How to Tell if He's Serious About You
In my last post, I talked about the importance of adding focus to your dating life if you’re looking for a serious relationship.
The crux of my post was, if you want a serious relationship, admit that to yourself and don’t waste time on guys that aren’t demonstrating serious interest in you.
But how can you tell if a guy is “serious” about you?
Sometimes that can be super hard.
In my own experience, I had some difficulties determining if a guy was serious about me. And there were some occasions where I felt like I had been “tricked.” Where the guy acted super interested in me for a period of time until he suddenly and completely (and seemingly randomly) lost interest.
For me, that was one of the worst feelings.
Because in my mind, I did everything right. I went out with him, and spent time with him because I thought he was interested. How was I supposed to know that he really wasn’t and that he would just peace-out eventually?
The truth is, there really is no way to tell for sure if a guy is seriously interested in dating you. And the proliferation of this flaky behavior in men is a direct result of online dating and the fact that dates are more disposable than ever, because access to the supply is so easy. And this goes for both men and women.
The good news is, I think that there are some behaviors that guys consistently display when they are seriously interested in a girl (luckily, not every guy I dated was flaky). I have listed them below. While these are not perfect and aren’t all-encompassing for every potential situation, they’re meant to be used as a guideline and hopefully can help you determine whether a guy is seriously interested in pursuing an exclusive relationship with you, or not.
Here’s how to tell if a guy is seriously interested in you:
1. Is he making an effort?
I think that this is one of the best initial determinants to tell if a guy is seriously interested in you. If he makes an effort to hang out with you and your friends and participate in your plans, then that means he’s making effort to be around you.
Red Flag: When a guy makes little to no effort on your behalf. When he only wants to meet up if it’s convenient for him. For example, when a guy only wants to do things with his friends (even if he invites you) and doesn’t really make an effort to spend equally as much time with yours, then that could be an indication that he’s not as serious about you as he may be letting on.
2. When you propose plans, does he engage? Or is he always the one deciding when and where?
In the very beginning, it’s nice to have the guy pursue you and ask you out the first couple times. But as you start seeing each other more, you should start to feel more confident in asking him to do things with you, whether it’s inviting him over to cook dinner on a weeknight or doing something fun on a weekend.
Red Flag: If the guy consistently makes excuses or turns you down when you ask him to hang out, that could indicate that he only wants to hang out with you when it fits into HIS schedule—which, whether he’s interested in your or not, is not a good foundation on which to build a relationship.
3. Does he make plans in advance? Do you know when you’re next going to see him?
This is a big one. If a guy wants to make plans with you in advance, then that is a definite indicator he’s seriously interested in you. Not many guys that I have dated ever really wanted to make a ton of plans in advance, but the ones that did, DEFINITLEY ended up being exclusive relationships.
I think a lot of guys don’t like to do this, because they’re trying to “play it cool” and not act too interested. When a guy wants to make plans in advance with you (like asking you out again during your current date, or texting you shortly after to plan another date) this shows confidence and that he’s not trying to waste his time either—two qualities which I respect a lot. (Side note: Keep in mind, that if a guy is trying to make plans in advance with you, he is likely aware that he’s putting himself out there and indicating serious interest, and if YOU are flaky or don’t really want to make plans, then this indicates to him that YOU’RE not interested. IF you’re indeed interested in him back, this is not a good time to play “hard-to-get” because this guy likely doesn’t want to waste his time either).
Personally, I love when guys try to make plans in advance. I remember that Matt did this with me when we were first dating. And it made me feel so much less anxiety during the early stages of our relationship. I was never wondering if he wanted to see me again. I specifically remember, after we met for the first time (had a glass of wine at a local sushi spot) afterwards, we were saying goodbye, and he asked if I wanted to get dinner sometime. And after, he texted me and followed up. I didn’t have to wonder, Is he going to text? It was so nice avoiding the whole mind-game, keep-them-guessing thing.
If a guy doesn’t want to play games with you, it means he’s interested.
Red Flag: If a guy never wants to make plans with you in advance and is always texting you last minute to hang out, this is an indication he’s not serious about you. If he’s not trying to reserve your time in advance, that means he doesn’t really care if you’re free when he texts.
4. If there is conflict, (such as miscommunication, etc.) does he make an effort to work it out with you?
In the early stages of dating when you’re just getting to know someone, it can be easy to have misunderstandings. Since you don’t know this person very well, it’s easy to apply a motivation to a behavior based on your past experiences, which creates misunderstanding if the motivation you applied is wrong.
The key here is that if there is a misunderstanding, or miscommunication that causes frustration or annoyance, if the guy is willing to address it with you or talk it out and make sure that everything is cleared up, this is an indication he’s serious about you. Because he wants to make sure you guys are on the same page, and he’s willing to invest the time and effort when conflict comes up to get it sorted out.
Red Flag: If there’s conflict and the guy doesn’t want to talk about it with you, or makes you feel bad for bringing it up, or sharing your feelings, this could mean he’s not willing to invest the time into building a relationship with you and that he doesn’t really care about your happiness with the relationship.
5. As time goes on, is the relationship progressing?
If you are dating a guy that is pursuing a relationship with you (and you with him) the relationship should naturally progress as you get to know each other more and continue seeing one another.
You should feel a sense of progression and that you’re both becoming closer and more invested in each other.
Red Flag: Routine. If you notice that you’ve fallen into a sort of “routine” with a guy, like you only hang out once a week or on week-days, and that is coupled with the fact you don’t think you are growing closer and more invested in each other, this could mean he’s more interested in convenient companionship from time to time and he’s not interested in building a relationship with you.
All-in-all, every relationship is different and people have their own individual preferences, so the most important thing when dating, is to listen to your internal voice, and self-reflect often. Continuously ask yourself if the person you’re dating is enriching your life rather than being a source of anxiety.
Hopefully you can use these 5 determinants as a guideline to help your internal voice and help you determine if you should continue pursuing a relationship with a specific person, or not.