Happily married couples wait an average of 25 months before marrying, according to a study led by researcher Ted Huston, which followed couples beginning in 1979. So how do you interpret his signs and signals from that first date and beyond? And how long should you wait before cutting your losses? Every relationship is different, but certain behaviors do not bode well for the future.
1. He’s Overly Private
If your guy isn’t dying to share his hopes, dreams and fears with you, question his intentions. The male gender may have a reputation for not sharing their feelings, but if a guy is really into you, he will want to discuss them with you.
2. He Refuses to Say the G-Word
Listen to the way he introduces you to people. If you’re consistently introduced as a friend instead of a girlfriend, proceed with caution.
3. And Forget About the L-Word
It should probably go without saying, but if he’s not dropping that four-letter L-word with you, he may not have that loving feeling.
4. He Makes Plans Without You
If he consistently makes plans that do not include you, he is probably not heading into relationship territory. The same goes for plans that include you, but only as an afterthought.
5. He’s Heavy Handed With the Romance
Some men are serial pursuers. If your guy excels at the wining and dining, but doesn’t give you much substance beneath it, he may just enjoy the pursuit. If you’re not sure, pay attention to the conversation — does he seem genuinely interested in you and your life? Or could any woman sit in and play the role?
6. You Have to Keep Your Toothbrush in Your Purse
Be wary of a man who won’t give you a spot in his toothbrush holder. If he’s not ready to share the toothpaste, he’s probably not ready to share his heart either. And if he’s eager to remove all traces of you in his home, you are probably not the only woman in it.
7. You Don’t Exist on His Social Media
Are there pictures of you on his social media sites? Does he mention you in status updates or tweets? What about his relationship status? Is it set to “in a relationship”? If the answer to all of these questions is no, he is probably not interested in committing to you.
8. And He Still Exists on the Dating Sites
If he still has an active account on his dating website, he is keeping his options open and is probably not looking for a commitment with you.
9. Parents? He Has Parents?
Meeting the parents is a big step and is probably not going to happen until he knows that you have relationship potential. So if it’s still early in the courtship don’t despair if you haven’t met them. But listen closely, does he talk about his family? Does he allude to a meeting in the future? If they never come up in conversation, he probably has no intention of introducing you.
10. Future Plans
Look at your calendar. Do the two of you have any dates planned a week from now? Two weeks from now? Two months from now? If he is not willing to make long-term plans, it is probably because he is not sure that you will still be around. Beware of last-minute plans as well. Spontaneity is fantastic, but too much of it may mean that he was just waiting for something else.
Above all else, trust your gut. Every relationship is different and only you can decide if it’s worth your time and energy.