So you’ve been hanging out with this guy for weeks, or maybe even months. It started as a casual hookup, but over time you’ve developed feelings for him. Now you’re ready to move forward to a committed, exclusive relationship, but you’re not sure where he stands on the situation because you’ve never really talked about it.
In a culture where relationship lines are blurred and more people are hooking up than settling down, taking the leap from casual to commitment can be tricky.
While it can be tough to figure what he’s thinking, you can get some insight by simply analyzing the situation. After all, if a man wants to be with you, he will do whatever it takes to have you as his own.
There are many reasons why you may not be able to get past being the hook up to becoming his girlfriend, and it’s important to be aware of them before engaging in these types of relationships. Here are the top big ones to consider.
1. You “Okayed” Hookup Behaviour
As I mentioned, hook up culture is booming in today’s world, and many times singles find themselves in these kinds of situations without even meaning to.
Sometimes these engagements occur after meeting someone through a mutual friend, other times it’s the aftermath of hitting the town or logging into the online dating world. Regardless of how you meet your hook up buddy, it doesn’t take much to “okay” hookup behaviour.
There are many reasons why people choose to hook up; some do it for the instant physical gratification, others to fulfill their emotional needs.
When people hook up as a means to find their long-term romantic partner, that’s where things get sticky. If you allow your relationship to develop solely on a sexual basis, then there was never any expectations for it to develop into anything more. Unless you were straight from the start on wanting something more, you unintentionally tell your partner you’re cool with merely hooking up.
2. You Never Said What You Wanted
Women are complicated in that how they act and what they do (or do not) say doesn’t always reflect their true wants or feelings. Many times women will fall into the hookup trap because they wanted to “play it cool” or not pressure him into something he may not want. Sometimes, even if a woman wants something more than a hookup, she won’t speak up out of fear of losing what she does have.
As much as we wish men could read our minds, they can’t. This means that unless you clearly express how you feel and share what you want from the relationship, you’ll continue to be stuck in the hookup routine and never end up being his girlfriend. Remember, sometimes all it takes is for one person to speak up.
3. He’s Not Over His Ex
No matter how he truly feels, if he’s hooking up with you, he’s going to say he’s over his ex. To some extent, there’s a chance he believes it too – and that it took getting involved with another woman for him to realize he wasn’t.
While it’s difficult to admit that that you could be his rebound girl, it’s best to discover the truth as early as possible. Look for signs of his lingering feelings – especially if an unusually short amount of time has passed between that relationship and you hooking up.
Be sure to talk to your man about what’s going on in his head and heart. Ask the tough questions and get to the bottom of the situation. Let him know that he can be honest with you and that anything he says is free of judgement. It may be hard to hear that you’re nothing more than a good time to him, but it’s always better to know than it is to be naively stringed along.
4. You Didn’t Make Him a Priority
In the beginning, hanging out and hooking up every now and then was okay with you. You had your life, he had his, and you liked not having to worry about making time for a committed relationship. Everything seemed pretty straightforward, but one day you realized you want to be more than just friends with benefits.
If you didn’t show your man that he means something to you by making him a priority in your life, then he won’t really know if it’s worth settling down with you. In order for a relationship to blossom, both men and women need to give one another attention and get to know each other on an intimate level. If you wanted him to make you a priority, then you needed to make him more than an option.
5. He Got the Goods … for Free
We’ve all heard the saying, “Why buy the cow, when you get the milk for free?” This normally refers to sex, but there’s more to it. Think about it, your guy-friend is getting all the benefits of being your boyfriend without having to commit to you, so why would he?
The best way to avoid becoming a hookup is by not sleeping with the guy unless he makes a bit of a commitment, or shows you that you’re more than a fling to him.
The girls who make men work for it end up dating, whereas the girls who sleep with men right away and expect to be scooped up end up disappointed. This usually happens because men either don’t respect them enough (because they put out so easily), or don’t see the point in tying themselves down when they can keep having “the best of both worlds.”
6. He’s Totally Happy with His Life
Believe it or not, some men actually don’t want a girlfriend. Sure, he may enjoy the companionship and other relationship perks, but they aren’t the most important things to him. If his priorities are his friends, career, hobbies or even basic “me” time, then he doesn’t have time to fit you in as anything more than a hookup.
If you’ve been hooking up with him and he’s not willing to commit to a relationship, it’s possibly because he’s content with the freedom his single life gives him. In this case, you’re not going to get anywhere on the commitment front.
At the same time, some men like to keep their options open for as long as possible before making a decision to commit to one woman, and unfortunately, you could be one on the chopping block. In short, if he’s getting everything he wants and feels like his life is perfect the way it is, then it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to shift from hookup to girlfriend. If you want something different than him, it’s up to you to demand those changes.
7. He’s Emotionally Unavailable
It’s funny how easy it can be to overlook warning signs. For instance, let’s say you’re with a seemingly great guy and the sex is amazing. You don’t mind that he never sleeps over because he “has to work early” and you understand that you never go on dates because he’s usually “busy until after 11p.m.”
After sometime it hits you that he’s only available when he wants to hook up. In fact, that’s all your relationship is based on. If you’re seeing someone who doesn’t share their day with you, introduce you to their friends or family, and only gives you enough to keep you holding onto hope, then chances are the person you’re with is emotionally unavailable.
Emotionally unavailable people are hard to get close to, and have habits of being evasive, making excuses, or being inept when it comes to talking about feelings. Since becoming committed involves opening up to one another, this is something that’s not possible with emotionally unavailable people. If you’ve let the hookup develop to this stage without recognizing their habits, any chances for a committed relationship are probably too far gone.
8. He’s Just Not That into You
We’re not all meant for each other. Maybe he’s just not that into you, but the sex is good so he keeps hooking up. No matter the reason, if you’re looking for more then you need to get on the same page with the man who is getting your time, mind, and body, don’t let fear, comfort, or selfishness keep you from getting what you need and deserve.
Talk to him openly. If he has or does straight-up tell you that he’s not interested in anything serious, then get the message: He wouldn’t be saying these things if it weren’t true!
So why would he even bother with you if he wasn’t interested? Simply put, because it’s easy, it’s there and it’s available.
You may be an enjoyable part of his life – but unfortunately, a not-too-important part. If you’re looking for something more permanent, it’s your move. No matter what, never treat a man’s reason for not committing as a challenge or obstacle to overcome.
In the end, you’re going to be the one who ends up hurt.
If you’re in a relationship that consists solely of hooking up, then you have every right to try and change it or leave it. You have a right to your wants and feelings, and they are just as important and valid as his.
If he’s not willing to make it a real relationship, then it’s time to move on and find a guy who wants you completely.