Times have changed. The days of Rhett Butler telling Scarlett O’Hara he didn’t give a damn are long gone. That’s a shame in some ways. At least it made dating simple. Nowadays, guys try to be considerate in an attempt to not hurt your feelings. His miscues make it hard to know whether he’s really into you, just wants to be friends or would love for you to switch phone plans. While words might not be his strong point, his actions are. Keep an eye out for these kinds of behavior.
- He actively takes an interest in you and what you have to say. He’s not just nodding and smiling and checking his watch every five minutes like you’re trying to sell him life insurance. There’s eye contact. He’s actively listening. He’s asking questions, relating things you say to his own experiences. If he’s really good, he’ll remember something you said and incorporate it in a future date.
- He’s forthcoming. He wants you to know about him. This manifests itself in a bunch of ways. He’ll share personal details about himself. He’ll even be eager to cough up basic factoids such as phone numbers, his address and place of work. If he isn’t giving up this kind of info, then he doesn’t want you tracking him down — or he’s Batman or Superman. So if he doesn’t live at Wayne Manor or the Fortress of Solitude, give it up.
- He’ll mark his territory. He won’t pee on you or anything per se, but he will exhibit some animal behavior. If he’s decided he wants you as his female, he won’t want to lose you. If there’s any chance that you might be snapped up by another male, he’ll stake his claim. He’ll be tactile with you, slipping an arm around you, possibly posturing and standing up when another guy walks onto the scene. Watch out for some regression to a more primitive man. If you hear grunting, don’t panic. It’s his way of saying he likes you.
- He calls you back. Despite the stereotype, he will call you back. If you’re a girl in demand, he won’t want you to be the one that got away, so he’ll call you to set up the next date or ask how you’re doing. If you’re getting calls for no reason, that’s a good thing. However, you may want to invest in a good phone plan.
- He’ll check you out. You’ll bring out his spy skills in a good way. He’ll talk to your friends to get the 411 on you. He wants to know more about you — your past, your present, your likes and dislikes, water hazards, etc. He’s doing his homework because he wants to impress you. He’s gathering this intelligence so he knows how best to woo you.
- He’s flirtatious. Guys get playful around women they like. It’s a little dance he’s doing around you to show his interest and his daring. However, he’s not just being flirty, he’s also probing. He’s putting on a little show for you to see if you’ll reciprocate. The more you play, the more he stays. Now shake that tail feather.
- He’s always planning ahead. If he digs you, he won’t want you getting away from him. To make sure you aren’t prey to some other guy, he’ll be making plans for the next date before the current one is over. A full calendar is a good sign.
Next: more signs he likes you and classic dating mistakes
- He’s attentive. He’s been listening to you, and knows what you like and where you like to go. He treats you to your favorite things and places. He’ll spring surprises.
- He’ll blow off his buddies to be with you. It’s always tricky managing existing commitments with burgeoning relationships. There are bound to be conflicts of interest at the some point. So take it as a good sign when he’ll ditch going out with the boys to see you instead.
- Acts of selflessness. He’ll take one for the team of you and him. These can be large or small acts. They can be as small as holding your hair back for when you’ve got stomach flu, or as large as suffering through a Celine Dion concert and pretend he’s enjoying it because you’re a fan. Now that’s the power of love.
Okay, he’s doing his part, but what about you? You’ve got him wrapped around your little finger, but don’t get cocky. You can lose him in the blink of an eye with a few classic screw-ups.
- Insincerity. I understand that we all want to impress a potential new partner. It’s in our DNA. Only the fittest survive and only the most interesting get dates. So make yourself interesting, but please don’t pretend to be someone you’re not. Don’t say you were a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader if you weren’t. Don’t tell him you’re a party girl when you’re a bookworm. This is a double whammy. First, he’ll be PO’d because he believed your character enhancements. Second, you’re not the person he’s looking for. If he wants the party girl and you’re a bookworm, how long do you think that’s going to last? Keep it real, ladies.
- You get jealous for no reason. Okay, your previous guy cheated on you. That’s a shame, but not all guys are wired the same. So, if your current guy hasn’t done anything wrong, then give him the benefit of the doubt. Not even the Dalai Lama is going to put up with being accused of cheating or having you check up on him every five minutes.
- The Princess Complex. You’ve got a nice little thing going on with him, but suddenly it’s all about you and not about the two of you. Who died and made you queen?
- Letting yourself go. You were a dynamite package when you two starting dating, but the backless cocktail dresses and Jimmy Choos have been replaced by moo-moos and flip-flops. Just because you’ve hooked your dream guy doesn’t mean you can take your foot off the gas. If you don’t care about your appearance, don’t expect him to.
- Taking it too fast. It’s easy to get carried away with that guy in your life. You want to be with him every minute of the day, you think you should move in together and a summer wedding would be wonderful. That’s all super — as long as he’s just as keen. If he sees you streaking ahead of him, he’ll be making a U-turn, so watch your speed, Danica.