Yesterday I asked some colleagues and friends if they believe there are a certain number of dates after which it’s safe to assume you and the guy you’re dating are officially in a relationship.
Most of them said something like, “I don’t know. When you find out, please let me know!”
Men were more likely to include something about intimacy in what they viewed as signs a guy wanted a relationship, while women were more likely to include factors like trust.
Does he want a relationship, and more importantly, does he see it as something serious?
If only there were an algorithm!
Alas, there is no formula to solve this ancient riddle, not even on Google.
Here are 4 little signs he wants a serious relationship with you:
1. How long you’ve been dating
How long have you been dating? How many dates have you gone on? How much time have you spent together? Who initiates most dates?
In general, the two to three-month mark is around the time you are either boyfriend and girlfriend — or not. If you consider that dating tends to occur on weekends, you’ve likely been on eight to ten dates over two months. A couple of months is plenty of time to assess if the person you’re dating is into you and vice versa.
Caveats: Beware of jumping in too quickly and announcing you two are official, only to have the relationship fizzle out shortly thereafter. Also, be careful not to assume anything without having a direct conversation (aka “the talk”). Asking, “So, what are we?” after a few dates may not be the smoothest move, but hopefully you have a sense of the direction the relationship is going. Being in a committed relationship is an adult situation and requires adulting skills, such as communication and honesty.
2. You seem to have solid potential for long-term compatibility
Do you have overlapping interests and values? Is he a night owl while you are an early bird? Does he binge-watch Netflix on the couch and you would rather spend time together at a club?
Having some differences can enrich a relationship, but having similarities, shared interests, and hobbies is important for the two of you to be compatible in the long run.
Caveat: Beware if the person you’re dating claims to enjoy the same activities you enjoy, but does not enjoy them. Sometimes people portray themselves in a way they think you want them to be, rather than as who they are.
3. The way you met was conducive to developing something serious
Is this someone you reconnected with after many years? Did you meet on a dating app? Were you set up by mutual friends?
If you knew the person earlier in life, you have additional information to help you assess the situation.
If you met the person on Tinder, are they dating multiple people at the same time? Were they looking for something casual or for something serious? These can be awkward questions to ask, perhaps, but it’s way better to find out the truth before even more time passes.
Caveat: Reconnecting with someone you knew from elementary school does not necessarily mean you are destined to live happily ever after together. Fairytales rarely end well in real life. Also, beware if they tend to stay attached to their phone, especially if they make sure you can’t see who else they are texting or who is calling should it ring.
4. How do you handle yourselves when you’re together in the company of others
How does he treat you when you’re out with his friends? How do you treat him when you’re out with yours?
Noticing the characteristics of his friends can be a helpful source of information about the man you’re dating, as you can tell a lot about people based on who they hang out with. Asking your friends what they notice about the vibe between the two of you can also be a valuable source of information as well.
Caveat: If your friends are single, they could be biased against your guy, because they may not want to share you!
Dr. Elayne Daniels, NHSP, RYT is a renowned psychologist and a professional conference speaker on the topics of eating disorders, body image, and more, and has been a featured guest on local radio and television programs and a variety of blogs.