one-on-one dates, it becomes a warning sign.

People who avoid real intimacy tend to always have multiple people around them since the possibility to build up trust, become vulnerable and commit to one person diminishes a great deal.

If he’s always bringing you to dates where there are other people, take it as it is: a red flag.

3) He won’t “lose his freedom” for a relationship with you

Losing a bit of independence when one gets into a serious relationship is normal. A good long-term partner will be fine with it.

But if he’s not interested in doing that, it could be because he doesn’t see you as “the one”.

You see, for guys, it’s all about triggering their inner hero.

I learned about this from the hero instinct. Coined by relationship expert James Bauer, this revolutionary concept is about three main drivers all men have, deeply ingrained in their DNA.

This is something most women don’t know about.

But once triggered, these drivers make men into the heroes of their own lives. They feel better, love harder, and commit stronger when they find someone who knows how to trigger this.

And they’re more likely to give up this false idea of “freedom” in return for a steady, loving relationship. 

Now, you may be wondering why it’s called “the hero instinct”? Do guys really need to feel like superheroes to commit to a woman?

Not at all. Forget about Marvel. You won’t need to play the damsel locked in the tower to make him see you as the one.

The truth is, it comes at no cost or sacrifice to you. With only a few small changes in how you approach him, you’ll tap into a part of him no woman has tapped into before.

The easiest way to do this is by checking out James Bauer’s excellent free video here. He shares some easy tips to get you started, such as sending him a 12 word text that will trigger his hero instinct right away.

Because that’s the beauty of the hero instinct.

All of that and more is included in this informative free video, so make sure to check it out if you want to make him yours for good.

It’s only a matter of knowing the right things to say to make him realize that he wants you and only you. 

Here’s a link to the free video again.

4) His texts and calls aren’t consistent

Ages ago, you might be left waiting for a letter. These days, there are no excuses – well, almost no excuses- for someone to communicate irregularly.

Maybe he just doesn’t know what he wants.

People who want a serious relationship are consistent.

They do what they said they would do. If they say they will call, it will happen. You won’t be waiting all day, they will show they care about communication.

If you notice someone vanishes for days at a time, they probably won’t want to commit to you.

5) He isn’t vulnerable with you

A mysterious man can be fascinating at first, but the intrigue goes stale very fast, and you’re left wondering what is happening underneath all those unanswered questions.

Vulnerability is essential in the process of falling in love, and a high-quality man will have no issues with opening up.

He will talk openly about his exes, his struggles, his burdens, and how he tries to improve every day.

This doesn’t need to happen right away or in just one conversation, but it has to happen at some point.

If he wants to keep things casual, he will avoid personal matters altogether.

6) His friends don’t know of your existence

This red flag is timeless.

If someone wants a serious relationship with you, they’ll make sure you know them in more than one social situation.

If you’ve been dating for a while and there is no sign of him introducing you to his friends, he’s not ready to commit.

7) He only calls you to Netflix and chill

If every date is a variation of “my place or yours”, you’re probably in a fling.

As we said before, a committed man will plan creative days and will get to know you in different contexts.

In a nutshell, he will put effort into creating new memories with you.

Not every date has to be an exclusive adventure or a romantic getaway, but not all of them have to be watching Netflix and chilling.

8) He cancels at the last minute

Consistency is nearly all that matters when you want to get a real relationship.

When a man is flaky, and you can’t count on him showing up to your dates on time, or if he cancels at the last minute, that’s not a committed man.

Men who want something serious will do what they said they would do: in case of emergencies, they will apologize and reschedule immediately.

They won’t say things like, “Let’s talk next week and set a date.”

9) He only wants physical intimacy when it leads to sex

This point is something you need to keep in mind at all times.

Real intimacy is made of intimate moments that don’t necessarily end up in sex.

Let me give you an example: if a man you’re dating never holds your hand, or cuddles with you, or gives you forehead kisses, it’s a sign that he won’t commit.

If all he does is kiss you to have sex with you, that’s not intimacy: that’s arousal.

10) His online dating hasn’t stopped

If someone you’re seeing can’t seem to take down his profile on dating platforms, take it as it is: a sign that you’re in a fling.

If someone you’re dating wants you for something serious, he won’t keep his profiles active. He is exclusive with you, and he considers your feelings.

Of course, make sure to communicate and be on the same page about exclusivity.

If he refuses to take down his profiles even when it hurts you, it’s time to swipe left and look for someone better.

11) You don’t hear anything from him between dates

Think of your close friends: you text them often, you ask about each other’s day, and you care about them outside of meeting with them.

When someone isn’t serious, they won’t check up on you unless they want to go on a date.

If he’s texting you daily, it means he cares about you and your life. Even if it’s just a short conversation, and even if you’ve only been dating for a short time.

It means he’s making time for you.

12) Labels are evil and terrifying

It’s the old age situation. You ask “what are we?” and his response is one of the following:

  • Why can’t we enjoy the present?
  • Labels are restrictive.
  • We’re friends!

If after two months you are still wondering what kind of relationship you have and he poses these questions… he wants to avoid getting serious.

A high-quality man won’t be afraid of the word “boyfriend,” he will openly talk about your labels.

He won’t have issues introducing you to his family and friends as his girlfriend.

If you don’t know what you are and can’t ask about it, he won’t get serious.

13) Sexy times are the only times you’re together

Having chemistry and enjoying each other are important things to look for.

However, if all you have is chemistry, it’s not enough to build something that will last. In a purely physical relationship, emotional development isn’t a thing.

If there’s no aftercare in your sexy nights together, you’re in a fling.

14) He appears not to have any long-term goals or interests

A man who wants a long-term relationship will project a future with you.

We’re not talking marriage plans as soon as you meet, but perhaps vacation plans or road trips together soon.

It means he sees your bond developing over time.

Worse, if you’ve been dating for months, and he doesn’t talk about moving in together, or marrying, or starting a family, it’s a full-on red flag.

Pay attention and check if he talks about the future or if he avoids the topic altogether.

15) His social media doesn’t include you

This one is for the people in relationships with folks who are active on social media.

There’s no need to change the relationship status on Facebook, but if he only posts pictures of himself all the time, take notice.

If he avoids having your picture taken altogether, you might be in a fling.

A committed person isn’t afraid to tell his followers or online friends that he’s dating you.

16) The L-word is a big No-No

Although dropping the L-word too soon is a red flag and a sign of possible emotional manipulation, going months and not even hinting at it is something to notice.

Being in love is like being high on cocaine. Well, for our brains, it’s almost the same thing.

These intense feelings are nearly impossible to hide.

If you’ve been going out for months, and he doesn’t confess his love for you… he might not be feeling it.

This relates back to the unique concept I mentioned earlier: the hero instinct. When a man feels respected, useful, and needed, he’s more likely to fall in love and commit. 

Suddenly, the L-word will seem a lot less scary to him.

And the best part is, triggering his hero instinct can be as simple as knowing the right thing to say over text.

You can learn that and more by watching this genuine video by James Bauer

17) You don’t know his friends or family

When someone wants to be exclusive, there is no beating around the bush.

They will tell you so. Their families will know about you.

If someone doesn’t introduce you to their friends and family after a while, there’s something fishy going on.

If nobody in his close circle knows about you, you’re in a fling.

18) The relationship feels stuck

Taking the next step in a relationship is something natural and enjoyable.

A committed man might do the following things:

  • He’ll invite you to work galas, where his boss and colleagues will also be attending.
  • He’ll casually leave things at your place, like a t-shirt.
  • He’ll come to your place often.
  • You will hang out with him in a more relaxed way, like watching TV or ordering in sometimes.

If this doesn’t happen after a few months, he might not be as interested in moving forward as he says.

19) There isn’t a detail about you that he remembers

He always forgets important details, like your anniversary, your birthday, or your best friend’s name?

You might be dealing with someone avoiding commitment. Why?

Because someone that genuinely wants to build a relationship with you will be interested in learning about things that are important to you and will go out of their way to let you know that.

If all his in-depth questions are only related to what you like in bed, it isn’t a good sign.

20) He doesn’t ask about your dreams and goals

Listen. Almost every man is a walking red flag, so you have to pay attention and protect yourself and your peace of mind.

If a man you like doesn’t ask you questions about your life plans, or what you want to do for Christmas, or even what your plans are for the weekend… get the message.

He’s not looking to commit.

A guy who takes you and your bond seriously will ask the right questions to see if your plans are going in a similar direction.

If he doesn’t bother to ask, don’t bother with him.

21) He’s disrespectful and overly critical

There are several non-negotiable things when you get into a relationship, but the first and most important one is respect.

When someone likes you, he wants to spend time with you and make you feel special.

Flakiness or lack of loyalty will not be a problem in your dynamic. You know he’ll be there to support you when you need him.

However, when someone isn’t looking for a committed relationship, this can stop being a possibility.

Not only he won’t care about the things that are important to you, he might even get critical about your quirks and personality. He might try to change how you are.

If he’s faking for the sake of appearances, get ready to leave this man because he isn’t your knight in shining armor.

22) He makes inappropriate requests

As we’ve said before, sex is important in a relationship, but the pacing of it is as important as the act itself.

These days, nudes are all the rage. Still, when someone wants only a fling, he might ask for your private pictures in the first few weeks you start dating.

There’s a high probability that he will ask the same from the other women he’s seeing. In a nutshell, if you won’t share your pics with him, someone else will.

A man who likes you for real will be respectful and even a bit nervous around you. He won’t dare to make inappropriate comments because he doesn’t know you that well.

This tip might help you weed out chronic casual daters.

23) Your body is all that matters to him

Someone who’s looking for a serious relationship will see more than your body and will compliment things like your intelligence, your quick wit, and your sense of humor.

When a man’s only looking for a fling, he won’t care about those things: he will compliment your body and nothing else.

24) You don’t get to plan dates

This is a tricky one to realize.

Having a man who plans dates is super nice. It makes you feel special and cared for.

However, there can be an element of emotional manipulation in it.

If he’s the only one planning the dates, he’s controlling where you go and the way the relationship is going.

He might have more than one girl in the same dynamic. It’s the same if he only takes you to secluded bars or restaurants that are away from the most public spots in your city. This way, there isn’t a chance of him running into other women.

Make sure to be the one that plans the date every once in a while.

Pick the day, pick a public place. If he doesn’t budge, there are probably other girls around that you don’t know about.

25) He doesn’t put in effort when he’s not in town

Many people pull off long-distance relationships… they’re not a myth.

But there are healthy dynamics to a long-distance relationship:

  • Both of you take time to talk often.
  • Virtual dates are beautiful moments where you can spend time with each other and dress up for one another.
  • Both try to schedule trips to see each other as often as possible.

When that dedication is missing, you are probably in a fling.

26) Trying to talk to him is stressing

When you can’t open up and talk about anything beyond a few superficial topics, you’re probably not in a committed relationship.

Managing our emotions and learning how to communicate effectively with our partners are skills that take time to develop, but all successful couples work on it.

Talking about our goals, likes, and dislikes is important because these are also situations in which we hone our communication abilities.

If y’all can’t seem to sit down to chat or share an inside joke, the odds of a serious relationship are not in your favor.

27) You’re his friend… even when you’re more than that

Listen, a bit of uncertainty when you’re just starting to know each other is fine.

But if you find yourself five or six months down the line and with no clear picture of where the relationship is going, start asking questions.

Things progress in a relationship. You’re not a friend, and it doesn’t make sense if he still introduces you as one after a while.

Make yourself a priority and don’t be afraid to walk out on someone like this: you’re not being treated as a girlfriend, but merely as a hookup.

28) Why does he only call you when he’s high?

Alright, so we’ve all heard this one before:  when he calls you after ten and wants you to come to his place, you’re a hookup and nothing else.

We have to say we agree: when a man wants you, he will be proud to introduce you to his friends and he definitely won’t be texting “you up?” at midnight.

If you’re being treated like a booty call, don’t waste your time with him.

29) His ex is a looming presence in your conversations

There’s no warning sign as evident as a man who can’t stop talking about his ex-partners.

It has nothing to do with you: it’s all him.

If he seeks you out, but he’s not over his ex, you might be a rebound chick. Rebounds don’t have good chances to become a healthy, committed relationship.

If every topic ends up with him talking about his ex, he won’t be with you for long.

Besides, consider this: it’s super boring to listen to a man rambling about a girl you don’t even know… and are not interested in getting to know either.

As we said before, yes, hot nights together are great fun, but they don’t last forever.

30) Your body keeps the score

Your intuition is rarely wrong. If you’re feeling tense or stressed about someone, you need to take a good look at how things are going between you and your partner.

It might look great on the surface, but the body can always tell.

Sometimes it’s a trauma response, but for others, it’s something to listen to and act accordingly.

Your heart might be blind, but your mind picks up on a lot more, and it’s worth noticing it.

The next steps to save your time and self-esteem

If this article hits too close to home, get honest with yourself. Know what you want out of a partner, don’t lower your standards just because you’re afraid of being single.

There might be someone you haven’t given a chance to that is a better match for you.

Emotional maturity and intelligence are green flags. If he’s not superficial, and he has goals and ambitions, that’s another green flag.

The guys who are worth being with are the ones that give you peace of mind, not take it away. They are kind-hearted and don’t seek to manipulate you in any way.

Last but not least

By now you should have a better idea of whether he’s actually into you or not.

So the key now is getting through to your man in a way that empowers both him and you – if you want to pursue a relationship with him that is.

I mentioned the concept of the hero instinct earlier – by appealing directly to his innate drivers, you won’t only solve this issue, but you’ll transform the way he sees you.

And since this free video reveals exactly how to trigger your man’s hero instinct, you could make this change from as early as today. 

With James Bauer’s incredible concept, he’ll see you as the only woman for him. No more doubts, no more excuses. You’ll know exactly where you stand with him.

So if you’re ready to take that plunge, before sure to check out his revolutionary advice.

Here’s a link to the incredible free video again.

Pearl Nash

Pearl Nash has years of experience writing relationship articles for single females looking for love. After being single for years with no hope of meeting Mr. Right, she finally managed to get married to the love of her life. Now that she’s settled down and happier than she’s ever been in her life, she's passionate about sharing all the wisdom she's learned over the journey. Pearl is also an accredited astrologer and publishes Hack Spirit's daily horoscope.

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