After what feels like endless years of app dating with no relationship evolving into a serious partnership, you’d think I’d have been on a lot of bad dates. The truth is, over time I’ve developed my own sort of Spidey sense when it comes to men and their digital personas, and I’m proud to say I can spot a guy who is a class-A commitment-phobe a mile away.
I don’t think I’m unique in that way, really. Women are often great judges of character. We’re perceptive and attentive; we listen well and absorb tiny details about people like a sponge. But even the savviest of us can be thrown off by a set of perfect teeth, witty banter, and good physical chemistry! Getting swept up is part of the fun, but if you’re looking for a relationship with staying power, you might want to be on the lookout for these clues that he isn’t interested in anything serious.
01. His dating profile is basically empty.
If a guy’s profile has very few photos and the space for his bio is blank, proceed with caution. These guys are either there to lurk (creepy!) or only looking for a quick fix. Are there exceptions to this rule? Probably. Do you have time for them? No. If you’ve taken the time to create a profile with interesting and varied photos, you’ve included your real name and age, and you wrote a thoughtful or witty blurb about yourself—why would you give a guy who hasn’t at least tried the time of day?
If a guy is on an app to make a sincere effort at finding a relationship, he’ll put some thought into his profile. The photos will be clear, and there will be more than two. His bio might be brief, but it will at least include some vital stats or conversation-inspiring tidbits. That’s just the way it is. Effort is effort, and there’s no excuse not to try—unless you’re not looking for anything serious.
02. He asks what you’re up to at that very moment.
Time-sensitive messages are a dead giveaway that this guy is looking for a meet-up and probably a hookup right away. Like, tonight. In my experience (and that of all my girlfriends), a guy who messages you straight out of the gate inquiring what you’re up to right now is not looking to hear “watching Pride and Prejudice while wrapped in my Snuggie.” He wants to meet up right now and have some fun, and it’s a strong indicator that he’s prob not looking for his forever boo.
03. He always suggests spontaneous get-togethers.
Say you finally managed to meet a cute, available, interesting guy. Perhaps he introduced himself on the subway or you were seated side-by-side on a flight back to your hometown. You’ve gone on a date or two, and things are going well. You like him, and it feels like he likes you, too.
Beware the moment you start to feel like an afterthought, not a priority. If a guy reels you in with a couple good dates, but then seems to only be available when it suits his schedule, and with minimal advanced notice, be wary. Keeping your “hangs” spontaneous keeps him from feeling like what’s happening is anything more than exactly that, hanging out.
This can be tough because even though this guy wants to see you, he’s not putting a lot of thought or effort into it. The guy who’s happy to be around you in the moment but strangely distant, selectively communicative and uninterested in making actual “plans” when you’re apart is not relationship-ready. My best advice? Get him alone, look him right in the eyes and ask him what he’s looking for as soon as you can.
04. He doesn’t ask you any questions of substance.
Does this one feel as obvious to you as it does to me? I hope so. Bonds between people are formed when we take a vested interest in each other’s lives. Basic questions about your job, your apartment, or which restaurants we like are just filler. A guy who is interested in something substantial will make an effort to get under the surface. He’ll ask about your childhood. He’ll ask about your friends. He’ll want to know how you got that scar on your forearm. And if you don’t want to tell him? That’s your cue to move on.
05. A gut feeling tells you so.
Another word for Spidey sense? Intuition. Sometimes you just know when a date or a match feels wrong and you can’t say why. Nine times out of 10, you’ll be right. Some people lament the format of swiping on dating apps because it’s too easy to dismiss a potentially great person based on very little information. While that might be true, don’t let your open mind overpower your gut feeling. If you have that early instinct when you’re looking for matches, I say go ahead and swipe left. There are too many fish in the digital sea to spend time debating the potential of a person you’ve never met who you may or may not match with.
Photo Credit: Erynn Christine Photography