If you're here, it probably means that you've been seeing your guy for long enough that he should be ready to commit to get a little more serious about your relationship, but you can't tell how he feels. Why are so guys so hard to read, and bad at communicating? It is a mystery! But SoNaughty.com is here to help you tell if your guy is ready to settle down.
We'll dig a little deeper into the situation, but in our experience, if you're dating someone and are ready to move onto the next level, but can't tell if they are; it's usually a bad sign. Also, in a healthy relationship, one should be able to have a conversation with their partner about feelings, and whether or not they see a future in the together. If this conversation seems too difficult to have, it might be a good indicator that your relationship isn't at the point where you want it to be just yet.
That's not for sure though. But just as a starting point, try asking your guy if he's ready to settle down. You should hopefully get a straightforward answer from him and know where you stand right away, but if his answer is a little evasive, he leaves you no choice but to be a little sneaky in order to get a straight answer to your very simple question. So if the direct route isn't working, here are some ways to get a better idea of where your relationship is at, and how your guy feels about you.
A great indicator for how a relationship is going, is the amount of quality time that you spend together as a couple. How often do you spend time together on weekends? Do you have a lot of sleepovers throughout the week? If you want to know if your partner is ready to settle down, we must assume that that means that you're really happy together, and that the relationship still has some spark to it.
Think about the things that the two of you do together as a couple, and then consider how you would feel if you were doing half of those things by yourself. Would you enjoy the activities significantly less? Maybe one or two of the things, you might enjoy more! Now consider how you think your boyfriend would feel if he did half of those things by himself, instead of together with you. Do you think he would be upset by it? Would he miss the times that you brush your teeth together in the morning, or would he get along just fine if he brushed his teeth by himself every morning, without any of the jokes or physical contact that you start your day with?
Do you wish that you did more things together? Do you think that your guy wishes that you did more things together too? If you do, think about why you aren't doing more things together then. What's the roadblock? Is this a potential roadblock for your relationship as well, or is it simply a speed bump.
Often a great way to know how well your relationship is going, is by looking at how well you get along with your partner's parents. Now this isn't always an accurate way to gauge relationship success, but if his parents like you, that's a very good sign. If when you go to his parents' home for holidays, does your boyfriend seem to act any differently than he does when you're alone at one of your apartments? If you sense no difference, that tells you that he is very comfortable with you, and enjoys spending time with both you and his parents at the same time. That is a very good sign that your relationship is strong, and probably ready to go onto the next level. If he acts differently around his parents though, that's a bit of a red flag, that you should perhaps take to mean that you aren't quite at the spot that you thought you were.
Of course if your guy has a strained relationship with his parents, that's a different story. But if after an awkward Thanksgiving dinner, the two of you aren't able to joke about the tension of it all on the way home, you still have some work to do. There are walls up that if you're plan is to settle down with this guy, need to be torn down first.
How often do you you spend time with your boyfriend's friends? Do you feel like you're a part of his circle of friends, or do you feel like you're still a bit of an outsider? Ask the same thing about your boyfriend's relationship with your friends. You probably have a pretty good sense of how your friends feel about him by now, and hopefully you get the vibe from his friends that they like you too. Have your circle of friends and his circle of friends hung out together? Of course not all relationships are quick to integrate their friends, but it's always a lot healthier for a couple if they're able to take their partners to parties, and for them to get along well together. If not, there's a strange divide that needs to be examined. Perhaps you worry that your friends don't like him. Perhaps you feel like his friends don't like you. And maybe you just want to keep him all to yourself, and don't want to even risk the chance of your friends not liking him, because that would make dating him even more of a challenge.
If your friends love him, and his friends love you, then this is a great thing! If you have both the comfort and approval of his parents AND his friends, we'd say that he's seeming more and more like he might be ready to settle down by the minute. It's very important for the sustainability of a relationship, that your partner actively likes and wants to spend time with at least some of your friends.
When you first started dating, we assume that your guy tried his hardest to impress you, and to make sure you always had the best time when you went out. Sure, that was partially just because he was trying to hook up, but it was also representative of how much he liked you, and how much you being happy was. When you go out on dates now, do you still feel that he's putting in as much effort as he used to? If he isn't, it's not the end of the world. It could just mean that he's grown a little complacent in your relationship.
While usually, it's not good to be complacent about a romantic relationship, it would certainly seem to be a plus (at least temporarily) for someone looking to get their partner to settle down with them because it means that you'll be spending a lot more time together at home, which is a large part of what it looks like when your guy is ready to settle down. So enjoy the time, and perhaps at some point, mention how much you like spending whole weekends together. How it feels so natural; and see how your partner reacts. If positively, you can investigate further.
The quality of sex in a strong relationship tends to go up over time. That's not to say that if things haven't been as hot and heavy as usual, that it means your guy isn't ready to settle down. This is just another thing to take a closer look at. The more information you have, the better you'll be equipped to make a rational and well-informed decision on whether or not you should bring up the idea of settling down. We want to make sure that you don't over think things when it comes to matters of the bedroom though. It can be a serious issue in some couples, when insecurities or doubt in one part of your relationship begins to trickle into other parts. If you begin to analyze your partner's performance, and connect it to his commitment to you, you can find yourself inside your head in a way that will then confuse your guy and worry him that you aren't that into him, and inadvertently tamper with the very evidence that you were looking for.
If the sex is still good though, that's a great sign of interest. Many people find themselves in relationships only for the sex, and when that's the only thing keeping you together, while it can still be satisfying, you can tell when there's more emotional content to your partner's lovemaking. If he's paying attention and making adjustments based on your reactions, then you can be sure that he's not just there to take care of himself and then leave to go play video games with his friends online.
Now this part is key! How much closet or drawer space do you have at your man's home? At the point where you're ready to settle down, you should have AT LEAST three outfits, and an extra pair of shoes there at all times. You need to be ready to go to a party that you were invited to last minute, without having to go home if you're spending the weekend with him. If he's even cleared off a spot in his bathroom for you to keep your beauty supplies, this is a good sign that he loves it when you spend more time together. That he doesn't want you having to go home after spending the night because you don't have everything that you need in his bathroom.
If you haven't yet offered to clear out a drawer in your dresser for him to keep some of his things at your place, this is also a great way to let him know that you've been thinking about maybe moving onto the next step of your relationship, and settling down together. This gives a tangible example of what living together and sharing space might look like, and the message will be clear. It won't be super obvious, but it's a very good way to get the wheels in his head turning a bit, and thinking about whether or not it's time for him to step up and propose to you, what you've been wanting to propose to him.
Trust us when we say "We KNOW" that giving up your limited space for your clothes can be difficult, but we also know that it's at least doubly as hard when you wind up living with a partner. If you're not ready to give him at least half a drawer to keep his underwear, some socks, and a couple t-shirts, we wonder if you're actually ready to settle down.
Settling down isn't something to be taken lightly of course, but it is something that if your relationship is at a point where you're considering it, you should be able to talk about it openly. All healthy relationships are built on trust, and trust comes with communication, and knowing that your partner is there to talk about whatever, whenever you need them to be. Just because you're thinking about settling down, certainly doesn't mean that your partner is too, but it should at least mean that this person that you've been dating for a while, is someone you trust and can talk to about important things like... your relationship.
If you ask your guy, and he says that he's not quite ready, that's a bummer, but it's not the end of the world. You've opened up the conversation, and now he knows that it's something that you're thinking about. He'll likely tell you that just because he's not ready to settle down yet, doesn't mean that he won't be at some point. Or maybe he'll tell you that he's not the settling down type. We all know that that's just something that emotionally stunted individuals say when they're not willing to put in the work that a relationship requires, and that's not someone that you want to be involved with for any extended period of time anyway. So if asking blows up in your face like that, please take our word for it, and consider yourself lucky. You now know that this guy that you were beginning to imagine a future with, isn't worth your time.
One last thing to keep in mind, is that almost everyone is afraid of rejection. So much so sometimes that we over think things and keep ourselves from doing things that an outsider would say are obviously going to work out great for us, but that small bit of doubt somehow becomes the more visible and powerful thing that we listen to. Do your best to not trust that negative voice in your head, and listen to your heart and logic. Just ask your partner if he's ready to settle down, and enjoy either a moment of great happiness, or a difficult moment of clarity.