You've been seeing this guy at least once a week for a few months now. You're both sushi aficionados, his big brown eyes make you melt, and he even laughs out loud at The Mindy Project.
It's great—except that you have no idea where things stand. He has yet to introduce you as his girlfriend or bring up being exclusive, and you're craving that "couple" title and the security that comes with it.
Talk about blurred lines. However you can use these tips to subtly up the chances that he'll want to turn casual dating into something more. Make Sure You Want This Thinkstock You think you desire something serious with this particular guy—but before you do anything else, be sure.
Step back and ask yourself the following questions, Trespicio suggests: Do I have fun with him? Is my mood elevated when I'm with him? Do I feel good about myself after we part ways? Does he improve my life? Do I feel respected? One thing to look out for: If he's acting extremely jealous or policing your every move, you need to really reevaluate things.
And never tell yourself, "He's a nice guy and has done nothing wrong, so I guess I should be with him. Be in a relationship where you feel good when you're without him, but you feel even better with him. Avoid the "Talk" Thinkstock It seems counterintuitive, but experts' No.
Does he try to see you whenever he's free? Does he seem genuinely interested in what you have to say? Does he have as much fun on dates as you do? These are likely signs he's in it for real, so enjoy being with him and relax about making things "official.
If it's been about six months and he hasn't dropped one hint about where he sees this going, casually speak up, says Jennifer Kelman , a licensed social worker and relationship expert at Pearl. For example, if you'd like him to meet your parents, ask if he'd be up for going out to dinner with them, but let him know there's no harm if he's not quite ready for that yet. Above all, keep the tone light and maintain open lines of communication.
If you feel confident at this point that you want things to be serious, go ahead and tell him, Trespicio says. But if he still doesn't respond when you bring it up again, it may be time to rethink the relationship. Let Your Selfless Side Shine Thinkstock Spending Saturday morning in the soup kitchen or helping an elderly person carry his groceries may be all it takes to have him calling you girlfriend.
In a recent British study, people rated potential sexual partners to be more attractive for a long-term relationship if they had altruistic qualities. No need to sign up at the homeless shelter only to impress him. Little things in your everyday life, from buying coffee for the woman in line behind you to walking your neighbor's dog, count too.
Make an effort to do these things on a regular basis, but also make sure you're showing your selfless side when you're with him. When you're a kind and gracious person, men and women are more likely to want to be around you—both consciously and subconsciously. Unplug to Connect Thinkstock Think beyond dinner and after-drinks for your next date. Restaurants can be nice, but try something a little outside your comfort zone from time to time.
Check out a craft beer festival, see a local band at some hole-in-the-wall, or challenge him to a mountain bike race. A new adventure can fortify your relationship since it gives you shared memories to reminiscence about later, and that stronger bond will increase the likelihood he'll want to keep seeing you, exclusively.
As a bonus, the dates he comes up with will give you some insight into how he feels. Create a Little Mystery Thinkstock Even if you're anxiously awaiting his call, you shouldn't be available every time he wants to see you. Wait a few minutes to text back, or if he asks if you're free Tuesday, say that you have other plans but you'd love to meet up on Wednesday.
This helps him to realize that your time is valuable and that he'll have to go out of his way to see you. Just remember, no one likes playing games. Maintain Your Autonomy—and His Too Thinkstock It's easy to let parts of yourself go when you meet someone you think is the man of your dreams.
If you'd rather go to the GYN than watch football, don't pretend to love the Steelers just because the guy you're seeing is a fan. Instead have your own interests to show him how exciting your life is, with or without him.
Keep up your long runs on the weekends even if he wants to hang out, and don't expect or nag him to skip his weekly basketball games in favor of seeing you. The more he sees that you have a fantastic life of your own, the more likely he'll want to jump in and be a part of it. Show You Care Thinkstock There's a fine line between playing a little hard to get and acting totally indifferent. When you're out to dinner, make sure not to constantly check your phone or dart your eyes around the room.
It's dating , but show you're interested in what he has to say and ask about his life. If not, you may be dealing with a narcissist—run!