How to Tell What a Guy Wants From You

Do you find yourself in a constant state of confusion about what a guy is thinking or feeling? Does he say one thing and then do another, leaving you baffled and frustrated?

To help you figure out what a guy wants from you, we asked relationship and dating experts to share their insights.

Chris Pleines

Chris Pleines

Dating Expert, Datingscout.com

He’s going out of his way to send hints

You can tell what a guy wants from you simply by paying attention to his actions and words. Does he want to get married? Take notice of what he’s doing and words – has he been watching wedding videos on YouTube? Does he glance at the jewelry store whenever you pass by one? Or maybe he wants a baby – does he show you photos of babies he finds from his social media news feed?

Some guys may not explicitly say what they want from you, but their actions do. Just try and pay more attention.

Notice how much he goes out of his way to stay in touch or talk to you

You can easily tell what a guy wants from you if you pay attention to how often he stays in contact with you. Do you talk to each other often? If yes, how often? Does he go out of his normal routine just so he can call, text, or see you? Is he consistent?

These are the clear signs you can interpret to see if he wants to be causal friends or wants something deeper. If he makes it a point to keep in touch and you know he doesn’t do this on the usual basis, there is a lot more to unpack there.

Greg Flemming

Founder and Author, MintDate.com

Pay attention to the signs

People may not always tell you who they are or what they want but they are always showing it. Pay attention! Observe how he speaks about himself, what he thinks of you? What do the conversations always circle around and how he plans his meetings with you.

Even if his signs are way too contradictory for you to gauge anything, you will still be able to know that he is confused about his feelings. Sometimes, that is all you’ll get, and the rest you will have to uncover through a conversation with him.

No matter how direct or discreet he is, his actions will always tell you more about him and what he really wants.

He finds ways to be with you

A guy who is interested in you is likely to find avenues of being around you. So if he is interested you will find him making plans. A guy who is interested in you is likely to accompany you even with things that may not really interest them.

So if he is tagging along with you to an art exhibition or to a romantic movie it’s because for him hanging out with you is more important than the actual activity. Doing things you want to do will also fetch the guy brownie points so that is an added bonus!

A guy who wants something superficial or casual may not be keen on putting too much effort into meeting you. So if all meetings are circling back to your house or his, you may not be wrong to assume that the guy is not too keen on a relationship with you.

A nice way to tell if a guy is keen on being with you is if they introduce you to their friends and family. Guys can be very private. So if he is taking the effort of introducing you to his friends and family. It’s likely he is keen on having a serious relationship and sharing all aspects of his life with you.

Nancy Moonstarr, Ph.D.

Nancy Moonstarr

Psychologist, A Man’s Guide to Intimacy

When he eye gazes at you for more than a second, it’s because he likes what he sees and is adjusting his energy to yours. Breath, put your phone away, and look him in the eye, then wink or smile. You’ll make his day not only because you are pleasing to the eye of the beholder Men are strongly visual and won’t date a woman that is not sexually attractive to him.

If he shows you photos or videos of his stuff and talents, it’s because he believes you are worth knowing who and what he’s all about. He is inviting you to acknowledge something he does or the way he thinks. Men are doers and they wish their smarts to be regarded uniquely. He is not showing off.

Each time he picks out the restaurant, park, or spot to meet it is because he hopes you will enjoy it as much as he. Men are wired and want to please who they cherish. Do not take this as a control gesture.

While texting using few words to answer your question, it’s because men are typically not as verbally oriented as many think. He is geared towards solving what you asked him. If he takes a while to respond it can reflect his unsureness around the topic.

Don’t be offended and do ask him more about the text if it is unclear. If he fails to respond within a day or does not answer your query specifically, probe a second time if you choose. If you are still dissatisfied then “next” him and find another guy—because that’s his indirect want for you.

Natalie Maximets

Natalie Maximets

Certified Life Transformation Coach & Writer, Online Divorce

All people are different and so are the relationships. Someone immediately demonstrates their true intentions while someone behaves mysteriously, leaving more questions than answers.

Assess why and when does he communicate with you

Let’s try to understand the basic patterns of behavior. Suppose, you hang out with a guy and even go on dates from time to time. But he rarely initiates conversation with you or answers you reluctantly. This indicates that he is not very interested in your relationship.

A logical question arises: why does he then continue to communicate? The answers may vary depending on your peculiarities. Do you have sex together? If he does not show initiative in general, but at the same time does not mind spending the night with you, this shows that he is only satisfying his physical needs.

It is unlikely that this relationship will grow into something big.

If you have not yet had physical contact and he does not take the initiative in your overall, then this suggests that he is not interested in having a relationship with you. If a man still takes the initiative, but writes to you at the last minute and insists on meeting at home, this is also a signal that he is not ready for a serious relationship with you.

You may have a boyfriend, but when you ask him for help or advice, he is too busy, he has a lot of work, or his mom is sick. This behavior indicates that you are not a priority for him. And most likely, he is smoothly looking for a better option in his opinion.

Please note that someone who is interested in you, who wants to get to know you better, will always be happy to give you time, this can be a nice date, a message during work, or help if your car breaks down.

Christine Mak

Christine Mak

Lifestyle Coach and Mindfulness Teacher, Soul Paradiso

Before you try to figure out what a guy wants from you, make sure you have a clear understanding of what your boundaries, standards, and values are, then be firm about them.

Most people have an idea of what they personally want, but then can be loose about certain things because they’re unsure if their standards are too high since they haven’t met anyone who meets all of them yet.

Once you are clear about these things, ask yourself if he respects what you will and will not tolerate, if he meets your expectations of an ideal partner, and if you share the same beliefs.

Knowing what you stand for helps eliminate the unnecessary guesswork on the wrong guy.

Also, knowing what you want and being clear about it helps give the right guy an idea if you share the same goals. If a good guy isn’t clear about what you want, he may come off unsure because he’s getting mixed messages from you, even though you both may want the same things.

Look into how he courts you

This should give you an idea of what his intentions are with you and an idea of what he wants.

  • Does he treat your connection like a partnership, considering both his & your interests and needs?
  • Is he reliable with his words by doing what he’ll say he’ll do?
  • Is he consistent about making time for you in his life by communicating with you or seeing you?
  • Is he invested in getting to know who you are and is he supportive of the things that matter to you?
  • Are you able to have difficult conversations that require you both to be vulnerable with your emotions?
  • Does he take accountability for himself, making sure you are both always on good terms?
  • Does he allow the connection to evolve at a natural pace, especially at a speed you’re comfortable with?

This is not a comprehensive list, but if you answered yes to most of these questions, the guy you’re seeing is most likely dating you with sincerity. The opposite guy who is self-serving, wishy-washy, blows hot & cold, disinterested in learning the deeper aspects of you, emotionally unavailable, irresponsible, or pushy about his needs in any way is most likely a guy who is just looking for a good time, while he figures out what he wants in life.

He tells you

The most obvious way to be able to tell what a guy wants from you is that he tells you! The guy in question should be emotionally available to communicate what he wants or at least talk about his relationship goals in general.

A guy who is looking for a serious commitment will not squirm if the subject is brought up or will bring it up himself because he is sure about what he wants in life. A guy who is unsure about what he wants will get really uncomfortable about the subject or not know how to address his uncertainties.

Use your discernment most importantly though if he indulges in any of the future talks too because some like to sell the dream but never plan on making it a reality.

Alex Perkins

Alex Perkins

Co-Founder, All the Stuff

A guy’s motivation can oftentimes be really easy to read, you just have to know where to look. Here’s some advice:

Monitor your conversations

See how he reacts to the things you want to share, both good and bad. Look at how he responds when you tell him about your day, your moods, or even problems. If he’s serious, he’ll listen. He’ll want to impress you and be consistent at it with no strings attached.

If he’s out of reach or certain conversations quickly lean towards the “physical” then his motives are clear.

Keep out for subtle signs that show he’s into you

Is he curious to know more about you? Does he show genuine interest in what you say? Does he keep the conversations going? Or is he nervous around you? All these signs can mean that he’s interested in you as a person and what’s to be closer to you.

If a guy wants to take it to the next level, he’ll show you

He’ll be looking to get in touch with you more often. He’ll remember things from past conversations and be more open to you. If the things that matter to you suddenly matter to him, this is a great sign that he really wants you to be his significant other.

Sylvia Silverstone

Sylvia Silverstone

Dating and Relationship Coach, Womenio

Check their reaction to commitment-related discussions

You can understand what a guy wants from you through their reaction to commitment-related discussions. A guy who fears commitment and still tries to spend more and more time with you despite you already clearly stating what you want is definitely a playboy trying their luck with a fling.

Someone trying to skip an emotional connection could also be a pleasure seeker trying to pivot directly towards a physical bond.

Such people are only looking for an ego boost and someone to text when they are bored. Using commitment as your guard, and being honest and clear about your wants you can steer clear of such guys.

Read between the lines

Another best way to know what a guy wants from you is to focus on what your conversation revolves around. If he isn’t indulging in deep and intimate discussions with you, then he’s probably just looking for a casual relationship and nothing more than that.

A guy who doesn’t talk to you about your dreams and goals, and family and friends doesn’t seek to know you well.

A guy who is actually interested in you would want to know more about you on a deeper level. When he opens up to you and wants you to open up to him as well, or introduces you to his friends and family, know that he is serious about you. All these factors will help you know what the guy wants from you, so focus on these pointers.

Caroline Lee

Caroline Lee

Marketing Director, CocoSign

Men are strange creatures and sometimes it’s hard to know what they want. Here are some points to help you out and tell what a guy wants to form you:

Has he introduced you to his family and colleagues?

If he takes you around the people most familiar to him, he probably wants a relationship with you. The only reason he’s mixing you into his world is that he wants to know if you fit in with his environment.

When does he call or message you?

Does he message you as soon as he wakes up? That’s a sign he is thinking of you first. Has he left you on reading many times? That may indicate you aren’t a preference to him.

How’s the conversation when you are together?

Do you talk about deep things or is it all small talk? Has he told you about his family and cleared up to you about his goals and dreams?

Has he told you what he wants?

If he’s told you he’s just looking for a temporary connection or a friends with benefits situation. Don’t try and continue for more or hope he’ll change his intention.

Is he in his life to be in a relationship?

If he just got out of a long-term relationship, he might still be mourning or have feelings for his ex. These factors will influence what he wants out of the time he spends with you.

Niyla Carson

Niyla Carson

Nutritionist, Fast Food Menu Prices

I’ve asked the question “What does this guy want from me?”. In my limited experience in dating, I’ve noticed a few things that usually answer the above question for me.

When I first start casually going out with someone I just ask, “What are you expecting from this?” If they answer the question head-on – great! But if they don’t, I think the best approach is to just wait it out for a couple of weeks while you focus on your own life.

Oftentimes, people’s behavior and actions speak loud enough of their intentions.

If the person you’re inquiring about only texts you at odd hours of the night they’re probably just looking for a hookup and more importantly – for some reason they feel uncomfortable speaking to you in the daylight.

Another thing to look into might be is do you inconvenience yourself to be with that person and if so, how often?

Every relationship be it friends, family or intimate sometimes needs compromise. That being said, if you notice that you’re predominantly the person who rearranges their schedule, pushes aside friends and family, and has to take unnecessary trips to be with the other person you might want to take a step back.

Overall, anyone you meet will communicate what they want verbally or not, but if you need to ask “What that guy wants from me?” you’re probably giving more than they’re willing to reciprocate.