Keep an eye on when he’s texting you. Unless he works late, even an innocent “how was your day?” after 10:30pm can lead to booty call territory in about a week. Now, if that’s what you’re looking for, go ahead and prosper. You’ve already won.
2. Pet names
They can be very cute but if it’s day one and he’s already rolling out the babes, then take heed. The first day of texting is too soon for him to be calling you anything but your name, unless it’s in jest.
Conversations should be a dialogue, not like Plato’s Republic where one of you is doing most of the talking. So if all you two ever talk about is you and your life, be wary. A guy who doesn’t readily contribute with some details of his life has something to hide. (Either a dead body or a girlfriend.)
4. The bill
There’s some petty contention these days about men buying dinner, drinks, or what have you. Whether or not that’s a required rule for YOU is immaterial. What matters is that we like to impress when we’re courting. If we don’t at least TRY to pay for your meal, your bar tab, or your movie ticket — that’s your freeway off ramp to Booty Call or Just Friends.
5. Daylight Earnings Time
Have you two even seen the light of day together? Gone out in public? A walk to pick up the nearest Chinese takeout doesn’t count. Girl, if all you two do is chill at the crib, you may have already lost. We like to show off. Brag. Kinda hard to do that on the couch while watching Scandal.
6. Eye contact
This should be a given. If he’s not looking at you while you’re talking then you’re just a bookend for his loneliness.
7. Social media
Being friends on facebook sounds tedious but it’s a staple. If not facebook, something. Twitter, Instagram, anything. The last thing you need is to find out he’s one of those people who share “I fucking love science!” photos on facebook. In 2014, not being on his media means you’re not really in his life and he’s poised to drop you without any of those awkward internet age repercussions.
When we flirt, we love to pepper conversations with whimsical promises. “Oh, that reminds me of this great sushi spot, I’ll have to take you some time.” “Man, Eddie is crazy. You’ll see when you meet him.” You get the idea. It’s a very simple gesture that says, “I fully plan on seeing you again and integrating you into my life.”
9. Text ratio
We’ve all sent double texts. There’s nothing wrong really wrong with it, though it can feel a little needy. Is he double texting back, though? Is he at least sending you a matching single text? Some people are just bad texters, granted, but there’s no way you should be sending three separate texts about your day or some anecdote and he replies with just, “lol whoa that’s crazy.”
Have you met Eddie, yet? Anyone? When you arrive are his roommates conveniently gone or, worse, does he usher you into his room with only a cursory introduction? With guys as with ladies, meeting the friends is huge. It means you’ve passed whatever preliminaries and you’re now in the playoffs. He’s decided that you can represent him in a social setting now. Let’s face it, man or woman, your significant other is a reflection of you. It may be a casual night out for drinks, but if things go well, it won’t stay casual for long.
Is he going down on you? Is he eating your pussy with enthusiasm? He doesn’t even have to be good at it, but goddamnit, if he’s going up to bat, that’s romance. Some guys don’t do it and if you’ve found one of those, he might not be worth your time. For the rest of us, our relation with that diamond at the meeting of your thighs (RIP Maya Angelou) rests on the border between intimidation and enthusiasm. We’re excited, but there’s room for error. A guy opening himself up to that just to try to make you happy is par for the course.
It’s a fast-paced world, of course, but everyone knows that if you like someone you make time. Texts take about two seconds. I’m not about to say you should have a constant conversation for several sunlit days, only that maintaining a line of communication should be natural and not forced. “Hey, today was hectic. Hope you’re having a good one.” See? I typed that in no time. Doesn’t have to come everyday, but multiple days without a passing exchange is troublesome. Face-to-face time really depends on everyone’s schedule. He really might be busy. You’re probably busy, too. That’s all well and good. But, “Can’t today, I’m busy,” with no follow-up might be a red flag. “Can’t today, but are you free Thursday?” If he wants to see you, it’s a fluid dialogue. Finding the time can be frustrating but the effort is everything. Be wary of “I’m only free after 9pm forever” lines, too. That tends to mean “drinks and fuck.”
13. The ex
On a moonlit stroll after dinner, hand in hand, he says, “Oh, hey, my ex used to work here.” Brush it off. He might just be tactless. “My ex and I saw it when it came out.” Well? maybe he — “My ex loved that book.” Bail. That’s a red alert. If he can’t stop bringing up his ex in passing conversation, that means she’s still on his mind. Even saying “my ex” when the situation doesn’t call for it is an issue. Why is that his default identifier? Constantly referencing an ex is an indicator that he might not be over it, of course. The thing about this is that it doesn’t necessarily mean he’s not into you. You’re fantastic and he knows it but severing the emotional sinew of past relationships isn’t easy. It’s a delicate game to play and more often than not, you lose.