What do men want?
Ha! I thought I’d try to knock you off your feet with one of those age-old questions that seems to make everyone nervous.
But in actuality, I don’t think this is a very hard question to answer, at least when it comes to relationships, anyway.
Let’s leave the existentialist question behind and try to be more practical.
If you’re in a relationship with a man, he’ll want it to go one of only these three ways:
a) He wants it to stay casual.
b) He wants to get serious.
c) He wants it to end.
Yikes! That last one certainly doesn’t bode well, but that’s not what we’re going to talk about here. What we really want to know is how to tell the difference between a) and b).
Luckily, there are some really clear ways to tell if you’re ready to learn the secrets.
Basically, if a man wants to build a future with you, he’ll display these ten behaviors.
1) He opens up to you.
When you’re in a casual relationship that’s not really going anywhere, it’s easy to just keep things chill.
There’s no reason for either of you to get into old dirt or tell each other your darkest secrets.
You keep things light and enjoyable. You maintain the façade that you put up to attract each other in the first place.
Sure, it’s superficial, but it can also be nice.
But if a man wants a future with you, he’s going to start opening up and letting you know who he really is.
He’ll tell you about his past, even – yikes! – his past relationships so that you know he’s really not hiding anything from you.
But he’ll also open up about the present. He’ll be more open to letting you know how he thinks and feels in real-time.
He’s ready to let you know who you’re really going to get.
2) He asks for exclusivity.
If a guy asks for you to be exclusive to each other, he’s basically saying, “I want to commit to you, and I want the same from you.”
This means, of course, that he wants to level up the relationship and be more than just your boo.
Now, I have to add a caveat here by saying that this is only true if he both asks for you to be exclusive and also offers exclusivity from his side.
If he just wants you to be exclusive, but he doesn’t suggest that he’s going to do the same, you’re getting into something totally different. He’s asking for one-sided loyalty, which is his way of trying to control you.
But when he tells you he doesn’t want anyone else and hopes you’ll express the same, then he’s showing that he’s really looking for a future together.
3) He talks about the big issues.
What? Politics? Global warming? Life on other planets?
Get outta here – you know exactly what I mean!
I’m talking about Marriage and Family, of course, the infamous two horsemen of the relationship apocalypse.
In so many relationships, the slightest mention of these two specters could send either party running for the hills.
But when a guy is really into you and is serious about building a future with you, he will brave your reaction and actually be able to discuss these big issues with you.
Don’t get ahead of yourself, though.
Just because he brings up these subjects doesn’t mean he’s looking for either.
He may want to talk about a future relationship that’s not a “traditional marriage.” He might want to discuss not wanting kids.
But either way, when he brings these topics up, it shows he’s thinking about a future together and trying to figure out if and how that will work.
4) He invites you out with him and his friends.
A man’s core group of friends is his real tribe.
If you have a casual relationship with him, yeah, it’s possible that you’ll know his friends and even hang out together.
But when he’s really serious about you, he’ll invite you along almost automatically.
This shows he wants to really and truly integrate you into his life and show you who he truly is.
5) He wants you to meet each other’s families.
A guy doesn’t bring his side chick or casual girlfriend over to meet his folks.
Sure, you might know his brother or one of his cousins, even though that might have been an accidental meeting.
But when it becomes a real thing, when he really wants you to get to know his family and be a part of that dynamic, he’s serious.
And if he actually asks to meet your family, it’s an even bigger sign because that makes him vulnerable to their close inspection.
If he’s still willing to do it, even actively requesting it, he’s definitely looking for a future together.
6) He takes himself out of the game.
When a man is serious about a future with you, he’s going to do something truly remarkable.
He’s going to take himself off the market.
And while it’s a clear signal to you that he’s serious, that’s not the only reason. While we have this stereotype of men always wanting to keep themselves available and open to the possibility of sex at all times, that’s not how it really is.
Most guys get tired of playing the game. They get their fill and then change priorities and look for something real. Eventually.
If he deletes his dating app profiles and burns his little black book, it shows you’re the real thing he’s looking for.
7) He goes public.
If he wants a future with you, he wants you and everyone else to know it.
One of the clearest behaviors that he’ll display is that he’s proud to be seen with you and even posts pictures of you and him together on his social media.
He’ll even subtitle them with things like, “Me and my main squeeze.”
He wants the world to know that you’re together and will hopefully stay that way.
8) He’s transparent.
A guy who wants to be with you and have a future together is going to demonstrate one of the rarest behaviors you can see in men.
Yes, unbelievably, he’ll tell you where he’s going, what he’s doing, and who he’s with. And you won’t even have to ask!
I know it’s hard to believe – hard, even, to conceive of – but this behavior actually exists. There really are men out there who are more than happy to put everything out in the open and not feel spied on or like their freedom is being stepped on.
A guy who is transparent is doing this because he has nothing to hide and wants to make that clear.
The ultimate sign?
You know his phone password, and he’s not the least bit worried.
9) He actively tries to solve problems.
All relationships have them, but here’s the catch – relationships that aren’t going anywhere can have their problems neatly swept under the rug.
And why not?
There’s no reason to try to resolve serious issues if the relationship isn’t ever going to get serious, now is there?
But when he wants to build a future together, he’s going to have to face up to the challenges that this entails.
You might have past problems you haven’t dealt with, like infidelities or money issues that need to be hashed out before you can move on. Or you might have current obstacles like different career directions or life goals that you’ll need to get past so you can build this future.
When a guy is actively trying to solve problems and remove obstacles, it’s a clear sign he’s all in for your relationship.
10) He doesn’t flake out on you.
You can rely on him, and he makes that perfectly clear through his actions and his words.
He doesn’t invite you out to places and then cancel.
He doesn’t make plans with you and then forget about them or put them off when something better comes around.
You’re the “something better”!
If he was trying to keep things casual, he’d behave totally differently.
He’d drop plans with you at the snap of his friends’ fingers or even blow you off if there’s the off chance that someone else (another love interest, I mean) might suddenly be available.
The fact that he’s reliable when it comes to you speaks volumes and is a sure sign he’s serious.
In the end, men are actually pretty predictable.
If a man wants to build a future with you, he’ll display many or even all of these 10 behaviors.
If he doesn’t show you any of them, on the other hand, he’s probably not ready for a commitment or not willing to move things to the next level.
Either way, at least you’ll be able to look at his behavior and know where you stand.