Things seem to be going well, but how serious is it for him?
Moving from dating into being exclusive can be a confusing time and you want to know where you stand.
If you want to know if he’s only dating you or still seeing other people, here are 39 strong signs he wants to be exclusive.
1) He makes plans and dates well in advance
A big sign that he is in the headspace for something long term with you is if he’s making plans together for the future.
Whether that’s a music festival this summer, a trip you might go on next month, or even something as silly as having a weekly watch party together for the new season of your fave TV show.
Rather than taking each date one at a time, he is sure he likes you enough to assume that he’s going to still be in the picture weeks or months down the line.
2) He isn’t dragging around any relationship baggage
If he has fully processed and moved on from any past relationships, he is more likely to be in a better place to progress something with you.
Hopefully, there aren’t any exes still looming large in the background or he hasn’t just got out of something serious.
When someone has unresolved romantic encounters that could get in the way, they may not be in the best position to settle down again yet.
3) You connect on a deeper level
What gives relationship longevity goes beyond the superficial. It’s about finding someone whose core values and way of thinking matches up with ours.
It’s great to have lots of little things in common but if underneath, all that you also have the same approach to life, it’s an indication of a potentially deeper bond.
4) He wants you to meet his family
No doubt about it, meeting the family is a big deal.
As relationship expert and author Susan Winter puts it:
“Gaining access to your SO’s inner circle is a mark of their commitment.”
Meeting the mom has long been held as a relationship milestone.
Most of us are understandably mindful about who we share our most intimate connections with and it doesn’t get much closer than family.
5) He’s introduced you to his friends
If he is happy for you to meet his friends, it shows that he is allowing you into another layer of his own little world.
Exposing you to other people in his life means he will have to answer questions and offer up explanations about exactly who you are.
If you were just a random girl that he was dating, he is less likely to make an effort to show you off or introduce you to people.
6) He asks questions to really get to know you better
Does he seem genuinely curious to learn more about you?
We don’t usually make the effort to really get to know someone if we’re not envisaging it going anywhere.
So if he is asking questions to discover what you like and don’t like or asking about your hopes and dreams for the future — it suggests he is interested in you and wants it to be more than just casual.
7) He makes time for you
Even when you are a busy person, the reality is that we make room in life for what we consider are our priorities.
If he makes time for you in his schedule, no matter what else is going on, he is showing you that you take precedence.
If other commitments are always getting in the way — whether that’s work, family, friends or hobbies — it might signal he doesn’t see your time together as that serious.
8) He tells you how he feels
It’s true that actions often speak louder than words and not everybody is comfortable with saying outright how they are feeling — especially when dealing with vulnerable matters of the heart.
It’s also not always the case that you even need to have a specific conversation about whether you are exclusive or not.
I have literally never had that conversation but I’ve been in several very serious cohabiting relationships. We just knew we were on the same page (by ticking a lot of the other obvious signs on this list).
Having said that, words obviously do play an important part in communication when we’re dating. If you feel doubtful about the status of your relationship you should always be able to ask.
He should also leave you feeling secure with the things he is saying to you, that proves to you that he is invested.
9) The fact you’re dating is common knowledge
If every man and his dog knows you two are an item, he clearly isn’t making any attempts to hide your blossoming romance.
If he had lots of other women on the go at the same time, he is likely to be a little bit more discreet about things. But if it’s common knowledge that you are dating and that’s fine by him, it’s a good sign he is happy to be exclusive.
10) He doesn’t try and hide anything from you
Other women he’s in communication with, how he spent last weekend, or what he was up to on that Friday night out with the boys — if he’s totally transparent, it’s probably because he has nothing to hide.
It bodes well if he’s an open book and completely comfortable with divulging all aspects of his life to you.
On the other hand, if he’s behaving a bit like a secret agent, he could be doing things he would rather you didn’t know about — including seeing other people.
11) He’s consistent with his attention
This is a biggie, as any guy who runs hot and cold is clearly holding back in some way.
We shouldn’t get whiplash from a relationship, never knowing if we are coming or going. If he is full-on one week but then goes MIA on you the next, other women could be in the picture.
But if he has shown you attention from the start and that has never wavered, it is a clear sign that he thinks a lot of you (and not only when he is bored, lonely or looking for some attention).
12) He isn’t playing games
Whereas women may be more inclined to let a guy woo her, men are more used to having to chase a girl.
That means that if he wants you, he’ll usually let you know — he will call you, he will pursue you, he will compliment you, he will make time for you.
There won’t be any games or pulling away from you, he will be clear with his intentions with both his actions and words.
If a guy really does want a serious relationship with you, he is unlikely to leave you guessing.
13) You feature on his social media
It’s less trivial than it may sound. Let’s face it, in the digital age our social media profiles play a significant role in our dating lives.
Whether that’s finding dates through Instagram, adding someone on Snapchat or daring to send a friend request to the hot person we’re interested in.
The image we present to the outside world through our social profiles matters to us.
If he’s showing you off online by posting pictures of the two of you, checking in with you at places, or tagging you in his posts, it’s safe to say you’re not “just another girl”.
14) You get an invite on holidays or special occasions
We don’t invite just anyone to our cousin’s wedding or over for Thanksgiving. Not all days of the year are created equal.
There are certain marks on the calendar that just hold more social significance and so it’s a bigger deal to make plans together on these occasions.
15) He contacts you every day
If you are speaking pretty much every day, even if it’s still early days, it’s a good sign that everything is going in the right direction.
One thing to consider is whether he is driving that communication or if it’s at least equal between you.
If he is reaching out to you every day and not simply replying to messages that you are sending him, it’s a good sign he could want you to be his girlfriend.
16) You go on real dates
Ok, what technically counts as a “real date” may be difficult to define, as it depends on what you both enjoy doing.
What I mean by this is that it’s not just late-night Netflix and chilling.
He makes an effort to do things in the day, to go places together and come up with creative or unique dates. The amount of effort he puts into your dates is likely to be a direct correlation to how invested he is.
17) He’s been fishing for whether you are seeing anyone else
Any sign of the little green-eyed monster is a good indication that he wants you all to himself.
If he’s been asking questions about if you are dating any other guys, he clearly has a vested interest in finding out.
We tend not to get jealous unless we care.
18) You’re not getting any red flags
This sign may be more subtle but it’s really important.
After all, dating is an art not a science and it’s not as simple as there being a certain number of dates you have before becoming exclusive. Often you just sense when things are progressing to the next level.
You know when he is on the same page as you and you also have a feeling when something is a bit suss.
If we’re honest, in hindsight when we look back on failed romances — we usually knew deep down it wasn’t quite right. There may have been a few bad signs that we chose to overlook because we didn’t want to see them.
If there aren’t any alarm bells ringing and your intuition is telling you that he wants to be your boyfriend, then it’s telling you that his behaviour doesn’t give you any cause for concern.
19) He makes an effort for you
Often it’s the simple things that are the strongest indicators of whether he wants to be exclusive.
Little gestures and displays of affection can mean a lot.
If you can tell that he makes an effort for you — rather than just coasting along putting in the minimum energy he can get away with — he clearly cares and sees this going somewhere.
20) He pays attention to what you say and do
Admittedly, some of us do have terrible memories and being forgetful certainly doesn’t mean we don’t give a damn — but paying attention to what you say and do is a really good sign.
If he remembers the stories you have told him, he knows when your birthday is, and all about the office politics you gave him the full lowdown on — he is clearly making an effort to understand your world.
21) He picks up the check
Taking care of you is all part of his biological hero instinct (wanting to be seen as a hero in the eyes of the woman he’s attracted to).
An ex-boyfriend once admitted to me that when he really likes a girl, he will insist on paying on a date. If he is less interested, he won’t.
Of course, that doesn’t mean all men think this way, but if he never wants to put his hand in his pocket for you, it could be a sign he’s less bothered about impressing you.
22) He understands you
Sure, there are plenty of people who we get on fine enough with, but our strongest bonds are formed when we just totally click with another person. They get us without us even needing to explain.
It’s like they are speaking our language and communication just feels effortless.
23) He’s committing to you
One step further from just having chats about future plans together, is actually committing to them.
You put a deposit down on a winter vacay or you’ve got your name on the waiting list for a local hotspot that it takes months to get a table at. The more he takes steps to blend his life with yours, the more of a sign it is that he is ready to be exclusive.
24) He’s not putting pressure on you to jump into bed
How do you tell if a guy is serious about a relationship?
If you are one of many or he’s only looking for a hookup, he is unlikely to be patient about taking things slow.
Of course, when two consenting adults decide to have sex is a totally personal choice, with no fixed timetable or rights and wrongs.
But if he is happy to hold off on the physical side until you feel ready and wants to get to know each other first, then he clearly respects your wishes and thinks you are worth it.
25) He’s affectionate in public
Not everyone is into public displays of affection but if he is happy to hold your hand in the street or give you a kiss when you’re out, it’s certainly a good sign.
It means he’s not trying to hide how he feels, he is comfortable around you and he’s not worrying about anyone else seeing.
If he were dating other people, you would expect him to be a bit more guarded about showing intimacy when you are out and about.
26) He tells you he is looking for a relationship
Most of us have fallen foul of the “right person, wrong timing” trap at some point.
Where they’re at in life and what they want right now plays a big part in whether dating them is likely to become exclusive or not.
This is backed up by research that found a higher degree of readiness was associated with higher commitment to a relationship.
If he has said that he is generally looking for a committed relationship, there’s a better chance it will happen with you.
27) He leaves things at your place
Even if it was by accident at first, if he isn’t in any rush to collect whatever he left at your place, it means he is expecting plenty of opportunities to be there again.
If he has been increasingly leaving more and more of his stuff on purpose or even suggested it’s a good idea to keep a toothbrush at yours — it’s a clear signal you are heading towards #relationshipville.
28) Having your first fight didn’t scare him off
We all know that romances aren’t always a bed of roses.
Occasional disagreements and conflict are natural. If you have had your first lovers tiff and resolved things, it shows he is willing to put the work in. He hasn’t gone running for the hills at the first sign of trouble.
It’s easy to be there for the good times, so if your man has shown you he will stick around for the challenges too — it indicates he is ready for a more serious relationship with you.
29) He’s reliable
If a guy can be relied upon to do what he says he will, then it shows he respects you.
Needing to change plans every now and again is understandable but flaking on you often is clearly not cool.
If you can trust him to be true to his word and wouldn’t hesitate to call on him in your hour of need, then he’s showing you that he’s a keeper.
30) He asks for your advice and opinions
If he cares about you and sees a future with you, he’s going to care what you think.
So if he is turning to you for advice or asking your opinion on things in his life, it is because he values what you have to say.
Asking what you want and think shows that he trusts your judgement and perspective.
31) He wants to be involved in your life
It’s not just whether he introduces you to his family and friends, if he’s taking an interest in yours too that’s just as significant.
If he’s down for getting to know your friends, happy to come along to that boring work function and is keen to meet your folks — this is time, energy and effort you are unlikely to put in for just any girl you’re dating.
32) He only has eyes for you
It’s unrealistic to expect us to never even notice another attractive person again as soon as we become loved up. But at the same time, especially at the beginning of a relationship when we’re smitten, we tend to only have eyes for that special person.
If he’s not having his head turned in the street or chatting up the waitress when you go out for dinner, it at least signals that he’s not on the lookout.
If his attention and eyes are on you alone when you’re out, then it shows being with you is his priority.
33) He’s deleted his dating apps
Looking for a sign he wants to be exclusive? Then be sure to listen out for the ping of a Tinder notification.
If he has taken down all of his online dating profiles, it’s a really good sign he is ready to be a one-woman man. It tells you that he’s not keeping his options open, chatting to other girls or in the market for hookups.
Making it clear that he has deleted his dating apps is a way of letting you know that right now he is interested in you and only you.
34) He goes above and beyond for you
If he’s prepared to push his comfort zone for you or do things he wouldn’t normally, you clearly mean a lot to him.
Maybe he usually avoids parties like the plague but still agrees to go to your friend’s birthday. Perhaps despite being hopeless in the kitchen, he goes out of his way to prepare you a meal.
If he is willing to go places he ordinarily wouldn’t, it’s because he knows you will enjoy it and wants to make you happy.
35) His body language tells you
Body language is powerful and guys give away lots of telltale signs with it (like walking on the outside of you to protect you).
Psychological studies have shown that maintaining constant eye contact whilst talking to you is a stronger sign he wants to be exclusive.
If he leans towards you when you talk, raises his eyebrows when you are speaking, constantly has a big smile on his face and finds lots of excuses to touch you — these are all big ticks.
As weird as it may sound, even whether he points his feet towards you actually says a lot.
As body language expert Patti Wood explains:
“Because the feet are involved in the fight-or-flight response that kicks in when you’re in danger, they’re largely controlled by the unconscious mind — and can be very telling in social interactions. The feet tend to point where the heart wants to go.”
36) He consults you about his plans
The guys have asked him to go away next weekend on a trip, and he just wanted to let you know.
If he is keeping you in the loop or asking for the green light when it comes to his plans, you know that you are a valued part of his life.
It means he is no longer thinking in terms of “me” and is thinking more as a “we”.
37) He’s on his best behaviour around your people
We can always tell when someone is laying on the charm.
If he goes out of his way to present his very best self whenever he is around your friends or family, he clearly cares what they think of him.
The reason for that is he cares what you think and so wants to impress important people in your life — he wouldn’t bother if he wasn’t thinking of a relationship with you.
38) He says he isn’t seeing anyone else
If he goes out of his way to bring it up in conversation that he isn’t dating any other women, then it’s no accident.
He wants to reassure you that there is no one else on the scene, which strongly suggests he is looking to date you exclusively.
This is the green light to openly discuss your dating goals and relationship future together.
39) He opens up to you
There may be a bit of a gender gap when it comes to emotional expression — so if he feels comfortable enough to open up to you, it’s a sign of how important you are to him.
If he is prepared to be intimate with you and share private details or even secrets about his life, it shows he trusts you and is letting you in.
Most of us don’t do that with just anyone we’re dating, so it signals that he sees what you have together as something more exclusive.
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