Have you ever dated someone you thought was “the one” only to find out months or even years into the relationship that they had no intention of making it official?
It’s the kind of news that can leave you reeling for a long time and cause you to distrust new partners from the very beginning.
All of a sudden, you’re one of those women who is asking if he wants to get married and have kids on your first date so that you don’t waste any more time on him if he’s not interested in the same things you’re interested in.
But to avoid looking like you’ve got a one-track mind and to make sure you protect your heart, here are some signs to help you see whether or not he’s in this for the long haul or just messing around for a while.
These signs are jam-packed with insightful information about how he really feels and what he wants.
1. He is honest with you
If he’s clear with how he is feeling, and he tells you that he loves you and he wants to spend a lot of time with you, then you can be certain that he wants a relationship with you.
I’ll be the first to admit that it takes a lot of guts for a man to admit how he is feeling, so take it from me:
If a man is telling you that he has strong feelings for you, you’d better believe him.
Men don’t usually tell someone they love them unless they want a relationship with them, and they’re confident that their love interest loves them back.
So you can be sure he wants a relationship with you if he is telling you he has feelings for you.
However, don’t be too disheartened if he doesn’t tell you he has feelings for you.
Because not all men are honest with their feelings. And that’s normal.
It doesn’t mean he doesn’t want a relationship.
You just need to build trust and rapport before he feels comfortable enough to tell you how he feels.
And you’re going to have to pick up on the signs below to figure out if he wants a relationship with you.
2. He spends hours and hours asking you questions and questions
If he can sit all day long and ask you question after question about yourself (and he actually listens to your answers) put it down that he definitely likes you.
Guys don’t do that for fun. It takes effort for a man to be curious. They only ask questions when they like a girl and they want to build a connection.
And don’t forget:
If he remembers all the finer details of what you say, then that’s also a great sign.
Because it shows that he’s desperate to build rapport with you.
He’s taking in what you have to say, and he’s using that information to go deeper into who you truly are.
He’s looking to build a strong connection, and if he’s looking for a strong connection with you, then he probably wants to be in a relationship with you.
3. He does whatever you need
“Trust what he does. Not what he says.”
You’ve heard that phrase before, right?
It’s a great line because it’s true (it would also save a hell of a lot of heartaches if people followed it)
If he is helping you whenever you ask, keeping his promises, and showing up when he needs to show up, then you can bet your bottom dollar that he’s into you.
After all, a man that wants to be in a relationship with you will show their intentions with action.
You’re important to him, you’re clearly a priority, and he doesn’t want to disappoint you.
In fact, he wants to be your hero and save the day.
A study published in the Physiology & Behavior journal shows that male’s testosterone makes them feel protective over their mate’s safety and well-being.
There’s actually a fascinating new concept in relationship psychology that’s getting a lot of buzz at the moment. It goes to the heart of the riddle about why men fall in love—and who they fall in love with.
The theory claims that men want to be your hero. That they want to step up to the plate for the woman in their lives and provide and protect her.
This is deeply rooted in male biology.
People are calling it the hero instinct.
The kicker is that a man won’t fall in love with you when he doesn’t feel like your hero.
He wants to see himself as a protector. As someone you genuinely want and need to have around. Not as an accessory, ‘best friend’, or ‘partner in crime’.
I know this might sound a bit silly. In this day and age, women don’t need someone to rescue them. They don’t need a ‘hero’ in their lives.
And I couldn’t agree more.
But here’s the ironic truth. Men do still need to be a hero. Because it’s built into our DNA to seek out relationships that allow us to feel like a protector.
If you would like to learn more about the hero instinct, check out this free online video by the relationship psychologist who coined the term. He provides a fascinating insight into this new concept.
So naturally, if he loves you, he would want to protect you.
The bottom line?
Focusing on his actions will tell you exactly how he is feeling. As we’ve said before, guys aren’t great when it comes to expressing their feelings, but their actions don’t lie.
So if he is there for you when he needs to be there for you, then get excited – it’s looking likely he wants a bonafide relationship with you.
4. He’s told you he wants to be exclusive with you
Well, this one is fairly obvious, isn’t it?
If he makes it clear that he is dating you and only you, then that by itself says that he wants to be in a long-term relationship with you.
There’s no doubt about it.
After all, he doesn’t want you to see anyone else. It would probably hurt him too much.
And he doesn’t want there to be any ambiguity about where you two stand.
Look, we all know what single men are like. They strive to date as many women as they possibly can.
But not him. He wants you for him and him for you, and that’s a sure sign that he’d love to be in a relationship with you and possibly even more in the future.
5. You’re a priority in his life
This is similar to the previous point. If it’s apparent that you come first in his life, then you can be sure he wants a relationship with you.
In fact, men are taught from a young age that they should never make a female their number one priority in life unless they’re their girlfriend.
And that’s fair advice because men would be regularly emotionally bruised if that were the case.
So if you’re confident that he considers you his number one priority, then it shows that he has decided that you’re important to him and he wants to have a relationship with you.
By the way, I’m not talking about him dropping everything for you. That’d be weird, co-dependent, and toxic (let’s be honest).
But it means that he organizes meetings with you in advance, he shows up, never cancels plans, consistently chats with you on messaging apps, and most importantly, takes action to show you that he cares for you.
There’s a space for you in his life, and he’s subconsciously telling you to come to join him.
In the end, when a guy makes you a priority, it’s obvious.
There’s no second-guessing or hesitation from your end. You just know that he’s there for you when you need him.
6. He tells you all the gossip about his family and friends
One of the most important things to watch for is how he talks about his friends and family.
If he skims the surface and doesn’t give you much to go on, he’s probably not thinking about the future together.
However, if he tells you all the annoying things his family does or his sister does, then it’s a good sign he sees you being around for a while.
According to dating expert Celia Schweyer, vulnerability is a sure sign that he cares and wants to make sure you know what you’re getting into with him and his posse.
7. You don’t have to do anything
One way to tell that this guy is looking for a long-term relationship is that you don’t have to do any of the chasing.
If he likes you and wants to make you a part of his life, he’ll do all the work.
The thrill of the chase is fun sometimes, but for him, he wants to make it clear to you what he is looking for by showing you how serious he is about you and this relationship.
8. He’s settled in his life
Now we’ve spoken a lot about how he treats you to figure out if he wants a relationship, but we need to cover his current circumstances in life.
Is he ready for a relationship?
After all, when it comes to settling down in a relationship, time is everything (especially for a man).
If he doesn’t have a stable job, no money in the bank, and he’s jumping from place to place, he may not be looking for a relationship.
On the other hand, if he owns a car and he is looking to buy a house, then you know he’s settled down and ready to meet the love of his life.
You can also learn a lot about your man by the kind of dating life he is experiencing right now.
Does it sound like he is jumping from date to date? Proud of having a “bachelor pad?”
He might be settled down in terms of his job and his house, but he might be relishing being a “playboy” and bringing over girls every second night.
And that’s the kind of guy that doesn’t want a relationship.
Of course, if you’ve only just started dating him, it can be tough to figure out if he is a player or he genuinely likes you.
So here’s how you tell:
If he spends time talking himself up and avoids asking you too many questions, then it’s more than likely he’s a player.
But if he asks you genuine questions, listens, and then repeats with follow-up questions, the signs point to him genuinely being interested in developing a relationship with you.
9. He shares his feelings with you
We all know that men aren’t usually the ones to speak about their feelings.
It takes so much effort for them.
Therefore, if he’s spilling his feelings with you and getting all emotional, you can bet your bottom dollar he loves you enough to want to be in a relationship with you.
You can usually tell how open he is to expressing his feelings when he isn’t afraid to answer all of your questions.
It’s obvious that he isn’t trying to hide things from you.
However, it’s not easy for men to share their feelings with you. And if he doesn’t open up, this isn’t necessarily a sign that he doesn’t want a serious relationship with you.
The fact is that it’s natural for men and women to be on the wrong wavelength about committing to a serious relationship.
Male and female brains are biologically different. For instance, the limbic system is the emotional processing center of the brain and it’s much larger in the female brain than in a man’s.
That’s why women are more in touch with their emotions. And why guys can struggle to process and understand their feelings. The result is that men can be a lot of confusion.
If you’ve ever been with an emotionally unavailable man before, blame his biology rather than him.
The thing is, to stimulate the emotional part of a man’s brain, you have to communicate with him in a way that he’ll actually understand.
Try watching this simple and genuine video from Carlos Cavallo.
Most men don’t think about commitment in a logical way. Because men are mainly concerned with how the relationship makes them feel about themselves.
In short, your man needs to feel like he’s found the absolute best woman for him. Like he’s won the game of love.
Carlos Cavallo will show you a really simple and genuine way to give your man this unique feeling…
10. He talks about his plans for the future with you and asks about yours
Is he asking you about your future plans? Talks about his own?
This is a sign that he is ready for a relationship.
Because if he is asking you about your future plans, he’s trying to figure out if you’ll fit into his plans (you know for a relationship, and who knows, maybe even marriage!)
For example, if you share that you’re going overseas next year, he’ll probably sigh and look disappointed.
After all, he considers you an option for building a strong relationship and if you’re going overseas then that clearly won’t be happening.
If he’s only interested in a fling with you, then he probably won’t care that you’re going overseas because it doesn’t affect his plans.
Don’t fall for that guy.
And let’s be honest:
Guys don’t make a lot of plans for the future that they reveal publicly so if your man is all about what is happening next week, next month and next year – there’s a good chance he’s to be yours forever.
Does he use the word “we” when talking to you about the future? If so, he loves you.
According to dating expert Michael Fraley, “if your partner often talking about trips you will one day take together or what your children will look like” then there is a “pretty good chance they see longevity with you.”
11. He shows up when you need help
If you call him for help, does he show up as soon he can?
Do you know in your heart that you can always rely on him to be there for you?
If he is the one who shows up when things are going wrong, he’s probably in love and he’s ready for a relationship with you.
According to psychotherapist Christine Scott-Hudson:
“Pay twice as much attention to how someone treats you than what they say. Anybody can say they love you, but the behavior doesn’t lie. If someone says they value you, but their actions indicate otherwise, trust their behavior.”
The fact of the matter is this:
If he is showing he cares for you by helping you whenever you need it, then he might be a guy that you want to hold onto.
12. He wants to be a part of your life
Just as much as he wants to share everything with you, he also wants to be a part of your life.
In fact, he wants to immerse himself in it.
He doesn’t just want to meet your family and friends. He goes out of his way so that they will like him.
He tries to spend time with the people who matter to you, too. He’s not afraid to become a permanent fixture in your life.
He even wants to be a part of things you’re passionate about. He wants to try yoga because you love it, or go to a cooking class with you even if that’s not something he would normally do.
It’s one thing that he takes interest in you. But when he starts participating in your life because he wants to “belong” in it, that means he truly loves you and he definitely wants a relationship with you.
13. You’re on the automatic invite list with his friends
When the guys are getting together, they already assume you’ll be tagging along.
This auto-invite is something that happens when you’ve been accepted by his friends and family.
They’ll ask after you if you don’t show up one night and give him hell for leaving you home.
It’ll only happen once though because he’s just as serious about you as his friends are.
14. He gives you all of his attention
There might be millions of women out there but to him, you really are one in a million. He only cares about what you are doing and how you are doing.
He doesn’t pay attention to others around him, especially women. He locks eyes on you and can’t look away.
He will spend hours talking to you, even if you think there are much prettier women in the room that he could be talking to.
Research from Loyola University suggests that people who are in love have lower levels of serotonin, which could be a sign of obsession.
“This may explain why we concentrate on little other than our partner during the early stages of a relationship,” said obstetrician-gynecologist Mary Lynn, DO.
Don’t let a little self-doubt fool you: this guy has fallen hard. With so many distractions in the world today, if someone pays you that much attention, it’s with good reason.
And if he is fallen that hard, then it’s more than likely he is ready for a relationship with you.
15. He’s candid and transparent and tells it like it is
You’ll know he’s in this for the long-haul when he starts sharing stories about his past and where he came from.
He’ll share horror stories and wins with you. He doesn’t hold back. He wants you to know what you’re getting into so that nobody wastes any time here.
But he’s not just telling you so you can make a calculated decision about your future, he’s telling you because it’s important that the woman he loves knows exactly who he is. It’s part of his values system.
16. He’s not afraid to be himself.
Guys talk a good game but if he can relax and be himself around you – his words – then you know he’s into you as much as you are into him.
He can his true authentic self because he trusts you and feels comfortable.
According to Rob Pascale and Lou Primavera Ph.D. in Psychology Today, “Trust is one of the keystones of any relationship—without it two people cannot be comfortable with each other and the relationship lacks stability.”
If you find he is different around his friends and family than how he acts around you, this could be a red flag that he is trying to hide something from you.
More often than not, however, it’s actually that he feels the most comfortable with you and so you get to see the real him.
How can you tell?
Pay attention to what he tells you about himself. If he seems to be leaving out details or is glazing over important parts of the conversation, it’s not really love.
But if he is prepared to reveal everything about his life, even the bad bits, then it’s likely that he genuine about his feelings for you.
And most importantly, he wants a long-term relationship with you.
17. You make him feel essential
Does your man feel like he is essential to your life? Does he feel like he is needed?
If he does, then it’s likely he wants a serious relationship with you.
For a man, feeling essential to a woman is often what separates “like” from “love”.
Don’t get me wrong, no doubt your guy loves your strength and abilities to be independent. But he still wants to feel wanted and useful — not dispensable!
This is because men have a built in desire for something “greater” that goes beyond love or sex.
It’s why men who seemingly have the “perfect girlfriend” are still unhappy and find themselves constantly searching for something else — or worst of all, someone else.
Simply put, men have a biological drive to feel needed, to feel important, and to provide for the woman he cares about.
Relationship psychologist James Bauer calls it the hero instinct. I talked briefly about earlier in this article.
As James argues, male desires are not complicated, just misunderstood. Instincts are powerful drivers of human behavior and this is especially true for how men approach their relationships.
So, when the hero instinct isn’t triggered, men are unlikely to commit to a relationship with any woman.
He holds back because being in a relationship is a serious investment for him. And he won’t fully “invest” in you unless you give him a sense of meaning and purpose and make him feel essential.
How do you trigger this instinct in him, and give him this sense of meaning and purpose?
You don’t need to pretend to be anyone you’re not or play the “damsel in distress”. You don’t have to dilute your strength or independence in any way, shape or form.
In an authentic way, you simply have to show your man what you need and allow him to step up to fulfill it.
In his new video, James Bauer outlines several things you can do. He reveals phrases, texts and little requests that you can use right now to make him feel more essential to you. Watch his unique video here.
By triggering this very natural male instinct, you’ll not only give him greater satisfaction but it will also help to rocket your relationship to the next level.
18. He doesn’t cancel on you, no matter what
He might be riddled with a cold, but cold-be-damned, he is not canceling a date with you.
You’ll eventually have to talk him into going to bed…alone, so he can rest and feel better, but just know that he makes the effort where it counts. He doesn’t want to disappoint you in any way.
19. He kisses you hello and goodbye
Guys who are into girls in a big way always develop some kind of routine for greeting and saying goodbye.
If he hugs you or kisses you hello and does the same at goodbye, it’s because he sees you growing old together and having a ritual of welcoming and parting.
He might not even realize he’s doing that himself, but it’s an easy way for you to tell if he’s committed or not.
20. He has called you his girlfriend in front of other people
If nothing else, you’ll know he wants to be in a long-term relationship and not just a casual fling when he starts referring to you as his girlfriend in his circles.
Another thing to watch out for, if he hasn’t yet said the girlfriend word, is whether or not his family and friends have called you his girlfriend – it’s not so much about the use of the word as it is how he reacts to the use of the word.
Watch for signs that he likes the sound of it to know he’s interested in a relationship. It’ll help you seal this deal sooner.
21. He tells you about things he did and isn’t proud of.
He wants you to know that he’s not perfect and that he doesn’t expect anyone else to be perfect either.
He wants you to know that he can learn from his mistakes and that he won’t always be able to keep it together, but that it’s worth it to wait for him to come around to be better.
Guys don’t just tell you all the ways they messed up for fun – he wants you to know and see him the way nobody ever has.
22. You know about all of his past relationship failures
While the jury’s out about whether or not you should share information about your past relationships, he wants you to know where he’s messed up so you can see that he’s matured and changed over the years.
It takes two to tango and he probably wants to know about your relationships as well. It’s not that he’s living in the past, but that he wants to share his future with someone who respects all of him.
23. He says he is tired of dating
You know how this feels: another date. Another blind date. Another fix up from a friend. It becomes a lot.
He’s already said a few times that he is tired of dating and wants to find someone he can be with for the rest of his life.
It’s not that he is looking to settle, but he wants to get a feel for where you stand on the issue.
24. He makes you and your needs a priority
You’ll know he’s serious about this relationship because he comes around when you need him and he has no problem putting you and your needs first.
It’s not that he wants to ditch his friends, but he wants to give this relationship the time it needs to flourish. He knows that nothing works if you don’t work it.
25. His actions speak louder than his words
He might not be saying he loves you just yet, but he lets you know in lots of little ways just how important you are to him.
You feel loved when he holds you and talks to you and shares experiences with you.
It’s not rocket science but it feels like it could be at times – this stuff feels more complicated than it needs to be sometimes.
26. He is looking for someone to build a life with – not to fit into his lifestyle
Because he’s serious about being in a relationship, he’s not looking for someone to just retrofit into his lifestyle; he wants someone to build a new life with and he makes it clear that he wants to have someone to grow old with.
He might not have great furniture or a nice place but don’t let that stop you from seeing this guy’s potential.
It could be that he just hasn’t invested in his own life yet because he’s waiting for someone to invest in with him.
27. It’s assumed he will bring you when he hangs out with his family and friends
Even if you aren’t getting the long-game vibe from this guy, you can be assured that he’s thinking long-term with you when his friends and family are disappointed when you have to leave.
They ask if you’re coming around when he says he’s coming to visit.
They just assume you’ll be riding shotgun when he pulls into the drive.
If he’s not saying and you’re not asking, you can still find the information you need by looking at how his family and friends treat you.
On the other hand, what if he doesn’t want a serious relationship or you don’t know how he feels?
Now if he hasn’t exhibited the above signs, then you might not know where you stand.
There are few things more aggravating than not knowing what you mean to another person, especially to someone you are deeply attracted to.
The uncertainty causes stress and anxiety because you always seem to be trapped in a limbo between being where you want to be — in the arms of the man you love — and being just any other friend to them.
If you’re a woman feeling like this about a man in your life, you’re not alone.
Pop culture tends to talk about the friend zone as a place where women put men, but the opposite happens just as frequently: women being placed in the friend zone by men, and most of the time they don’t even know it.
You might be in the friend zone if you’ve ever found yourself asking questions like…
- “Why does he keep me around if he doesn’t like me?”
- “Why does he keep coming back to me if he doesn’t want a relationship?”
- “Why does he tell me I mean so much to him but he doesn’t want me?”
So why exactly would a woman be placed in the friend zone by a man?
Here are some simple and common reasons to consider:
- He didn’t really mean to do it. He just never thought about the possibility of being in a relationship with you, for whatever reason.
- He doesn’t think you would want a relationship. Maybe your flirtations weren’t obvious enough or he’s not the type of guy to make the first move. So he never mentally categorized you as someone he could possibly date.
- He’s focused on himself. He wants to do his own thing rather than getting involved with another person, because a relationship isn’t something he wants to think about right now.
- He doesn’t really want to talk to you. He’s nice enough to be friendly and cordial with you when you’re around, but deep down he doesn’t really like talking to you that much.
- He doesn’t think of you as his type. It’s not necessarily your fault (or not your fault at all), but you might not be his type.
- He wants to save you the drama. Naturally friend zoning someone without telling them is much easier on the relationship than telling them you’re not interested, which can make it awkward and potentially destroy the relationship.
- He doesn’t want to complicate it. This is for those “platonic friendships” where you’re already giving him everything he wants. Why should he take it a step further and potentially complicate it when he’s already getting everything?
- There’s something about you he doesn’t like. Whether it’s something physical or something in your attitude, there might be something about you that turns him off.
- He’s the type of guy who wants to be friends first. While culture tends to teach you that you should start dating someone you like as soon as you meet them, that’s not how everyone sees it. He might like you but he wants to develop a friendship before moving forward.
- He has an ideal girlfriend in mind and it’s not you. He knows what he wants in a girlfriend, in a partner, in a wife, and for whatever reason, that person isn’t you.
These are several reasons why he might not want a serious relationship with you. If you think that might be the case, then you might want to check out our article on how to get a guy to like you. These tips will help you flirt with your man so you can attract him and eventually get involved in a serious relationship with him.