1. He responds to your text 12 hours later with a 3-6 word answer. He’ll later reveal that the text lapse was the result of some vague, time-sensitive event. It was in some part of town you’ve probably never heard of.
2. When you try to make plans in advance, he’s never quite sure “how his week’s going to shape up.” He only ever confirms day of – if you agree to hang out on Friday at 9 p.m. it’s because he sent a quick “yeah, definitely come over” text at 8:57 p.m.
3. He’s not as kind to everyone else as he is to you.
4. He has a “big reveal” in his back pocket that he alludes to every time you hang out. Somewhere in that big reveal are the issues (whether they’re familial or drug-related) that are what holds him back from a relationship. He plays it up both as an excuse and as a sign he might need help, and you don’t know which to take it as.
5. 80% of you wants him to tell you all his thoughts and share his secrets. 20% of you thinks the sex won’t be as good if he does.
6. You’re still not quite sure what he does for a living. You can gauge what he makes based on his neighborhood and whether or not he has hardwood floors, but every time he explains his job he’s actually just talking in circles, with a laid back confidence that’s somehow convincing.
7. Your relationship is nocturnal because he “works weird hours.” That’s definitely the only reason.
8. You will chalk the Alabama Shakes that softly plays in the background up to the fact that he’s a “sensitive guy” with “good taste” but even as you try to believe it, you’ll know you’re just being overly optimistic.
9. He takes an interest enough to make you feel like he cares, but not enough to remember that he’s asked you the same question about your siblings, parents, or job 3 times.
10. He won’t make eye contact with you in bed.
11. You feel like you’re never allowed to talk about the shit that’s going on in your life, because his shit always dominates the conversation. His problems are, apparently, much more scarring, twisted or important than everything that’s going on in your life.
12. Just when you think this non-relationship is a lost cause, he will pull out some grand gesture to make you believe he really cares for you. And he probably does. But that doesn’t make him less of an asshole.
13. You can’t figure out what the lingering taste on his lips is, but as he starts to lose his sex appeal because of his flakiness, it becomes increasingly clear that it’s just gross leftover tobacco and Sumatran coffee.
14. He won’t ever directly say no to a relationship. The door’s always a little bit open, leaving you wondering what exactly it would take to tame his sensitive mind enough to commit.
15. For the fact that he puts such a high premium on **authenticity**, it’s entirely possible he’s never said anything to you that actually reflects what he’s thinking.
16. Getting him to commit has become your mission, as opposed to something you actually want.
17. His sex music will finally be revealed as some sort of acoustic Spotify playlist, which he plays exclusively during the 2-12 hours you spend in his apartment. And that’s when you realize you could do so much better.