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20 Simple Ways to Tell If He Wants a Relationship

Andrea writes on various topics from dating, couples, astrology, weddings, interior design, and gardens. She studied film and writing.

He likes spending time with you, but does he want a relationship with you?

He likes spending time with you, but does he want a relationship with you?

He Likes You, But Does He Want to Pursue a Relationship?

He keeps staring at you, giving you compliments, and randomly gives you hugs. Is that enough to say that he wants you to be his girlfriend?

Not so fast — this is where things get tricky. There are a number of reasons why a guy might think a woman is cool but doesn’t want to pursue a relationship with her. If you’re investing a lot of time and energy into this person, it’s important to know his motives before you fall too hard.

Even though you guys might spend a lot of time talking or hanging out, it’s hard to know for sure if someone wants a commitment. Here are a few signs and subtle hints that he wants to start a serious relationship with you.

1. He makes time for you.

He consistently makes a special effort to be around you — being “busy” will never be an issue. He is busy, I’m sure, but he’ll still manage to make time for you and figure out how to bring you into his life and as often as possible. If he isn’t seeing you in person and making that effort, then he probably isn’t that interested in a relationship.

2. Guys who seriously want to date you will do so in person...

If he likes you then he’ll want to be with you. He doesn’t limit contact to texting, chatting, or other mediums. (Including actual psychic mediums. If he’s trying to talk to you through a psychic medium, he probably is just looking for some side entertainment… or a way to get bankrupt.)

3. Does he like you enough to court you?

When someone likes you enough they won’t have trouble initiating. So it may seem faster to just go ahead and initiate everything yourself but that probably means you’re in a one-sided romance. If he cares about you, he should be willing to put himself out there every so often.

4. He aligns his plans with yours.

The key to all relationships is sharing. This includes time, possessions, meals, hot gossip, and yes, plans. If he makes sure his plans line up with yours, that means he’s serious; otherwise, he’s fickle.

If he can’t come up with any plans for you, don’t expect him to come up with bigger plans down the road. Planning dates is the easy part. Planning your wedding, buying a house, and raising kids — that’s challenging. If he can’t make date plans, drop him like cold chicken wings.

5. He is consistent.

Your interest is somewhat predictable. They work like clockwork. You’re not thrown to the wolves wondering what he’s doing for the weekend. You wouldn’t describe him as aloof. He has proven he can be consistent, loyal, and stable.

Hint: often men are aloof for a reason. They’re likely busy with work, busy getting to know other women, or busy playing video games/watching sports.

If a guy wants a serious relationship with you, he'll make an effort to take you to nice places and spend time with you.

If a guy wants a serious relationship with you, he'll make an effort to take you to nice places and spend time with you.

6. He makes an effort to take you out and buy you dinner.

He makes a reservation, he picks you up in his car, he gives you an idea of what to expect, and you might see a movie later.

Don’t get too excited yet: not every guy who buys you dinner wants to be in a relationship with you. A guy who does want to get serious will take you out to somewhere nice. Think an upscale Italian joint. He might take you somewhere with a dress code.

Some guys are posh and like to hang out with ladies in pretty black dresses, but really? How often? If he is taking you to somewhere fancy, he is likely interested.

7. Speaking of wearing something nice

If he gives you jewelry on a whim, he probably sees you as more than just some pretty girl he hangs out with. Guys don’t usually splurge or take time to look at pretty or interesting jewelry for someone they’re not interested in.

8. He asks about your family and genuinely wants to meet them.

Does he seem interested in meeting your parents? Unless he is a salesperson and is desperate for a sale, he probably wants to get more serious with you.

People don’t usually have an interest in other people’s families unless they want something serious. He wants to get a feel for your family, which people are your favorites, and which make your life a living hell.

9. He wants to introduce you to his family, his dog, his cat, his neighbor, his best friends.

Basically, he wants to introduce you to the world. HIS world. He might also introduce you to cars, house plants, and ice cream. A man who is impressed by you doesn’t want to hide you. He isn’t Hades taking Persephone with him to the underworld for six months. . .

10. He sends you handwritten letters.

In the age of texting, emails, and Facebook, who has time for letters? Only people who are serious, like family, best friends, and people who want to stare deeply into your eyes and talk to you about getting old.

My suggestion: analyze those letters with some of your best friends and bring along the wine.

11. He brings you flowers.

Consider the flowers he gave you. Were they romantic red roses? Were they weeds he found under roadkill? Were they black dahlias with a farewell note?

In most scenarios, when a man gives a woman flowers it is a sign of affection. The more effort he put into the gesture, the more serious he is about you.

12. He gets protective of you—and not in a misogynistic way.

Misogynistic tendencies are red flags: let those red flags guide you far, far away from Mr. Chauvinism. But if he is gently protective of you, he’ll try to make sure you feel safe. He’ll check for bad guys, but he’ll also teach you how to use a baseball bat to knock out spiders or whatever. And, above all, you feel safe when you’re with him, which is a high compliment for a man.

A guy who likes you will try to keep you safe in a respectful way.

A guy who likes you will try to keep you safe in a respectful way.

13. Questions, questions, questions, followed by more questions.

A guy on the hunt for a relationship turns into a detective. He wants to know everything about you, and it can feel like he's taking notes on a crime scene.

He'll ask where you live, if you have family nearby, where you work, what animals you have, etc. Enjoy this stage while it lasts. He probably won't leave enough room for you to ask questions about himself. You may have to remind yourself to ask him questions, because really—he's just a tad too focused on you to see clearly.

14. He doesn't normally talk about your body.

His compliments are more universal. He likes you as a whole package. And if he does talk about your body, it’s short-lived and sweet, like “Those are nice earrings,” “You have pretty hair,” or “Your smile is nice.”

If he is going on and on about your body then he is more interested in physical stuff. He’s not the serious type. He likes the benefits, not the emotional work. In fact, a relationship with you probably hasn’t crossed his mind.

15. Guys who want relationships often blatantly say it.

They're analyzing every move you make to see if you're interested as well, and sometimes what they're thinking just falls out of their mouth. You can really tell a lot just by listening to him.

16. He doesn't go on and on and on about other women.

If he is doing that, he isn’t ready to settle down. He could also be name-dropping so many women because he sees you as a buddy. The easiest way a man can friendzone a woman is to talk about other women and get their advice. This should effectively let you know he isn’t interested.

17.

17. The phrases “I love you,” or “I missed you.”

It’ll come out of nowhere. You may have gone on a vacation for two weeks then come back to some pottery class you’ve been attending… and then all of a sudden someone you’ve recently met there will give you sappy eyes and a, “I missed you. I thought you quit.”

The “I miss you” phrase isn’t as noticeable as “I love you,” but it’s endearing. We miss what we value. This person may not even know it yet, but there’s probably a spark/potential/confetti party/romance hidden somewhere in this connection that you should consider, especially if they gave you really big sparkly eyes while saying it.

Does he wait a while between texts to respond? Does he seem interested but afraid of coming on too strong? That means he probably wants a relationship.

Does he wait a while between texts to respond? Does he seem interested but afraid of coming on too strong? That means he probably wants a relationship.

18. A guy who likes you might be prone to sudden mood swings.

Unfortunately, as we grow to like someone, our bodies get stressed out and go through various hormonal shifts. He’ll get moody and confusing. He might have sweaty palms, complain of a stomachache, or exhibit signs of an adrenaline rush.

We get restless thoughts when we like someone and don’t know if they like us back. All that energy can get pent up inside. Either that wall has to come down, or someone is going to run away from you so they can hide or throw up.

19. He's more mature.

No one comes fresh out of the womb looking for a relationship. You have to grow up somewhat and that emotional clock is different for everybody.

Some people may be ready to get hitched at 21, while others are going to wait until their 40s or older. Everybody’s different. However, someone who is closer to their 30s is probably more likely to be thinking of getting serious compared to someone in their early 20s. They’ve probably gotten a few things they want out of life and now feel independent enough to handle a relationship, because let me tell you…it’s like handling explosive fireworks.

It’s going to be great — but if you’re not ready, it’s a lot of harmful, colorful stuff. You know, fireworks do come with warnings.

20. He took his sweet time getting your phone number or Facebook information.

Did he add you? Did he wait for an appropriate time to get your number? Did he wait a few days before messaging you so that he wouldn't seem creepy? What was the first thing he said? His hesitation to contact you means that he's probably afraid of coming on too strong and scaring you off.

Signs He's Not Interested in a Relationship

When a guy doesn't want a relationship, he is either going to be really clear about it or will avoid the subject. You don't spend that much time with him, he doesn't enjoy your jokes, and he probably doesn't think about you that much. Does he give you special attention compared to what he gives his friends and acquaintances? If he treats you like everyone else, he probably sees you as just a friend.

Signs He Wants to Be Friends With Benefits, or Just Friends

Here’s another thing to consider: Some men want to spend time with you, but don’t want the commitment and seriousness of an actual relationship. Here are a few signs he just wants to be friends or friends with benefits:

  • He only texts you when he wants something from you.
  • He doesn't want to be seen in public with you.
  • He's always busy and doesn't make an effort to hang out with you.
  • He doesn't talk about the future with you.
  • He doesn't want to introduce you to his friends and family.

In any relationship, having open communication is key — after all, you can’t read each other’s minds! If you’ve looked at all the signs, thought of the time you’ve spent together, and still don’t know what he thinks about you, just ask. It just might be the start of something new between the two of you.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

Questions & Answers

Question: I have a boyfriend; how do I know he likes me? He has given me a ring. What does that mean!

Answer: Well, how nice is this ring? Is it a diamond ring or a ring you get out of a vending machine? How long have you been dating this fellow? Usually, if someone is your boyfriend, that's a pretty good sign of liking someone. Do you like him back? Tell him you like him. You should feel comfortable... if he is your boyfriend.

© 2015 Andrea Lawrence