When it comes to single guys and their dating aims, it’s my understanding that they’re looking for one of three things: a bed buddy, a relationship, or anything that walks and talks. Maybe laughs at their jokes every once in a while too.
While it only takes one conversation and some solid honesty to know where he falls on the “just a hookup” scale, chances are he won’t be quite as quick to fess up to the last one. What grown man would ever admit to having their dating life summed up with the lyrics to that Backstreet Boys’ song: They don’t care who you are, or what you did. They just want you – or anyone for that matter – to be with them.
So we’re all sharp enough to get why this mentality is seriously anti-romantic, right? This is a relationship, not a carnival, and you can’t just pick a girl, any girl! It’s also a super unhealthy way to tackle your love life. There’s no dating site called JustChooseOne.com, and for good reason. Besides being the Lay-Z-Boy equivalent to romantic partnerships, being plopped into the girlfriend role can also be crazy confusing. Especially if you’re someone who always takes her time to pick and choose a worthy wearer of the “Boyfriend” crown. Isn’t that what everyone’s supposed to do?
Despite what blogs and New York Times writers will have us think about single men and their anti-commitment issues, I’ve dated a fair amount of dudes who were totally interested in being my boyfriend. The problem was, they probably would have been the bus driver’s boyfriend, the crossing guard’s boyfriend, or the lady at the Dunkin Donuts counter’s boyfriend, too.
I admit, while it was refreshing to know that lots of men are totally ready and willing to enter into relationships, I never could get psyched about being dropped in to the girlfriend spot. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy spending time with these guys, but that I was constantly aware that our arrangement had less to do with a mutual love of Stout beers (or anything), and more to do with conveience. That, and his desire to have a plus-one at his string of summer weddings.
Did you assume the role naturally? Or are you a drop-in girlfriend?
1) He’s constantly contradicting his own wants and needs. If on the first date, he told you he was looking for a relationship, and now, four dates in, he’s apparently just down to hang out, it’s not just because he’s a wishy-washy guy. He’s trying to adjust his desires to fit your own. Sweet, in a sappy rom-com sort of way. But not the smartest idea. If you’re already backpeddling your expectations after the first date, it’s probably not a good fit.
2) He really wants you to do things that he loves to do. Ok, not always a sign of a desperado, but if he’s trying to get you to the climbing gym four times a week and you’ve only been seeing each other for two, he might just be looking for a gym buddy, more than a relationship built on shared interests and values.
3) Things are moving very, very fast. You’ve met all of his friends, and most of his family. He tells you over the phone that his cats miss you. You saw them for two minutes at his apartment before going out. On your 3rd date. It’s as though he’s thinking, “If I make her think she’s my girlfriend, she will become my girlfriend”. Creepy.
4) He’s weirdly interested in your 5-year plan. If you’re planning on sticking it out at your job, and for how long. If you’re wanting to add some cats to your menagerie of dogs. If you’re thinking of switching apartments soon, because – this is like, totally unrelated and all – but his lease is ending in four months.
5) There’s a really big event coming up. He casually mentions a big event he has coming up for for work/family/friends/fun on the first date. And the second. And did he already tell you about this event coming up, on your third time out with one another? Because it’s going to be really big. And fun. You should come!
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