Is It A Fling Or The Real Thing?

Relationships can be, at times, harder to navigate than a coal mine without lights. Does he really like me? Can I call him my boyfriend? Is it moving too fast? These questions have plagued almost every woman at one point (us included!). And since guys speak 13,000 fewer words in a day than women, we talked to the one guy that doesn’t seem to ever shut up (in the best way possible), professional matchmaker and host of VH1′s Tough Love Steve Ward. According to Ward, the following questions are paramount when trying to determine the status of your relationship:

1. How deep are your conversations?
What you spend your time talking about can be a real clue in figuring out how serious your relationship is. If all you’re able to talk about is your mutual love of Will Ferrell movies, then you haven’t exactly set a firm foundation. Talking about deeper things like future goals, past heartbreaks and embarrassing moments means you’re both interested in learning more about the other person and getting closer.

2. Do you trust him?
According to Ward, “There are various ways to establish trust. It’s very subjective, but you have to really truly believe that there is a level of trust there between the two of you.” Feeling like you can open up to this person without them laughing or telling someone else is a great starting point to figure out where your feelings of trust lie.

3. How much of your relationship is physical?
If you’re spending little to no time outside the bedroom, this isn’t a serious relationship. Ward says, “If it’s mostly physical and you’re not really becoming more involved in their day-to-day life, then you’re in a fling.“

4. Does he bring you around his family and friends?
If your guy has yet to introduce you to his friends or invite you to a family function, it could be a bad sign. “Guys don’t want to get into the habit of bringing multiple women around their friends, around their family, around the people that they work with,” says Ward, which means if he does invite you, he must see it going somewhere. The same is true of outings you invite him to. “Guys are not going to get invested in your family and your friends and your social circles and be proud and expressive of their status with you [if they aren’t interested in a relationship]. So if those things are being demonstrated, then it should be obvious that it’s more than just a fling.”

How To Keep Him Interested
Ward isn’t shy about telling women how to keep a boyfriend satisfied: Show him what’s in it for him. “When you venture into a relationship, the question [for a guy] becomes, ‘What are the benefits of being in a relationship that I’m not getting from being single?’ And you need to concentrate on that, and you need to really accentuate that,” Ward advises. “I live in New York City, I can eat go anywhere I want, I can eat absolutely anywhere, but one thing that this girl can give me that I can’t get somewhere else is a home-cooked meal,” says Ward. While cooking is only one example, his point is clear: To keep a man interested in staying in a committed relationship, he needs to be reminded of the perks. And often.

Do you agree with Ward’s advice?

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