In every relationship, there’s that weird phase when you’re more than a hookup, but nothing is official yet, and you don’t know if you even want it to go there. You’re in dating limbo. It’s bound to go one of two ways, and you don’t know which. Are you allowed to see other people? Is he seeing other people? Does he want to see other people? WHERE DO WE STAND?! This is the kind of relationship that makes your head spin, but not in a good way. If you are in the kind of relationship I just described, I give you my deepest condolences. It sucks and it’s wonderful at the same time. Even though thinking about the relationship gives you whiplash, there are a few ways to know if he’s really serious about you, and maybe just taking his sweet time to figure it out.
1. He texts you in the middle of the afternoon “just to talk.”
A guy who just wants to get in your pants isn’t going to text you “How’s your day?” because he doesn’t care about your day. He cares about your boobs. If he’s texting you just for the sake of talking to you, it means he likes you for more than your boobs or your butt or anything physical. And it doesn’t count as a booty call if he’s been texting you all day.
2. He asks you to hang out with him and his friends.
Meeting a guy’s friends is arguably more important than meeting his parents, according to most guys. If you do meet his friends, think of it like an audition with his friends as the judges. Your fate lies in their hands, because if they hate you, they aren’t afraid to tell him. But if they like you and think you’re cool, they’ll tell him to bring you around more often, thereby increasing the quality and amount of time you spend together. His friends are the key to a meaningful relationship. Don’t mess it up.
3. He asks you to do things during the daytime.
This is a no-brainer. If a guy asks you to hang out during the day, he basically wants to see if you’re normal. He’s probably already seen you naked, drunk, and pissed off, possibly all at the same time, and he still went home with you. Definitely a keeper. But hanging out in the sobering light of day is a whole different ball game, and he’s ready to play, which is a good thing for you.
4. He makes tiny references to the future.
He might not ask, “Hey, what are you doing for the rest of your life? Do you want to hang out, maybe forever?” but asking you to be his date to formal a month in advance sends the same kind of message. He sees you two together in a month, or he wouldn’t have asked you. It could be as simple as making a lunch date for sometime next week, but the point is that his future plans include you. He wouldn’t do that for just a hookup.
5. You can be yourself around him.
There comes a time in every quasi-relationship when you just stop pretending. You stop trying to impress each other and start acting like your normal, weird selves. You don’t pass gas in front of each other or anything crazy like that (yet), but when you stop worrying about what he thinks if you go a few days without shaving or if you stay in bed a little longer instead of sneaking into the bathroom just so you can brush your teeth before he wakes up, you know it’s getting real.
In terms of what it means to be “dating” someone, I don’t have that answer. Truth be told, it depends entirely on the relationship and the only way to be absolutely sure where you’re at with someone is to just ask. Be open, but not too emotional. Drunkenly screaming “Are you fucking someone else?!” is definitely something you shouldn’t do. But casually saying, “Hey, are we exclusive? Because I have this guy asking me out and I don’t know what to say,” sends the message that you have other options, and if he doesn’t take advantage of this opportunity with you, you’ll take it to someone who might. Even if it’s not true, you want to see where you two stand so you don’t miss out on all the other great guys out there. Communicate honestly and you’ll get an answer to the question you’ve been dying to ask. It might not always be the answer you want, but at least then you’ll know it’s time to move on..