Is he only after sex or does it mean more to him?
I’m sure it’s a question that’s crossed all of our minds during those fragile early stages of a new romance. Let’s face it, some men probably are only on the lookout for a quick roll in the hay.
So how do you tell if a guy likes you and not just your body?
Here are 15 obvious signs he wants the whole package and isn’t only using you for sex.
1) He looks at you during sex
When we have feelings for someone, sex often feels different.
You might think that getting naked with someone else is about as intimate as it gets in life. But plenty of us handle sexual intimacy more comfortably than emotional intimacy.
That’s why a lot of men — especially when it’s just a physical connection for them — can be quite mechanical when it comes to the act itself.
They may seem off in their own head, keep their eyes closed the whole time, or look pretty much anywhere apart from directly at you.
Eye contact is an important part of general communication that shows we are paying attention to someone.
It’s also a fundamental part of what makes us human — in fact, we’re the only primates who have white eyes — and we study them to try and gauge people’s character and intentions.
So it’s no surprise that eye contact also says a lot in the bedroom too, and becomes a big part of bonding and seduction.
If he is looking you in the eye, he’s not shying away from this deeper connection.
2) He wants to please you
You’ve probably heard of the old “How was it for you?” cliche.
But chances are you’ve also met a lot of guys who didn’t even seem so concerned with how it was for you.
If men generally have a bit of a selfish reputation when it comes to sex, it might be well deserved — with research suggesting that straight women have significantly fewer orgasms than either straight men or gay women.
The study also found that women who orgasmed more frequently were more likely to receive more oral sex, be more satisfied with their relationship, and ask for what they want in bed.
Which suggests that when it comes to satisfaction levels in the bedroom, a considerate guy factors pretty high.
Of course, plenty of men will want it to be good for you too, but the more a guy cares about you the more he’ll want to please you in all kinds of ways — and that includes between the sheets.
On the other hand, if it’s purely physical for him you might find he’s less concerned with blowing your mind once he’s got what he wants.
3) He wants to see you outside of the bedroom
Particularly in that lusty early phase, you might struggle to keep your hands off one another.
It’s great to feel desired, but for any relationship to progress there needs to be a focus on more than just creating a strong physical connection.
If his feelings run deeper than lust, at some point he’s going to want to put some clothes on (even if it’s begrudgingly) and spend time together outside of the bedroom.
Dating is when we get to know one another and find out if we’re compatible on more than a shallow attraction level.
If he’s interested in doing that with you then you can expect him to want to take you on real dates — even if that’s just going for a walk together or grabbing a coffee.
4) He stays over
The reason it can be tricky to spot a guy who’s only really after one thing is that they’re usually still charming and attentive. It’s the motive behind that which you’re trying to understand.
When a guy doesn’t want to take things further than a sexual relationship, they try to walk the fine line between keeping you interested, but not giving you the “wrong impression”.
That’s why staying the night is usually a no-go. It might happen once, but it’s unlikely to be a regular thing if it’s just a hookup for him.
Guys aren’t stupid and they know that lying in each other’s arms and in each other’s beds for too long is a pretty intimate thing to do.
And the problem is for the guy only out for sex, it’s the wrong kind of intimacy — it’s the kind that has a relationship vibe.
Ok, it’s hardly scientific, but you can safely assume that the quicker he makes his excuses and hightails it out of there — the less invested he is in you.
The longer he lingers and hangs around for the after-party and not just the main event, the more interested he is in you and not just your body.
5) You have pillow talk
Pillow talk isn’t just chatting in bed.
Experts say it’s a way more emotionally intimate and vulnerable conversation that lovers have when their guard is down after having had sex. You might be lying down, chilling and cuddling together — making it easier to open up.
Sex releases more of the so-called cuddle hormone oxytocin into our system which helps to prime us for bonding.
What kind of things does pillow talk include?
Generally, your talk goes a little deeper and is likely to be more meaningful and less “chit chat”.
There are no rules of course, but you might share your dreams, goals, secrets, beliefs, personal stories or values with one another.
As psychologist and couples therapist Alisa Ruby Bash told Healthline, pillow talk can be significant in progressing things to the next level:
“It can be the bridge between casual sex and falling in love since our emotional connection is ultimately what makes a couple stay together and feel in love with each other.”
6) You see each other earlier in the day
My mom always says that every hour of sleep before midnight is worth two after midnight. And I’ve always applied a similar way of thinking when it comes to dating.
Every daylight hour spent together is worth two of those spent after dark. Maybe it’s because our daylight hours are somehow more precious.
During weekdays, we’re usually at work, and so weekends become sacred time. Particularly when it’s early days though, most dates do tend to take place on an evening.
But even how early in the evening you see each other can tell you a lot about a man’s intentions towards you.
Let’s face it, nobody ever made a perfectly innocent call to someone they’re attracted to at 3 am.
The earlier he wants to see you, the more it suggests that he actually wants to spend time with you, rather than checking in for a last-minute booty call.
7) You message in between dates
Do you feel confident contacting him when you’re not seeing each other?
Do you get the impression that he likes hearing from you, or do you feel like the more you reach out to him, the more he pulls away?
His responsiveness and willingness to chat, text, and send little messages is going to tell you a lot about where his head is at.
Whilst some men may play hard to get, the reality is that for most guys, the more enthusiastic they feel about you the more they’re blowing up your phone.
That means if he only gets in contact when he wants to see you it suggests he’s keeping things more strictly business in his head.
On the other hand, if he:
- Is often the first one to send you messages
- Gets in touch for no particular reason just to check in or chat
- Usually replies to your messages fairly quickly (unless he’s legit busy)
- Tries to keep the conversation going with longer responses or questions
…then these are all really great signs that he is interested in you and not just your body.
8) He compliments your personality and not just your looks
When we’re attracted to someone, of course, we want them to think we’re pretty damn sexy too.
So it’s nice to get reassuring words that tell us this.
But if your physical attributes are literally the only thing he compliments, it might start alarm bells ringing that he is still looking at you in a fairly superficial way.
Ok, we’ve established that you have beautiful eyes, look super hot in that outfit, and have a smile that lights up the room — but what about your personality?
Does he tell you that you’re so funny, sweet, or smart?
If he is complimenting your character, you know that he thinks of you as far more of a full package, rather than just an outer shell.
9) He makes an effort to get to know you
Depending on your personality type, you might keep your conversation light and flirty in the early days of dating.
Certainly, not everyone is comfortable diving straight in with the deep chats.
But in order to progress towards a relationship, at some point, we need to graduate past the pleasantries and start to really get to know one another.
If he’s interested in you, you can expect him to ask you questions to try and find out what makes you tick. He’ll also make a genuine effort to really listen to you when you speak, to show you that he cares about what you have to say.
What type of music you like, how you get on with your family, where’s your dream vacay destination.
There are 1001 things to learn about people — and if he likes you he’s bound to be genuinely curious. This is how we discover if we’re compatible.
He’s unlikely to bother investing his time to find out these sort of details though if he only sees it as a short-term thing or just sex.
10) He touches your face and holds your hand
We’ve already talked a little about the difference between physical gestures that are more sexual and those which are more intimate or caring.
Certain forms of touch are more heavily associated with affection. There are some parts of our bodies which we see as vulnerable and others which are less so.
Faces definitely fall into the vulnerable category — which is why we don’t let a lot of people touch them. It’s something almost exclusively reserved for loving and intimate scenarios.
If he touches your face it implies a certain level of comfort with you and tenderness.
Similarly, holding hands is another classic bonding move as it builds trust and connection.
In fact, a 2018 study showed that holding hands increases brain-to-brain coupling which not only reduces pain but can even start to sync up your breathing patterns.
As Dr. Becky Spelman told Cosmopolitan because our hands are so sensitive, it’s a really powerful form of touch:
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“We are unconsciously exchanging emotional information with one another without necessarily registering it on a conscious level…Instinctively, we can interpret much of what the other person is feeling from how they hold our hand, their pulse, the level of perspiration, and more.”
11) You cuddle
If he can’t keep his hands off you — but not all the contact is sexual — it’s a great sign that he likes you.
Spending time cuddling and kissing is something a player is unlikely to bother doing. And probably with good reason too, as research reveals that cuddling is actually quite a significant thing.
A study of more than 1000 couples found frequent cuddling and kissing predicted relationship happiness for men. Which certainly suggests that the more snuggly a guy is, the more he’s into you.
So, if you spend time in each other’s arms either before or after sex, it’s more likely his feelings towards you are romantic and not only sexual.
12) He sticks around for breakfast
He may have stayed the night, but is he in a hurry to dash off as soon as he wakes up?
If you’ve made it to daybreak and he’s not scrambling for his clothes as soon as his eyes are open — it’s certainly a good sign.
If he is happy to stick around for breakfast or even is the one to suggest, it means he feels comfortable with a connection progressing outside of the bedroom.
Bonus points if he cooks for you or is the one to go out and hunt down coffee.
13) You see glimpses of insecurity
Of course, it could be a bit of an act, but generally speaking, cocky guys just don’t care as much.
They can afford to be so confident (or even borderline arrogant) because they aren’t so invested emotionally. If you turn around and say you don’t want to see him again, oh well, he’ll just move on to the next.
But when we catch feelings, we give a damn. That means we’re more prone to overthinking things and we tread a bit more carefully.
For example, rather than assume you want to see him again, he might be more tentative in checking “do you want to see me again?”.
He might not know when he’s outstayed his welcome, so ask whether it’s cool for him to be there.
Look out for the little signs that you make him nervous because a healthy amount of nerves are always a telltale sign that we like someone.
14) He’s reliable
Players are notoriously flaky for the very reason that they are not on the lookout for a serious relationship.
That love ‘em and leave ‘em attitude tends to show up in unreliable behaviour.
They may cancel plans last minute if they get a better offer, or go totally MIA for a week or so without so much as a word — only to pop up again as soon as they are ready to see you.
That’s why one of the simplest ways to tell when a guy really likes you is how consistent they are.
If he makes and keeps his commitments to you — like calling when he says he will, sticking to plans, and turning up on time — he is proving he is dependable.
The bottom line is that we’re more careful with the things we actually care about.
15) He tries to impress you
Whether it’s his wit, his strength, his culinary skills — or perhaps some other kind of manly prowess — he wants to show you he’s a catch.
The amount of effort we make to impress anyone is pretty much directly related to how much we crave their attention.
So if he is highlighting his positive sides, he likes you for way more than just your body. He is trying to present himself in the best light because he wants you to stick around.
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Maybe you’ve heard of the hero instinct already?
It’s called that because, in a nutshell, it says men want to feel like they are your hero.
The theory is that guys are biologically hardwired to protect and provide for the people they care about. So if he is putting on a Superman act around you, there’s a good chance you are triggering his hero instinct.
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