Does he want a serious relationship or is he using you?
The real problem with this question is that by overthinking you run the real risk of chasing away the good guys, attracting the bad ones or misinterpreting a breakup as him using you.
Sometimes, good guys show some behaviors typical of players who just want to use you. Other times, you’ll find a guy that does all the things an A+ boyfriend would do, only to find out months later that he was stringing you all along.
Point is, it’s impossible to have a 100% success rate figuring out if a guy is serious about you or not. Sometimes you’ll get burned, sometimes you’ll chase away the serious guy who just can express himself properly. You have to make peace with yourself that sometimes you’ll make the wrong choice – and that’s ok.
Another thing to consider is that guys will try to use you in more ways than just physical intimacy. Some guys use you because they’re lonely or bored, and you’re an easy way to pass the time until they meet someone who they think is “better”.
Other guys will be caught up in weird emotional dramas and they’ll use you to make their ex girlfriend (or even current girlfriend) jealous, or as a way to “get even”. Other times, you’ll be caught up in a rebound relationship while they get back on their feet.
He might even use you is for the money, or other practical advantages like having a place to stay.
And as painful as it may be, in case of a breakup you have to consider that the guy was serious in his intentions, but ended things because he believed the two of you weren’t compatible in the long run.
Taking all of this into account, how can you tell if a guy wants a serious relationship, or is just using you? As a rule of thumb, watch what he does, not what he says.
7 signs he wants a serious relationship with you
1. He invites you to more formal occasions
A clear sign a guy wants a serious relationship with you is if he takes you to somewhat more formal meetings.
A few examples of these: friend’s birthdays, work get-togethers where partners and spouses are invited, conference’s where he’s speaking etc.
Unlike more casual occasions (regular hangouts with friends), during formal events a guy is also building his own identity and status among his peers.
His colleagues will form an image of him as a guy in a committed relationship. During their regular chit-chat, they’ll likely ask him questions such as how you’ve been doing, what you work as, whether you’ll come at a future event, etc.
It would reflect poorly on him if he’d say the two of you weren’t actually a couple, and you just happened to be a date for the occasion. It would indicate he isn’t the “serious” type, both in dating and professional life.
When a guy invites you to such occasions, he’s making a statement to his peers along the lines of “she is my girlfriend, and will be so for the foreseeable future”.
A somewhat similar logic applies to formal events hosted by friends, such as birthdays, baby showers, weddings etc. It’s his way of communicating to his friends that you’re now the “other half”, and that they can make an effort to get to know you.
Casual meetings with friends don’t really have the same weight. Guys often introduce the girls they’re dating to their friend group in order to see how you interact with others, and also what their friends think of you. In other words, just because you’ve met his friends in a casual setting, doesn’t always mean he’s serious about you.
Takeaways: If a guy you’re seeing invites you to a somewhat formal, professional setting then it’s safe to assume he’s serious about you. Not only that, but he’s also confident you’re the kind of girl that makes him look good.
If (through your conversations) you’ve learned he didn’t invite you to such an event, it could be a sign that he’s still unsure of your relationship, or he doesn’t foresee a long enough future with you to meet his colleagues.
2. He’s there to help in difficult situations
Guys who just want to use you will instantly bail if you happen to hit a rough patch and can’t “put out” (be it physical intimacy, money, attention or companionship).
They want to be with you only for the better and not for the worse, and aren’t willing to put in the effort to help you in a tough situation.
The guys that are serious about aren’t really intimated by a bit of effort, on the contrary. They’ll see your hardships as an occasion to deepen your relationship by going through a difficult moment together.
As an example: you suffered a bad ankle sprain and simply can’t walk or do regular stuff without assistance. A guy that’s serious will offer to stick around and help you with shopping, doing the dishes, cleaning dishes, etc.
3. He sticks around when he can’t get anything from you
Most the problems you’ll face aren’t as severe as the ones mentioned above, but they can still stop you from doing certain activities.
For instance, you make go through a medical issue that makes physical intimacy painful, so you have to put your love life on pause for a while.
In another example, you have an unexpected expense that eats up this month’s budget. Or you have to urgently go on a trip for family / business reasons and miss some plans you made with your guy.
A guy that’s just using you will quickly become pissy or distant once they can’t get what they want from you. In their mind, any amount of time spent with you that doesn’t involve physical intimacy or you paying for them is wasted effort.
By contrast, guys that are serious understand that these things happen and will stick around without making a fuss about it. They’ll adjust their plans to fit yours and even help you with fixing your problems when possible.
4. He’ll do redecorations in his house for you
We’re not talking anything major here, just small stuff that can make your stays over at his place more comfortable.
For instance, if you’re the coffee type and he isn’t, he might buy a cheap coffee machine or pot just so you don’t miss out on your obsessive coffee habit.
It’s a sign that he wants you to feel comfortable and welcome around him.
5. Arguments and fights don’t affect what he does for you
Besides being a sign of emotional maturity, having a disagreement or fight won’t affect how the guy you’re dating treats you.
Sure, depending on the severity of the fight he may want some time alone to process, but he won’t go out of his way to punish you.
After a fight, a guy who is serious about you won’t start being distant and cold. If they want to order food, they’ll still ask you if you want something. Even if frustrated they’ll still talk in a respectful manner. They won’t employ the silent treatment.
Perhaps most importantly, you won’t feel as if one single fight will be all it takes to break the relationship.
6. He makes an effort to engage with friends and family
Most guys that aren’t serious about you likely won’t meet your friends or parents to begin with. Some however are willing to play theater and just go through the whole process.
If you suspect this might be the case, observe how he interacts with the other people that matter in your life.
He invests genuine effort into getting to know your friends and family, this means your guy sees believes he’ll have (through you) a longer-term relationship with these people as well.
7. He stays available for you
A guy that is serious about his relationship with you will make time to be with you, whenever he has the time.
This will often mean he’ll cancel some of his non-urgent plans in case the two of you will want to hang out and do stuff together.
By contrast, guys that use you are very protective of their time. Sometimes you’ll have the feeling you’re only given certain “time slots”. If you try to do anything outside of those he’ll make you feel as if you’re invading his personal space or time.
6 signs he’s using you
1. He takes initiative only when he needs something from you
Guys that use you will put in as little effort as possible to get what they want from you.
For this reason, they’ll ask you out on dates only if they’re in the mood, or want something from you at that particular moment (physical intimacy, money, etc).
When they don’t really want something, they’ll just disappear and stop contacting you altogether. If you wouldn’t make an effort to get in touch, then it’s very possible you would just drift apart.
2. He makes plans with other people, but doesn’t include you
This one is a good indicator that he may not be honest about his intentions.
After the “getting to know you” phase, guys usually introduce the girl their dating to their friend group. For one, the guy might have talked to his friends about you, so the friends are really curious to meet you. Not only that, but guys may also want a second opinion so to speak, and would like to know what his friends think of you.
If he keeps making plans with friends but doesn’t include you, that’s a good sign he might keeping you hidden away.
Perhaps he doesn’t think the two of you will last very long. Perhaps he doesn’t think you will like his friends, or vice versa. Perhaps he already has a girlfriend. Perhaps he thinks you’ll get bored watching him and his friends play basketball.
While not an outright red flag, it’s wise to at least ask yourself why it hasn’t happened yet.
3. You ask if he wants something serious or not
If a guy tells you he doesn’t want something serious, you should 100% believe it. Some women can overthink things and believe he’s just trying to appear hard to get, but that’s a mistake.
Guys operate on the assumption that wanting a non-committed relationship is a deal breaker for most women. Him telling you he doesn’t want something serious means he’s ok with you ending contact with him because of it.
The real problem comes if he says he wants a relationship with you.
On one hand, he might actually be telling the truth. On the other hand, he could be lying and telling you what you want to hear just to get into your pants.
Unfortunately, it’s impossible to figure out in the moment whether he’s saying the truth or not. It’s just one of those things you have to wait and see before deciding whether to believe him or not.
Ultimately, asking a guy if he’s serious about your not may not always give you the whole truth, but it will at least get you closer to it.
4. He doesn’t compromise
It’s said that who cares the least in a relationship has the most power.
Guys that use girls are relaxed about the possibility of a breakup, since it doesn’t really affect them that much. As a result, they’re comfortable using ultimatums or simply not compromising at all with you.
By comparison, guys that are serious tend to be much more agreeable. They’ll make their preferences known, but they will often compromise simply to make you happy, even if they aren’t thrilled about it.
If you find you’re constantly worried about saying no to him, and accept whatever he wants, then you should take a step back and reassess the relationship. There’s a good chance he’s taking advantage of your love to get what he wants.
5. He asks for money, one way or another
Popular myths would have you believe that only women can be gold diggers, but that’s very far from the truth.
Guys are just as likely to use a woman for her money, if the opportunity presents itself.
Good signs of a guy using you for money are:
- Asking for money for various expenses
- Promising to give back the money, but “forgetting”.
- Gets upset if you ask for the money back.
- Buys expensive things he can’t afford.
- Hints you buy him expensive gifts.
- Says he can’t afford to go out on a date.
The quickest way to see if a guy is using you financially is to cut off the money line and see how he reacts.
6. He often drops plans with you to do something else
Guys that are serious and want a relationship consider you a top priority when it comes to spending their free time. Not only that, but they’ll actually be extremely cautious about canceling plans since they’re afraid you might think of them as unreliable or flaky.
On the other hand, the unserious guys will basically keep you as a backup in case they don’t have “better” plans. They are the kind that will instantly cancel plans with you to go on a date with some other girl, or meet up with some other friends.
It’s understandable if it happens once in a while. Maybe your guy’s long-lost cousin Jimmy who he hasn’t seen since his diaper age came into town and wants to catch up. Not convenient, but understandable.
However, if it happens on a constant basis (even after you’ve talked about it), then this is clearly a red flag that he doesn’t respect you, nor your time.