Purely physical relationships can be pretty great, honestly — if both parties want it.
But there is more to intimacy than just great sex.
While sometimes it’s easier for guys to initiate and sustain a relationship that’s entirely sexual, it’s not necessarily the only thing guys want. They might be looking for a different kind of relationship.
With that in mind, maybe your relationship is new or it’s been purely physical up to now.
But wait, you’re starting to catch feelings for him and you might be ready for something more serious. Now what?
Or perhaps you’re thinking the opposite and don’t want him to catch feelings. You like having a booty call, or friends with benefits, or whatever you’ve labeled it.
In any scenario, it’s valid to be wondering if he’s falling for you.
Yet, sometimes guys can be hard to read.
That’s why I want to run through 18 common signs that it’s more than physical for him. Then once you’ve figured out if it is more than physical, I’ll explain what comes next.
So, let’s get started:
18 signs it’s more than physical
Remember: regardless of the relationship’s nature, it’s important that both parties are on the same page.
1) You’re starting to get mixed signals
Guys sometimes start acting funny when they start to catch feelings for a girl.
They start second-guessing themselves because they’re not sure how to act anymore. They don’t want to give anything away but they also want to make some kind of move or give you a hint.
In a way, they want things to change, but they’re afraid for things to change. They don’t want to ruin an existing relationship with a girl. This is only compounded when they start to like that girl. (In this case, you.)
On the other hand, in a purely physical relationship, there’s not too much to be unsure about. You’re both sexually attracted to each other and you’re able to fulfill that need, then get on with things.
What I’m saying is there isn’t all that much mystery in a physical relationship.
So if you start getting mixed signals, it might be a sign that it’s more than physical for him.
You shouldn’t have to wait long before he is asking you out on a proper date.
Here are some surprising signs that a man is hiding his feelings from you.
2) He makes a point of making sure you’re satisfied
Men by and large aren’t the best at sexually satisfying women. They often aren’t interested in putting in that much effort. They lack the patience, finesse, or honestly the ability to care. Of course, that’s not always true.
It’s just, most of the time.
In a committed relationship, it might be different because the two of you have a deeper connection and desire to satisfy each other.
On the other hand, in a physical relationship only, the way you feel is going to be a lot lower on his priority list.
To put it another way, things are mutually beneficial, and that’s more than enough. He knows that if you’re not satisfied sexually, there’s no reason for you to stay around, so he’ll tend to just take it as a given.
However, if you notice that he’s making it a point to satisfy you, asking questions about what you like in bed, giving you exactly what you need, and more, he might be starting to develop feelings.
In other words, if he’s going above and beyond to be exceptional in the bedroom (or the living room, or the kitchen, no judge) and give you more pleasure than the bare minimum, it’s a flag.
A flag that means he’s on his way to getting the feels. It’s more than physical for him because it’s about you. Your pleasure is just as important as his, if not more so.
3) He doesn’t just call it “sex”
The way your man refers to having sex with you can say a lot about how he feels about it. If he refers to it in a vulgar or casual way only, it’s a good hint that he looks at it the same way.
As a bit of a wordsmith, I have a good time using all kinds of words to describe sexual intercourse. So this sign isn’t always the most reliable.
However, his tone, the way he refers to your love-making, and how he references it can reveal a surprising amount about how he really feels.
Next time, pay attention to how he talks about having sex with you. If he’s using cutesy or fond language, it’s possible it’s starting to be more than physical for him.
Here some interesting things most men consider huge sexual turn-offs.
4) He likes real dates
What do I mean by “real” dates?
Well, let me tell you what I don’t mean:
- Staying in and watching movies.
- Grabbing late-night drinks and heading back to his place.
- Night drives to his “favorite place” for you know what.
- Any kind of activity where hooking up is the primary or only intent.
If the boy you’ve only been having sex with suddenly wants to take you to a sit-down dinner, heads up.
Or if the dude you keep around for those particularly lonely/horny nights suddenly invites you to an evening show, purely for the sake of spending time together, watch out.
He’s probably starting to get the hots for you and not just the physical kind, either.
It’s probably starting to be more than physical for him.
How about you?
Here are some hacks to help you understand his body language better to figure out if he’s in love with you.
5) He calls you just to talk
There’s a reason it’s called a “booty call.”
The only reason he has to contact you is because he wants to have sex. Or, vice versa, the only reason you text him is because you want to have sex.
So when he calls and really is only interested in asking how you’re doing, it’s a big indicator.
Why did he call at all? Just to check in, see how your day’s going, how you’re feeling? Did he miss your voice?
Here’s the reason he called: not because he wants to know when you’re down for the next sexual rendezvous but rather because he cares about you more than just physically.
6) He holds your hands and looks into your eyes during sex
It can be hard to gauge the interest of the other person at the beginning of a relationship.
In other words, it can be hard to know, especially at first, if that person is interested in something more than just physical.
When you’re having sex, does it feel dispassionate? It can be hard for guys to make eye-contact during sex.
And this is especially true if he’s only interested in something purely physical.
What else? Some people don’t like kissing at all in sex-based relationships; it’s too intimate.
Along the same lines, what if he holds your hands while making love? That can be a big indicator of his feelings. Hand holding is something couples who are in love usually do.
If you’re trying to gauge his interest at the beginning of a relationship, this is a pretty good way to do it. He wants to feel more intimate with you and even closer than just having casual sex.
It’s a sign that he desires something more than just that physical connection and might want something more serious. This means, of course, that he’s probably catching feelings for you.
Here are some signs to help you decide if you’re ready for a serious relationship.
7) He’s fascinated with your passions (and supportive of them)
Beyond sexual passion, there isn’t much that will hold the attention of a man who’s only interested in having a physical relationship with you.
The same can be said for you, too, if you’re looking for a relationship with someone that just involves sex.
What that means is this: when he starts to ask about your personal life or is curious to know more about what makes you tick, take it as a sign.
It could mean that he’s starting to have more than just a physical interest in you. His feelings and desires for you go beyond just your body.
Does he support and show interest in your passions and hobbies? How often does he ask questions about it?
When you start talking about things that are important to you, pay attention to see if that’s what he’s doing.
If he tunes you out, he really could care less. But, if he’s listening intently and encourages you to pursue your passions, he’s vested in you.
In other words, he likes you, and it’s more than physical.
8) He likes to do things with you early in the day
If your relationship exists in the daylight at all, in fact, that could be a sign you guys are more than just physical.
Most booty-calls and friend-with-benefits type relationships rely on last-minute arrangements, late-night drinks, and center around one or both of your beds (or couches, we don’t judge.)
If he’s making date plans with you that involve coffee, brunch, happy hour, or walking around a park, he’s not doing that to get in your pants.
He’s doing it because he wants to get to know you better.
Let me put it like this: he already knows everything about your body but he doesn’t know everything about you.
He’s trying to fix that because he’s interested in you more than physically.
Furthermore, he wants to make an opportunity for you to get to know him better, too, and further the relationship.
Do you want to take that opportunity or would you rather keep things strictly “professional”? (If you know what I mean.)
Here are some really great ways to spot a superficial person from a mile away.
9) You catch him smiling like an idiot
No doubt you already get a lot of satisfaction knowing that you can please your guy sexually.
But do you make him happy?
I’m asking this question because it might just be that he’s fonder of you than you think.
If you catch him smiling like an idiot after you’ve finished saying something, expressing yourself, being silly, or really anything, he’s not just thinking about the sex.
He’s thinking about how lucky he is to know someone like you.
He’s thinking about all the feelings he’s catching for you. Which means it’s officially more than physical for him.
Ask yourself, is that a good thing or a bad thing?
10) He holds your hands and head
Sharing a physical connection with someone means you share all kinds of information without even talking.
What do I mean?
Body language and body cues are huge ways that all of us use to communicate non-verbally.
So pay attention to how he touches you, and where.
It’s also important to note how often he does and in what scenarios.
If it’s an early relationship, he’ll try to hold your hand, stroke your hair, hold your head, and stay close to you.
He’s being more than sexual, he’s being affectionate, and using his body to tell you how he’s really feeling.
To put it another way: he’s telling you it’s more than physical — by being physical with you when it counts.
11) He lingers with you after sex
He just doesn’t want it to end.
It’s not just about the act or climaxing for him. No, he loves the intimacy you’re sharing and wants to linger in that feeling for longer.
When you leave the bed, he asks you where you’re going, or pleads with you to come back.
If you catch him acting like this after sex, it’s a big sign that he’s into you.
And here’s the thing, it’s not just because he wants your sex, it’s because he’s developing stronger, deeper feelings.
When he lingers after the deed is done, it’s a sign that things are more than physical for him.
It’s called after-cuddling and it can be a great way to turn a purely physical relationship into a surprisingly emotionally intimate one.
If that’s what you want, of course.
12) He likes taking things slow
A good gauge of a guy’s view of your relationship is the speed at which he moves. If it’s a newer relationship, he won’t be trying to rush anything.
Or if it’s only a sexual thing, he’ll like to take it slow in the bedroom.
Consider: if he’s in it for sexual gratification, he’ll be impatient to get to the grunt work, if you know what I mean.
But if he’s thinking about your experience, what you need, or frankly just looking to increase the amount of time he has with you, he’ll take it slower. He might linger with foreplay for a lot longer than he used to.
What does it mean? It means that he’s enjoying the intimacy, not just for his personal gratification, but because he cares about you and the connection.
All of that points to things being more than physical for him.
Here are 33 more signs that he’s clearly interested in you.
13) Your pleasure is very important to him
Most guys are content with satisfying themselves sexually and then moving on with their lives, no thought of you anywhere in between.
It’s part of the reason why women have been known to say that they love their favorite food more than they love sex.
It’s not that they love food that much, it’s more like the sex is just that unsatisfying.
That can be a hard pill for most guys to swallow but if he’s really interested in making sure you’re satisfied, either he’s an extraordinarily rare dude or it means you’re more important to him than just a means to an end.
To say it in another way, he cares enough about you to put aside his own pleasure to make sure you’re satisfied.
Maybe that means this: even though he’s already satisfied, he wants to make sure you orgasm. Or if you’re not finished when he does, he’s game to go another round when he’s ready and fool around in the meantime.
It’s surprising how rare that is in guys. Less surprising, actually, and more just — disappointing.
I mean, it’s no wonder why some girls would prefer a decadent slice of cheesecake over sub-par sex. At least the dessert is satisfying.
14) He adores listening to you
Alright, there’s no reason to beat around the bush: a man who listens is a man who cares.
For whatever biological reason, men just have a hard time tuning in, especially when women are talking.
It’s infuriating, frustrating, and honestly pitiful.
In a one-dimensional relationship based on physical things only, there’s a slim chance that he’s really going to be that interested in listening to you when you vent about things or talk about your passions, or really open your mouth at all.
Of course, I’m overstating a little bit here, but you get my point.
So does he listen to you?
If he really tunes into you when you talk, or just likes hearing your voice when you go off on something you’re passionate about, he really is showing you that he’s got some pretty big feelings for you.
His attentiveness is a strong sign it’s more than physical for him
15) You feel safe to let your guard down
If you find yourself noticing how comfortable you are around your guy, it’s not a coincidence.
New relationships, and even purely physical relationships, tend to lack the kind of comfort and safety that older relationships have established.
Simply put, it takes honesty, communication, and support to build a sense of emotional safety with your significant other.
So when you realize that you’re letting your guard down around this guy, it’s because you’ve found a person who really does care about you.
He’s not just into you so he can score. He’s not just letting you feel safe because it’s only about the sex, and nothing else.
To elaborate: he cares about you, your feelings, and your ability to feel safe. When you’re vulnerable around him, he takes it seriously and treats you kindly.
That can be hard to find, honestly.
Here are some more big signs that he deeply respects you.
16) It’s the time he spends with you, not just the sex
Showing appreciation in a relationship, no matter if it’s strictly physical or a life-long marriage, is an important part of it.
For all the relationships I’ve had that are purely “booty-call” in their nature, I still find it important to express appreciation for the act.
If in his efforts to communicate the value of your purely physical relationship, he focuses more on the fact that he likes spending time with you, it’s a big sign.
What is he really saying? He’s saying that it’s the time he spends with you, not just the sex.
The deed is of course wonderful, but the fact he gets to do it with you, and spend time connecting with you is the focus of his attention.
He likes you, maybe even a lot. It’s more than physical.
17) He runs his hands along your body as if to memorize it
It’s pretty safe to say that all cis-guys enjoy putting their hands on a girl’s body. The female form is indeed a thing of art and beauty.
However, how exactly is he using his hands on your body?
Does he run his fingers along with all your features, paying close attention, lost in his own world? He’s memorizing every angle of your body, every freckle, and scar. He doesn’t want to forget.
And here’s the thing: he’s doing it because it’s more than physical for him.
It isn’t just lust anymore, he cares about the person inside that body. He might be yearning for more than just a physical connection.
He might be subtly telling you he’s ready for something more serious.
18) He’s there, even when things are bad
It’s not like a shallow guy to be there for you when it’s not convenient for you.
In a friends-with-benefits type of scenario, it’s pretty much agreed upon that your lives aren’t all that intertwined, just your bodies.
So when sh*t hits the fan, he’s not obligated to be there for you. If he was obligated, that would imply a more serious kind of relationship. A kind of relationship that hasn’t been agreed upon yet.
So, if he’s there for you when things aren’t good, it’s a sign that he really cares about you.
To reiterate: he’s there for you even when things are bad, doesn’t benefit him, or when it’s inconvenient.
It’s a way for him to express his feelings. It’s more than just physical for him. He’s trying to communicate to you that he cares about you. Acts of service are often important for men in showing their affection.
So, what’s the verdict?
Does it seem like it’s more than physical for him?
If after you’ve considered all these signs, you’re still unsure, don’t be afraid to just ask him.
Open, clear communication and understanding is a surefire way to get on the same page as the person you are seeing, regardless of the nature of things.
When you sit down and talk about it in a safe space, you can really learn to understand each other, where you’re coming from, and what to do next.
What to do if he’s falling for you
What happens next is really up to you and how you feel about the relationship.
If you’ve been in a solely physical relationship, what’s the reason? Is it because you’re looking for a better opportunity, aren’t interested in anything serious, or something else?
Ask yourself if you’re ready for a relationship.
If not, it might be a good idea to keep things as they are, instead of starting a relationship you aren’t ready for.
It’s important to listen to yourself and respect your own needs and boundaries.
Having a purely sexual relationship is a lot of fun, and it can be wholesome and beneficial for everyone involved, too.
Here’s the caveat: As long as you’re both on the same page about it.
In any case, it’s always a good idea to keep track of whether or not either of you are developing feelings.
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