In the complicated nature of the dating world, it’s hard to tell a prospective partner’s true intentions. If you date to begin a serious relationship, it can be frustrating to meet others who are only interested in flings and no-strings-attached arrangements instead of true love.

Many people have learned how to behave to give off the appearance of someone who wants a commitment, only to turn around and ghost you once they get what they want. This article is for you if you’ve struggled to determine if a man is genuinely interested in commitment. Here are seven things men do when they want a serious relationship.

Editorial note: We acknowledge that both men and women might desire a new love relationship. This article expressly addresses some typical male behaviors.  You can find the behaviors of a woman who seeks a serious relationship in a separate article.

1 – They Put You First When They Want A Serious Relationship

As cliche as it is, a man putting you first in his life is probably the clearest sign that he desires a serious relationship. This desire signifies a deeper, more meaningful sort of affection known as compassionate love. Research shows that these selfless acts, no matter how small, are a sign of high levels of romantic feelings.

Compassionate love doesn’t just involve huge gestures and grand sacrifices. Realistically, these aren’t the kinds of things to expect out of a man who you’re not in a serious relationship with, anyway. Besides, how often do genuine opportunities for such gestures arise? So instead of seeking big signs of self-sacrifice, look for signs of compassionate love. These may include a man:

  • Letting you choose the places you go, the spots where you eat, or the activities for your dates
  • Offering to run to the store for something you need, or even something you want, like a bag of chips or a soda
  • Supporting you when you need a listening ear or someone to cheer you on
  • Set aside time to talk to you, spend time with you, or go on dates. He pushes you up his priority list so he can balance you with his other top priorities in his life

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2 – Men Who Want A Serious Relationship Will Respect You And Your Boundaries

Someone’s respect for your boundaries is non-negotiable, and it’s a bare minimum behavior for anyone to respect them. Genuine interest in someone can make you overly lenient when forgiving a few small oversteps. You may interpret a man’s pushiness as eagerness or as a sign of falling in love.

In reality, a man who wants a serious relationship with you will be careful about how he interacts with you. He will not want to do anything that could risk turning you off of him. Instead, he’ll play it safe and always respect you, your boundaries, and your communication. So don’t fall into the trap of thinking a mild infringement of your limits signals a man in love!

3 – They Are Protective Over You

When a man has no interest in a serious relationship, he’s unlikely to care much about you. He may ask how you’re doing once in a while. However, he doesn’t feel the desire to protect you or keep you out of harm’s way. 

Though the concept is a little outdated, many men want to feel like a hero to the people they care about most. This is especially true for romantic partners, studies show. So if a man has grown protective, it’s a good sign of falling in love. You may not need a hero in your life. But that doesn’t mean he won’t play the part when you let him!

Take note, of course, that protectiveness should never be confused with control. It’s reasonable for someone to want what’s best for you, but not to the point where they act like they have authority over you or your life. A man’s loving protectiveness must not include any of the following behaviors:

  • Attempts to stop you from doing things you enjoy
  • Attempts to isolate you from your friends or family under the guise of them not being “good” for you
  • Overly jealous attitudes to the point where you feel guilty about having any men as friends or interacting with any man for any reason

4 – Men Who Desire A Serious Relationship Invest In You

When discussing investments here, we’re not necessarily saying financial investments. People of all genders make different kinds of investments in their relationships, ranging from investments in time to investments in effort. These investments can and often do involve money, but that’s not the heart of what they are. 

This is a well-known enough phenomenon that research has a term for it–the investment model of relationships. This model is a predictor of the level of commitment that someone has to a partnership. 

People who are fully satisfied with their prospective partner often consider themselves “invested” in the relationship already. However, they manually invest in that partnership because they have mentally committed. This investment shows in numerous ways, including:

  • Deleting dating apps and no longer looking into dating other people, as he doesn’t think there’s anyone else more suited for him out there and isn’t worried about missing out on someone better
  • Going out on regular dates where he spends money on you or your time together, whether he foots the whole bill or you both split it
  • Doing time-consuming things to express his admiration for you, such as writing letters, planning more complex dates, or making gifts for you by hand
  • Spending his free time on you, whether to go out with you, call you, or hang out, primarily when this time spent does not involve physical intimacy
  • Helping you run errands or tick things off your to-do list, typically without seriously considering them favors that you need to repay

A man who doesn’t want a serious relationship will not bother investing in you. However, if he’s genuinely interested, you’ll have noticed him investing because he thinks you’re worth those investments and can see you both going the distance.

Note that a man’s exact investment method in you may differ depending on his love language. For example, a man who expresses his love through words may write you a love letter, while a man who expresses love through acts of service may complete a task for you. Therefore, try to get to know a man’s love language before concluding his investment!


5 – They Make Future Plans With You

When men want a serious relationship, they think about the future. This doesn’t necessarily mean fantasizing about being married to you – though some men certainly do this! Instead, it means including you in their future plans. This may mean that a man:

  • Plans a date with you for an important event month into the future
  • Talks about his goals and dreams, listens to yours and talks about making them work together
  • Always speaks about upcoming plans as if you will be present with him during them
  • Discusses the things he wants in his life long-term, such as thoughts on cohabitation, marriage, and having pets or children
  • Uses the word “we” a lot when talking about both present and future events

Planning for the future is one of the most evident signs that a man desires something serious. He’s already discussing things involving long-term commitment, not in a pressuring way, but reassuring way.

6 – They Try To Make A Good Impression On The People In Your Life

Meeting friends and family members is usually reserved for those wanting a serious relationship. Most men will refuse to meet the people in your life if they’re not interested. If the man you’ve been seeing does agree to meet your family and friends, how do you know if he’s serious or just going along with it?

The most significant sign to look out for is how this man interacts with the abovementioned people. If he wants a serious relationship, he’ll do his best to get in the good graces of those you care about because he hopes to become one of the people who’s with you long-term. As such, he expects that he’ll see these people regularly and that getting in their good books will ensure they approve of him.

Men who want a serious relationship are often eager to meet the people closest to you. Of course, this doesn’t mean they won’t be anxious or unsure – everyone can get nervous under these circumstances! But it does mean his desire to meet them will be strong enough to make him happy.

7 – Men Who Crave A Serious Relationship Work On Themselves And Your Relationship

Self-improvement is one of the hardest things to stay motivated to do. While no one should change themselves solely for a relationship, many individuals draw drive and motivation to push themselves to be better people. For example, a man who wants a serious relationship will want to be the best possible version of himself around you. So when he feels ready to be a part of your life, he will put his best foot forward.

This goes double for men you’re already in a tentative relationship with that has flaws and struggles. Men who desire a serious relationship with you will put aside their pride to do their part to improve the relationship. This will include:

  • Listening closely to you when you talk about issues and concerns
  • Validating your concerns
  • Maintaining an open discussion and conversation about problems in the relationship
  • Learning to manage conflict and his emotions and reactions to it
  • Communicating with you clearly about issues and concerns that he has about the relationship

This isn’t to say that men will know the perfect way to react and behave to every hurdle you both face. That would be unrealistic! Even the most in-love man will make mistakes and have trouble working on some aspects of himself. But,  a man truly wants to be with you will do his best to do the necessary work to ensure a happy, healthy relationship.

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Final Thoughts On Some Things Men Do For A Serious Relationship

Men who want a serious relationship with you will not play games. You’ll be able to see their interest in commitment through their actions and their prioritization of you. If you’re in doubt, start a conversation with the man in your life to see if you’re both on the same page. Be aware of the signs to look for to ensure that he’s here to stay!