A female readers asks: “How can I tell that the guy I met or consider dating is looking to settle down and be in a serious relationship and/or start a family, and he is not just looking to have fun and move on?”
I believe that the signs that a man is looking for a serious relationship or a lifetime partner are actually pretty similar to those exhibited by the women who are looking for the same thing. Here are five of the more common such signs that you would see in the beginning stages of your interaction with him:
1. During the first few dates, that guy is “qualifying” you by testing whether he sees any deal breakers in you, just like you would do the same to the guy, when you are looking for the right match. Ironically, the men who are looking for a serious relationship have a very similar behavior to women who are looking for the same. They will be asking you about your hobbies, interests, values, likes, dislikes, preferences, etc., in order to establish whether the two of you have enough in common and whether there are certain differences between the two of you that are so serious that you simply don’t have a long-term potential because of them. He might ask you about the type of music you like, the type of vacation your prefer, your stand on tattoos / piercings, pop culture, whether or not you want to have kids, whether you prefer to live in the city v suburb, etc. The more subtle tests will include watching your behavior for any red flags, such as having short temper, being rude to customers, being overly fussy or high maintenance, etc.
2. That guy will not be rushing to have sex with you as much as others would. Just like a woman who is looking for a serious relationship, a guy who is looking to settle down will be more preoccupied during the first few dates with figuring our whether you are the right woman for him on all levels. He will still want to have sex with you, of course, if he is attracted to you, but the fact that he is trying to figure our whether you are the right one will put sex on a back burner for at least some time. Of course, if at some point the guy concludes that you are not the right one for him but he is still attracted to you, he will try to have sex with you anyway.
3. That guy will be bringing up his long term plans and goals with you. During your first few dates, that guy might talk about his future plans, his desire to have a wife / family in the near future in so many words and try to see what you have to say in response and whether you are on the same page.
4. That guy will put more effort into his interactions with you. If that guy considers you as a potential long-term partner or a wife, he will put more effort into his interactions with you. This doesn’t mean that he will be wining and dining you at the fanciest restaurants in town, but you will notice that he pays more attention to you than are you used to. He shows up on time, he expresses genuine interest in who you are as a person, and your conversation go far beneath the surface.
5. That guy will put more effort into his online dating profile and message as well, if that’s where you met him. A guy who is looking to settle down will likely put some thought into his profile, and into how he interacts with women online. His profile should be more interesting than the average and his messages should go far beyond “hey” and “how is your day?” After all, he will be looking to make an impression on the right woman and be noticed by her, whether online or in a real world.