It’s exciting to meet someone who you could see yourself being in a relationship with.
That butterflies in your stomach-blushing when he looks at you-heart rate speeding up when his name pops up on your screen-feeling.
The early stages of a relationship are filled with new experiences, and there is a thrill to the vulnerability of inching closer and closer to commitment with someone.
Part of what is so sexy about dating is the mystery, but that mystery can also be the source of confusion and/or anxiety.
But even if you haven’t had a conversation about labels yet, there are some tell-tale signs that the guy you’re seeing is getting ready to ask you to be his girlfriend.
So, if you’ve found yourself playing “he loves me, he loves me not”, this article will go over the 26 most common signs that he wants to be your boyfriend.
1. He wants to make plans together for the future
If he doesn’t shy away from making plans in advance together, it’s a sign that he wants to keep you in his life for a while.
No, I’m not talking about making half-hearted Happy Hour plans for Thursday as he leaves your place on Sunday morning because, and I’ll say it louder for the singles in the back, that doesn’t mean he wants to be in a relationship.
I’m talking about confidently booking a weekend trip a few months in advance, or making reservations at that bougie restaurant you’ve been dying to try even though the next opening isn’t for 5 weeks.
By demonstrating he is ready and willing to commit to plans for the future, he is also demonstrating he is ready and willing to commit to a future with you.
2. He introduces you to his inner circle
When he’s considering making you a more permanent part of your life, he’s going to want to get the opinions of those who are closest to him.
If he is making an effort to set up situations where you’ll have an opportunity to spend time with his family and friends, it’s because he’s excited about you, wants to show you off and wants to see how you get along with them.
PSA: getting along with his friends doesn’t mean having to pretend you like IPAs.
3. He protects you
A sure-fire sign that a guy wants to be your boyfriend is when he is stepping up to the plate for you.
Does your guy protect you from the big and little things in life, provide you emotional support, and acts like your rock?
In other words, does he see himself as your hero?
I don’t mean an action hero like Thor, but an everyday hero who provides you something no other man can and tries to make your life better.
There’s actually a new theory in relationship psychology that goes to the heart of why men want to be in a relationship with some women but not others.
It’s called the hero instinct.
According to the hero instinct, men have a biological drive to live a life full of meaning, to provide for those he cares about, and the desire to earn respect from those around him.
And this drive is amplified in their romantic relationships.
The interesting thing is that you can actually trigger the hero instinct in your guy.
There are words you can say, phrases you can use, and little requests you can make to trigger this very natural instinct in him.
I don’t often buy into popular new concepts in psychology or recommend videos. But if you want your guy to throw himself into a relationship with you, I think learning about the hero instinct can make all the difference.
4. He makes an effort to get to know you and your interests
He invests time and effort into understanding you, what’s happened in your past and what you dream about for your future.
He shows interest in your goals, fears, career and family and, whenever the two of you spend time together, he seems to actually care about updates in your life.
He asks how your day went, or makes a point to follow up about things you’ve mentioned or situations you’ve shared with him before.
Maybe he’s not actually interested in the fact that The Undoing had a huge missed opportunity to have an exciting finale by giving away the big reveal during Episode 5 and then expecting the audience to still be invested for over an hour of regurgitated information (HBO writers, feel free to call me), but he’s interested in you.
Which is why he’s asking.
5. Your arguments involve actual communication
When arguments or disagreements arise, it feels like you’re not fighting against each other but against the issue at hand.
He tries to see your point of view, and seems genuinely invested in finding footing on common ground through the fog of conflicting viewpoints.
Instead of shutting down when things are tense or difficult, he uses conflict and disagreements as an opportunity to learn more about one another and about the relationship.
Fights and arguments are an inevitable part of a relationship, and approaching them with maturity and care is a sign he is trying to show you the kind of partner he could be.
6. He’s consistent
He calls when he says he’s going to call, and follows through with plans.
Consistency and stability are key to a healthily functioning relationships, so not only does his follow through showcase his desire to spend more time seeing you and speaking to you, it’s also a sign that he wants a relationship with you that has that kind of commitment.
7. He makes an effort with your friends and family
He genuinely cares about fostering relationships with other people in your life as well as a relationship with you.
He not only comes to parties or events with you, but makes the effort to mingle and make connections with your friends and/or family members. He doesn’t just stick by your side the whole time or wait for others to start conversations with him.
He cares about the people who are important to you because you’re important to him and, at the end of the day, he knows the stamp of approval from your friends and family is going to be an important stepping stone to becoming your boyfriend.
Even if that means smiling and nodding while your Aunt goes on and on about the amazing holiday deals she’s been finding at Walmart this year.
8. He opens up to you
Your conversations feel meaningful and intimate, and he is vulnerable and open with you.
Trust is the concrete that seals the bricks of a relationship’s foundation and being honest with each other, about the good, the bad and the ugly (see what I did there?), builds that trust.
When we meet someone who we are able to be completely ourselves with, we experience the comfort of knowing that sharing the bad and the ugly parts of ourselves isn’t going to result in something negative (like being abandoned and left for dead in a desert by Clint Eastwood, for example).
If he trusts you enough to take the step to talk to you about his past heartbreak, the day dreams he has about the future, the insecurities that find their voice when he’s in bed alone at night, it’s a sign he wants to take that step to be in a relationship with you.
9. He compliments you about more than your appearance
You see, in this world there’s two kinds of people. Those with loaded guns and those who dig (sorry, last movie reference). Those who like being complimented on how they look and those who lie.
While it’s still a good sign if he compliments you on your new haircut or tells you how beautiful you are, taking the time to compliment you beyond how you look or what you wear is him showing you that he appreciates and values who you are under the surface.
Yes, people are attracted to one another initially on a surface level, but the reason initial attraction evolves into long lasting attraction is because there are characteristics and qualities that supersede the physical ones.
By expressing his appreciation for those qualities, he is also expressing how his attraction for you has deepened and may be signaling he is ready for a relationship.
10. You feel like a priority
He goes out of his way to show you how special you are to him. Even if he has a busy week, he carves out time to make sure he can spend it with you.
He is more than happy to leave the bar (or, in true 2020 fashion, hop off the zoom happy hour) early so he can get more one on one time with you.
The thing is, if you’re looking for signs whether he wants you to be his girlfriend, you always have to dig a little deeper and get inside their mind.
What drives him as a man? What does he want from a relationship with you?
You may think that men are all about money, sex, food, sports, and power.
Sure, those things all come into play at times. But I think there is a deeper truth that few women are aware of.
Men are actually driven less by those external things above and more by how you make them feel about themselves.
Above all else men want to feel essential to the woman in his life.
He wants to feel like your hero.
Men don’t want to be an action hero but they want to do something with their lives that matters and they want to make a difference.
This is especially true for how they approach relationships. They want to protect their woman, treat her right and earn her love in return.
The simple truth is men want to be your hero. And if you want your relationship to succeed, you’ll let him be one.
How do you trigger the hero instinct in your boyfriend-to-be?
The best thing you can do is watch this excellent free video by relationship psychologist James Bauer.
He outlines the things you can say or do to make him feel like he’s your everyday hero.
Some ideas are game changes. When it comes to relationships, I think this is one of them.
11. He tries to impress you
If he has feelings for you, he’s going to care about what you think of him and want to do everything in his power to have those thoughts be positive ones.
Not only will he go out of his way to be the best version of himself by dressing well, working out or even simply trying to be a kinder person, he will be interested in your opinions.
Whether he’s asking your advice on something small, like what shirt he should wear on your date, or something more serious, like how to approach his boss about a raise or talk to his friend about something that’s been bothering him, the fact that he wants to know what you think shows how much he cares about you.
12. He gets jealous of other guys
It’s never a good sign if someone you’re spending time with is controlling or possessive, but if he is interested in asking you to be his girlfriend it’s only natural for there to be some jealousy that gets triggered if you spend time with other guys.
Since you two aren’t yet in a committed relationship, he may not feel like he has the right to vocalize his feelings to you, but there still can be subtle signs that he feels protective over your connection and might feel threatened that someone could take his place.
Asking about the conversation topic if you were talking to a guy he doesn’t know that well or making a point to hold your hand or put his arm around you if you’re out at a bar and other guys are trying to talk to you are signs that he wants to be the only guy in your life giving you that special attention.
13. He takes initiative with plans and conversations
He sends you “good morning” texts and asks about your day. He asks you out on dates, makes the reservation and picks the spot to meet at for pre-dinner drinks.
You’re never left wondering when you’ll see or hear from him again, because he smoothly and easily maintains communication and is frequently offering up a new suggestion for something fun the two of you could do together.
These are signs that he’s trying to show you the stability and consistency he would offer you in a relationship.
14. You start to have a routine together
You spend Wednesday nights at his apartment because you always have an early Thursday meeting and he lives closer to your office.
He comes over on Monday nights so you two can watch the new episode of your favorite show together.
Maybe the two of you have a meeting spot that you frequent on Saturday nights, to the point you’ve memorized each other’s orders.
Creating routine together means carving out a spot for each other in your respective lives and schedules, a clear sign he is ready to commit to a relationship.
15. He responds quickly to your messages
He’s responsive and engaging over text, and makes sure you know he cares about talking to you.
He never takes longer than a couple of hours to get back to you or, if he knows he’s going to be busy, he takes the time to tell you that and lets you know when he’ll be able to call or text you next.
Note: If he says the Football game is almost over, that still means it’s probably going to be about an hour.
16. The physical parts of your relationship feel more intimate
Sure, everyone loves sex, but with him it feels like more than just a physical act.
Studies have shown how different sex can be when you there are emotions involved, and if it feels like an emotional connection on top of a physical one it’s a sign that your relationship is becoming more serious.
17. He gives you gifts
Beyond planning dates or giving you compliments, he shows his interest and appreciation for you by giving you gifts and tokens of affection.
From the little gestures like bringing you your favorite candy bar after a bad day to the bigger ones like surprising you with that new perfume you mentioned liking, he’s making a point to show you that he cares about you and thinks about you even when you’re not physically together.
18. He shows affection in public
He slips your hand into his as you’re walking to the restaurant, or puts his hand on the small of your back as you’re walking to your table.
If he’s just as affectionate in public as he is in private, it’s because he wants the world to know the type of relationship you have. This is a strong sign that he is already thinking of the two of you as a couple and is ready to ask you to be his girlfriend.
19. He asks about your past relationships
Yeah, it’s no fun explaining how you spent half of college pining over that balding guy in your Drama Lit class, but, I promise, it’s a good sign if he seems curious about your dating history.
If he is trying to understand what worked and what didn’t work about your past relationships, it’s because he’s trying to get a better understanding of what you want in a relationship moving forward.
And, let’s be honest, he is probably making a mental “what not to do” list in his head as he listens as well.
20. He’s deleted his dating apps
Not only has he removed Tinder, Bumble or Hinge from his phone, but he’s also made sure to slip that fact into conversation.
He has no need for the apps anymore, and is proud of that, because he’s already found what he was looking for in you.
21. He’s expressive with his feelings towards you
Beyond giving you compliments, he vocalizes how much he likes you and enjoys spending time with you.
When a guy wants you to be his girlfriend, he is going to make sure you don’t have any doubt about his feelings towards you.
Whether it’s in person or over text, he is open about what you mean to him and how much he values your connection.
22. He remembers even the small details about your life
He buys you that big stuffed bear for Valentine’s day because you mentioned you’ve always wanted one a few months back.
He knows your Starbucks order, not because you’ve told him, but because he took note of it on your second date.
He asks about how your Grandmother is doing because you told him she was sick last night.
He thinks about even the small details of your life, which is a sign he spends a good amount of time thinking about you in general.
23. He’s open about his dating history
Just like he’s interested in hearing about your past relationships, he’s open with you about his.
This doesn’t mean he’s constantly referencing his exes (red flag), but he’s honest with you about who they are, what happened that led to the relationship ending and, most importantly, what he’s learned about himself from those experiences.
24. He has a pet name or nickname for you
Whether you catch him slip in the occasional “babe” or “gorgeous”, or he has his own unique nickname for you, having a special name for you should be validation of how special you are to him.
25. When you spend time together, he gives you his full attention
He never seems distracted when the two of you are together.
He doesn’t go on his phone when you’re in the middle of a conversation, and is always attentive to you and what you’re saying.
When a guy is fully present when he’s with you, it’s not just because he’s trying to impress you or make you happy, it’s because he finds you interesting and genuinely cares about what you have to say.
26. He’s open about what he’s looking for in a relationship
He’s not only emotionally available, but he’s confident about the fact that he’s ready for a relationship and about what he’s looking for in one.
He feels like he’s ready to commit, and if he’s talking about those feelings with you it’s a sign that you’re the one he wants to commit to.
If you’ve spent this article smiling to yourself because some of these signs feel familiar, it’s a good indication that things are moving in a good direction with the two of you.
That said, remember the only way to have total clarity about the status of your relationship is to have an open and honest conversation with him.
Healthy communication is key to a strong relationship and, if you recognize the signs from this article, let this be the motivation you need to tell him how you feel!
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