The question comes up in almost EVERY single relationship: "Is He Serious About Me? Or Is He Just Playing Games?" You need to know what his intentions are. Dating in your 40s is tough enough. You don't want to waste years of your life waiting to find out if he's serious about you and the relationship.
Why are they so hard to reach...?
After a while you have to stop engaging in the fairy tale part of romance and get realistic with yourself - and him. You just can't waste your time on a relationship that is going nowhere.
And let's face facts - a lot of guys will seem like they're leading you on and wasting your time.
But - as I'm about to explain to you - you can practically guarantee his interest in you - if you know what to look for.
First, let's clear up some things you might be thinking about men that are not entirely accurate...
MYTH ABOUT MEN'S INTEREST: He's easily scared of his feelings...
This one is a great excuse for why guys do things, but it's almost never real. Men don't run around in sheer terror about their feelings as some people might tell you.
No, we don't run away the second we start having feelings for a woman...
No, we don't scream in sheer terror the moment we notice ourselves falling in love...
These stereotypes of men are created mostly because they accomplish a few things:
The stereotype lines up with the accepted wisdom about men, so we buy into them quickly and easily...
The stereotype sounds true - after all, guys are painted as the emotionally unavailable commitment-phobes...
The stereotype lets you off the hook...
#3 is the most important one to consider - that these excuses about men seem true.
Beware the urge you might have to paint men as emotionally incompetent scaredy-cats. This is a Hollywood myth that you've been fed in movies and television. And they keep giving you more of it because most women have been unknowingly tricked into believing it.
I'll be up-front and honest and tell you that it's also true that a man will use these excuses himself - if it's convenient. If a guy is looking to get out of a relationship, he'll probably pull the "it's not you, it's me" excuse - which makes it easier on you. He'll tell you he's "scared" - or "not ready."
When it comes to a breakup, both people in a relationship have a part in how it plays out.
In fact, you can tell everything you need to know about a guy by asking him one simple question: "Why did your last relationship end?" If he comes up with a bunch of "it was her fault" excuses, move on. He's blind to his own flaws.
Or his ego is too big.
Either way, it's not going to work out well for you to start a relationship with him.
MYTH ABOUT MEN'S INTEREST: He Will Run From Happiness...
Similar to the previous myth, this myth confuses you into thinking: "He's so afraid of how much he loves me that he pulls away!"
NOPE. Never happens.
If he's into you, he will chase you, hunt you down, and make you his girlfriend and eventually his wife.
Guys don't run around denying themselves love. We want it just as badly as you do.
So don't ever confuse yourself with this myth - men don't avoid their own happiness by running away from loving relationships - or from you. He only pulls away when he realizes this relationship might not be what he thought it was.
MYTH ABOUT MEN'S INTEREST: Men are always keeping you in the Friend-with-Benefits zone...
Again, not true. Most men do not have meaningless sex to avoid intimacy.
And even more astonishing is that most guys don't really want to have sex with every woman they possibly can. Well, okay, maybe a little of this happens when he's in his late teens and early 20s. But let's face it, most women aren't looking to settle down when they're that young, either.
Yes, there are a few guys who are wired to be "players" in the old school traditional sense. These guys make up about 5% or less of the population. And they do this because of other flaws in their character - not just because "he's a guy."
But it's TOTALLY understandable why you might fall for this myth...
Two type of men: Dogs and Players...
You might think that guys are "dogs" or "Players" because they have a pattern. Their pattern goes like this:
He comes on hot & heavy for you...
You're swept off your feet and you sleep with each other within the first couple dates...
He seems to immediately lose interest...
He ghosts you...
Based on this pattern alone, it's easy to think that sex is all he wants. You liked him, you may have moved too quickly into physical intimacy, and now there's nothing left for him to "win." Sure, he might like to have a deeper relationship, but ... now something has gone sour.
There's a lot of misleading information out there about gender roles. The media tells you that it's okay for you to date like guys do. They tell you that you are free to explore your sexual desires - and you are!
However, here's something they don't tell you:
THE HONEST TRUTH: Men lose interest in a woman that sleeps with him too quickly.
It happens nearly every time.
And I still have to ask you this: Knowing that guys need challenge, would it kill you to keep him waiting a few more dates?
Nope. Not even a little.
Wait longer because it always works out better. Please heed my advice on this, because it's for real.
Be worth the wait...
In fact - if he's really serious about you, you'll notice that he won't push for sex as much early on. Men know instinctively that too-fast sex means too-little emotional investment.
He might not REFUSE staying over. But he won't have a hard time with you telling him you want to wait, either. Which is why you have to watch his signals really carefully.
And in case you're wondering, there are plenty of signs to watch out for to tell you If He's Not Serious About You:
He just won't commit to you. You won't be able to pin him down on anything...
He won't ever consider the time you spend together as "dates" or relationship time. To him, it'll always be "hanging out." That's 'Guy Shorthand' for "I'm not labeling this."
He won't reach out to you. You're always the one doing the work at staying connected...
He's always telling you how he's not ready for a serious relationship. (And seriously, if he tells you this more than once, MOVE ON. He's not telling you this as a challenge.)
And there are hundreds more signals like this of course, and I'll go into those in a future article.
Okay - enough of the negative stuff, NOW let's talk a little bit about -
Is He Serious About Me? 7 Signs to look for...
SIGN #1 He's Playing For Keeps: He's jumping in his submarine...
What I mean is, he's ready to go deep with you.
He's not just satisfied by learning the easy stuff about you. He asks deep, meaningful questions about you.
And he listens when you answer!
When a guy is stirred to feel real love for a woman, and he wants to win her over, he'll start asking you the Big Questions. Not just stuff about what food you like, or your favorite movie. He'll dig in and really get to know YOU.
SIGN #2 He's Serious About You: He's showing up with his heart...
When your guy lets you in on his feelings, and he seems like he's emotionally invested in you both, you can be pretty sure he's serious about you.
Now, this doesn't mean he's wearing his heart on his sleeve. He's just willing to dig a little into the mucky areas of his feelings and he's willing to be uncomfortable. He knows that this is what it takes to prove he will be worthy of you.
You know that he's not so serious when he doesn't show up with his heart - because he's got no motivation to open it up to you.
Really, every single time you find yourself with a man that isn't quite present, or there's not a real loving dynamic between you, it's because he's not motivated. And the only thing that motivates a man is the desire for love, sex, and connection with you.
So check that out and see if you get the vibe from him that he's feeling emotionally aware and capable enough to let out some feelings.
SIGN #3 He's Serious About You: HE is the one that asks to be exclusive...
That's right - you'll know you've got him worshiping you when he asks you if you're dating anyone else - or he tells you he wants to be your one and only.
This one is really huge. So big, in fact that I used to tell women that they should never even mention the "L" word (love) until AFTER he asks to go exclusive.
"Are you going to be my girl...?"
And when he feels so overcome with desire for you that he wants you as his one-and-only, and wants to be sure you're not going to get grabbed up by some other guy, he'll tell you he wants you all to himself.
Think about it... what is the most important signal of a man's desire for you? It starts with him taking ACTION. If he's not initiating it on his own, you can't really be sure he wants it.
Which means that you can't flip the tables and make him your prize too soon!
I see this all the time. A woman gets really into a guy, thinking that HE is the prize. She bends over backwards for him, helping him out, loaning him money, waiting on him hand and foot. It reeks of desperation.
Nothing inspires contempt more than being treated like this. It's like that kid on the playground when you were young that wanted to be your friend SOOOO bad that they kissed your butt all the time.
And what do we do? We end up mistreating them - and hating ourselves in the process! It's a vicious cycle.
Remember: If YOU are not the prize in your relationship, something has gone wrong. And it's only a matter of time before he disappears on you.
SIGN #4 "Is He Serious About Me?": You're His Ichiban...
Ichiban is "number 1" in Japanese.
And that's what you'll be on his priority list when he decides he's serious about you.
You know you're the "One" when...
A few of the signs you're his priority are things like:
He'll put down his phone when he's with you. He won't be checking - or answering - texts...
He'll make plans for you both - and take the initiative to make them happen...
He will avoid situations for meeting other women intentionally. This also includes online dating sites. You won't see him advertising to meet more women...
He'll text you back. Guys in general do not place a priority on texting, but you'll notice him putting in an effort to respond to you. At the very least, he will apologize if a long time goes between your text and his response...
Overall, you'll get a sense that you matter to him.
If you have a clear view of your relationship, and you notice that your man is not making you a priority, then you really only have one step to take: Leave - and go find a man that does make you his priority.
Don't wait around hoping he's going to just miraculously decide he's misunderstood you this whole time. You can't wait for the fog over his eyes to lift.
SIGN #5 "Is He Serious About Me?": You Know Where You Stand...
You ever have a guy who simply couldn't - or wouldn't - call you his girlfriend?
You were probably in a conversation with your friends, and the subject came up of you and him. And inside, you're screaming: "Just say it!" And he's doing everything he can to avoid calling you his girlfriend, or significant other, or partner.
Maybe he just slips out a "special friend" label. Or something even more lame...
And it just breaks your heart.
Well, this is something you won't have happen when he's really into you.
He'll probably even be the first one to pull the "she's my girlfriend" card before you do. And that might also trigger some kind of cautionary pull-back from you - so watch out for that! It's tempting to second-guess what's happening when it doesn't fall into your usual relationship patterns.
We get very stuck in our patterns.
But when a guy is really serious about you and your relationship, he won't waffle on calling you just the way he wants you - girlfriend, fiancé, or whatever your style of relationship is. He'll be the first to tell you "what you are" to him.
SIGN #6 You Know He's Serious About You When: You're a Part Of His Committee...
All guys have what we might call a "committee." This is the group of people we go to for advice, or who we consult when we're making a decision. We'll ask for opinions or check in with them when we need to "crowd source" our thought process.
When your guy starts checking in with you and asking for your opinions, he's pulled you into his committee. And it's one of the strongest signs you've "made it" into his inner circle.
He might ask you about which clothes to buy, or where you think his career is going, or he wants to talk politics and where the world is going...
If you get the sense that he wants to know more about what YOU think about things in his life, it's a sure-fire answer to the question "Is He Serious About Me?"
When a guy lifts you into the position of advisor in his life, that shows that he respects you and what you have to say. And that's really big.
The other side of this is that he actually listens to you and TAKES your advice.
And not only listening to your opinions, but he's also hearing what you're saying when it's "trivial" stuff, like things going on in your life, or issues that come up in your world. You'll find him bringing it up in conversation all on his own.
SIGN #7 "Is He Serious About Me?": He's Wide Open...
Vulnerability is one of the hardest things to quantify in a relationship. It's something you know you need, and it's something he would LIKE to give you. The fact is, you need a guy with a wide open heart.
Let him in...
Unfortunately, it's not an easy thing to find in a man...
... or a woman.
I know that might go against the grain to say that women are also bad at vulnerability. But in my experience as a therapist and a relationship counselor, I would be lying if I told you that women were more vulnerable than men. It's just not true.
"Both men and women are equally guarded and UN-available when it comes to love and relationships." - Carlos Cavallo
We just show it in different ways.
When a man is closed off, he keeps you at arm's length and avoids the closeness and intimacy you desperately desire.
When a woman is closed off, she will put on the outward appearance of wanting to be connected, but never really knowing how to MAKE that connection with a man.
Both genders have their strategies for avoiding connection and vulnerability.
When a guy is serious about you, he'll stop the pushing away and stand with you in the space of lovingness. He will soften to your needs and wants. In short, he will put your feelings at the top of his priority list.
Just be sure you watch out for any ways you might be blocking him from your own vulnerability. You might be surprised to see that you might have some "avoidance habits" that make it harder for men to really open up to you and connect to you.
The fact is that these habits might also be a complete accident on your part!
There is a way to break free of the old patterns and get him to "serious up" to your romance...
You have to know how men respond to love - and what makes them want to commit to you.
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