By Ellen Nguyen, Medium
As a young woman who wanted long-lasting love, I struggled to identify a man’s intention with me and ended up falling for guys who wasted my time and hurt my feelings.
Now that I’m happily engaged and have observed many successful marriages as well as failed relationships around me, I could see the real differences between a guy who’s only passing a time with a woman and a guy who’s seriously interested in her.
If you look up on the internet, people will give you many signs such as “he’s consistent”, “he makes effort”, “he’s committed to you”, and so on, which I totally agree with.
But I know, in practice, it’s not always easy to assess a situation and come to a conclusion about someone’s intention with you, especially when they have reasonable excuses for their questioned behaviours and you’re emotionally involved with them.
So I have a piece of advice for you to keep in mind whenever you’re in doubt:
If a guy is seriously interested in you, he won’t risk losing you.
When he does something that might give you the slightest idea that he’s not into you, he will find a way to reinstate his interest. You won’t be left wondering.
Let’s take my male friend Andrew as an example. He changed his priorities and brought on his A-game when he met his now-wife, Susan — it’s because he didn’t want to jeopardise his chance with her. He was ready for a serious relationship, and he wanted to lock her down as soon as he could.
On the other hand, I’m sure, as a woman, you’ve met a guy who is late to a date with you, forgets to call you back, leaves your texts on read, lies to you about his whereabouts, doesn’t want to define the relationship with you, or plans to take a job across the country without discussing it with you.
Chances are your relationship with this guy is subpar at best, or he’s now long gone from your life. There’s a reason for that — he’s neither serious about you nor right for you.
Women scratch their heads wondering why men do what they do. But most of these men are not clueless or stupid. They talk to each other and they learn from movies and books just like you. They know how to conduct themselves on a date or in a relationship.
The truth is they just don’t care.
They know their behaviours won’t lead to a serious relationship with you, but they don’t care.
They care more about their feelings, needs, and ego. And if you see through them and move on, they’ll be fine and it won’t take them long to find someone else to fill your place.
Don’t waste your time asking “Why does he do that?” because you’ll never truly know why — only he does and you’re not him.
What matters is that he already does that and it shows he doesn’t worry about losing you. And it means he does not value you enough.
The real question to ask is “What are you going to do about this new information of him?”
Now, I’m not saying that you should immediately break up with someone the moment they do something you don’t like (well, some of you might want to cut your losses quickly — that’s absolutely fine.)
But you should pay attention and make decisions accordingly — people tell you who they are and how they see you all the time.
From the first moment they come in contact with you, they will try to find out what you are willing to accept. If you accept low effort, you’ll most likely get low effort. If you accept excuses, you’ll get a lot more excuses.
What to do next time
Whenever a date does something that irks you, ask yourself, “Would my future spouse do this?” If you can’t imagine such treatment from your loving future spouse, don’t accept it from a date now. It’ll only get worse.
Keep your standards high. Carry yourself with dignity. And don’t be afraid to walk away.
You deserve someone who treats you like the best thing that has ever happened to them and does right by you.