When You Should Know That A Man is Serious About You

When You Should Know That A Man is Serious About You

You’ve had a spectacular first date and you knew instantly that this guy could be “the one”.

It wasn’t just the way he looked. It was the way he listened.

The way he walked and smelled and smiled.

The way the whole night flew by with effortless conversation.

Then again, it could have been the physical chemistry, which was off the charts, leaving you in breathless anticipation of your next date.

It’s not like you’re crazy or anything. You just know what you want.

You want HIM.

And then he calls and makes plans another time.

Uh oh. You’ve just had your first hit of the hormone we call oxytocin.

You have a second date that’s as good as the first, and, giving into the moment, you go home with him and come pretty darned close to sleeping with him.

The next morning, you have no regrets. In fact, you’ve never been so sure of something in your entire life. This FEELS GOOD.

He calls again three days later to set up your third date for the following weekend.

You wonder why he waited three days, but you say yes, anyway.

He doesn’t call you for the next five days before your date.

You start to despair, but you know you’re going to be seeing him on Saturday night.

He’s cooking for you. At his place. All you have to do is bring the wine.

You bring two bottles.

You barely remember the meal, which is just a prelude to what comes after.

You come after. Three times.

And now you’re hooked.

Uh oh. You’ve just had your first hit of the hormone we call oxytocin.

And since it’s got a hold on you, it’s really hard to think straight.

All you can do is obsess how you want more of the drug.

But where is your dealer?

You haven’t heard from him for a few days. You’d think that after your big night, he would follow up to say that he had fun and he wants to see you right away.

He hasn’t. And he won’t.

Because he doesn’t want to see you right away.

He wants to see you when he wants to see you… every other week.

He wants to call you when he wants to call you… never. It seems he prefers texting.

The man who will be your boyfriend OFFERS to take down his profile and become exclusive.

Still, you ignore the fact that he makes no effort to commit because of the powerful effects of the drug. Months go by where you hear from him sporadically. And while you know this isn’t a healthy relationship, you still put up with it.

As a result, you never get the relationship you desire.

Did I just describe your last relationship? The one before that, perhaps?

If the above scenario sounds all too familiar, do yourself a favor, and tattoo this on your wrist:

The man who will be your boyfriend IS enthusiastic about you. The man who will be your boyfriend WILL call you all the time. The man who will be your boyfriend OFFERS to take down his profile and become exclusive.

And when you’re around a man like that, there is nothing to think about. No games to play. No need to worry about what he’s thinking. No questions about where this is going.

When you’re with your boyfriend, everything should be crystal clear.

And if it’s NOT crystal clear within, say, 2 months or so, you’re probably not with your boyfriend. That’s enough time for him to figure out if he wants to give your relationship a shot.

If you’re in that limbo phase with a guy who gives you that irrational oxytocin high and you just can’t let go, despite the overwhelming evidence that this is doomed, do yourself a favor and call him right now.

Make it short. Make it sweet. Make it simple.

“It’s been great getting to know you these past few months, but I’m looking for a boyfriend, not a once-a-week booty call. So I’m calling this off and want to wish you all the best in finding the woman of your dreams. I’m going to find my man. Please, lose my number.”

If he begs for you, he might be your boyfriend.

If he lets you go, congratulations. You’re free to find the man who treats you the way you deserve – with enthusiasm, consistency, and kindness.

And now that you’ve purged yourself of the man who will never be your husband, you need to jump start your love life from scratch.

Check out Finding the One Online right now and see how it can attract the right man into YOUR life.

Join our conversation (192 Comments).
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  1. 1

    Bingo!  Thanks Evan!!!

  2. 2

    BEST advice EVER! It’s so easy to get caught up in the emotional high of that elusive connection with a man because the time you DO spend together seems so amazing, at least to you. You find every possible way to justify the fact that you’ve been checking your phone incessantly for possible missed texts or calls. This should be the first red flag because you’re absolutely right – you won’t have to do that with a man who is into you; he will make sure you know that he is! 
    Thank you, thank you, thank you for always finding a new way to relate and solve the agony that results from the ambiguity of dating a man who is just not that into you!  

  3. 3

    Ugh. I’ve dated this one. She spent more time with her parents than she did with me over the course of our one year relationship and they live out of state! Even talked to them everyday on the phone every single day, but not me. I’m so glad I’m out of that dysfunction and free to find someone who is emotionally available. Don’t waste your time with these people. Someone who values you will make the time to nurture you and your relationship.

    1. 3.1

      I relate with your comment. I call my parents everyday and had a awfull “something” with “someone” who acted just like the guy on the story. He never had time for me, “, we only talked on the weekend and he always called me his “friend”. Giving that escenario, I got really dissapointed and the thing just ended,

      I just wanted to say that being close to your parents does not mean that you are not willing to invest in a relationship, In fact, both parties must show interest.

  4. 4

    Oh dear! This brings back painful memories of my descent into Oxcytocin withdrawal Hell! It took me 4 yrs and a 12 step program to finally walk away from that drug. You’re right Evan, it is a drug, and the guy was my dealer for sure!
    Some men are better at delivering this than others. I was totally blindsided, and I’m in my 40’s!
    Never again, it’s not worth it!

    1. 4.1

      Huhm, that may be wrong conclusion.  How about a ‘dealer’ who adores you and spends massive amounts of time with you?  Best of all worlds.  don’t give up on the ‘drug’ – it’s the way our bodies are design.  Give up on the ‘dealer’ that won’t be your partner.

  5. 5

    Oh, so oxytocin is the “chemistry” that women are constantly seeking!

  6. 6

    While I don’t sleep with men right away or make myself too available, I’ve had plenty of experiences with men who don’t step up to be my bf and keep me at arms length. And I’ve just never had the balls to do Evan’s goodbye speech – I may continue accepting dates with other men, but never cut the other guy off either. But the more insight I get from my male friends, and the more I read this blog, the more I’m coming to understand that the most powerful  thing a woman can do is say no. In a sweet but firm, maybe even humorous way, put men in their place for going a week without calling, setting boundaries about sex, not jumping through their hoops. The problem is that so many of us are conditioned to just not say anything, to always say yes, and the guy assumes its appropriate behavior and we’re cool with it, or that we lack the self esteem to assert ourselves for the relationship we want. 

  7. 7

    Evan, what about when you meet a guy, and wait 2 or 3 months to sleep with him, doesn’t the effect of oxcytocin still some into play? And just because you wait, the guy won’t necessarily stick around at that point anyway. There are no guarantees of anything.  Also, I’ve read that men are not immune to the effects of oxcytocin either. Your advice in this entry is sound, but sooner or later, people sleep together, right? So how is a woman (or a guy) going to protect themselves from the effects of this “drug” ?

    1. 7.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Jane, if you wait until a man chooses to be exclusive with you before you have sex, you’re far less likely to sleep with him and then worry about whether he’s going to call you again.

      You don’t mute your own oxytocin; you manage your risk by only sleeping with commitment-oriented men.

      1. 7.1.1
        Lisa J

        I don’t normally agree with you, however I do agree here. No sex until a commitment has been made. If he leaves…you saved yourself heartache.

  8. 8

    Unfortunately, this is true.  They can even lie and tell you they love you when they actually don’t.  It amazes me that some people think nothing of messing with your head!  Nothing!  It’s not fair, but I guess that IF, in fact, I ever meet the right one, it’s because of these jerks that I’ll actually appreciate him more and realize what I have.

  9. 9

    Jane, this is the risk you have to take, there are no guarantees. The situation i describe above, was w/ a man who waited 3 months for me to feel ready to have sex with him. He called every day, said he was looking for a long term relationship, and was very into me. I was hooked on the delicious physical chemistry we shared (even before sex), regardless of compatibility etc. I now know what the flags are, and will walk away next time, if I feel hooked and it’s not the right guy. I call it withdrawal because it is!… and it’s a fact of life, for me at least.

  10. 10

    “Please lose my number.” Love it!! I’m going to use that. Thanks, Evan. 🙂

  11. 11
    Karl R

    Jane asked: (#7)
    “what about when you meet a guy, and wait 2 or 3 months to sleep with him, doesn’t the effect of oxcytocin still some into play?”

    You still might get attached to the boyfriend who lasts 4-5 months, but you avoid getting attached to the boyfriend who lasts 2-3 weeks. (I had a lot of relationships that only lasted a few dates. I have far fewer that lasted a few months or more.)

    Jane said: (#7)
    “And just because you wait, the guy won’t necessarily stick around at that point anyway.”

    That’s true. You’re not increasing his odds of sticking around. You’re decreasing that chances that you’ve had sex with him before he bails.

    Jane asked: (#7)
    “So how is a woman (or a guy) going to protect themselves from the effects of this ‘drug’?”

    You don’t protect yourself from feeling the chemical high. You develop the ability to recognize it for what it is, and make your decisions accordingly.

    Instead of ignoring noncommittal behavior because you’re infatuated with a man, you protect yourself by ignoring the infatuation and dumping him because he’s noncommittal.

    1. 11.1

      these are good answers Karl!

      Jane, guys will always want to have sex at some point. This is normal. Waiting doesn’t equate to staying. Some guys will not wait and just leave right away and thank them for doing so because they didnt need to waste much of your time to reveal their true intentions. However, there are some who can wait even if they are not really into you. These are the types that wait to earn your trust or stay because they’re challenged but then leave after they what they want. Some people are good at deceiving so you really need to be careful. Best advice I could give is DO IT ONLY WHEN YOU ARE READY. Ready meaning if he leaves or not, you will not regret that you had sex with him. If you know that if you will sleep with someone and later on regret if that person leaves, then you better be firm with your decision to not sleep with that person

  12. 12

    Alas! This is the advice I needed when I was wasting my time in my twenties with a man who treated me the EXACT same way as described above. Now that I am actually in a loving, healthy, strong relationship, the same guy wants to date me again. I told him to “bug off”. Wish I had thought of “lose my number”. That line is classic. What is so wild to me is that this guy ACTUALLY believes that eleven years later, I am still interested in him. I blocked him on Facebook, so he would stop harassing me there. I changed my phone number, so he would stop calling me. At any rate, please get out now! It will not get any better. Trust me. 

  13. 13

    Well, who does this guy ever end up committing to ?

    Also- @Dria- does the guy who’s after you want a real relationship or the same every two weeks situation ?

  14. 14

    Trying to be in a committed relationship with a non-committal guy is like trying to nail Jell-O to a tree.  Or teaching a pig to sing.  Or herding cats.  Any of those analogies will work.

  15. 15
    David T

    @15 LOL  .  I had a recent assignment at work that outsiders called herding cats, and I pulled it off (though I do sport some very smart looking claw marks.)  So I respectfully disagree with the applicability of your last analogy.

    1. 15.1

      Or projects we have we call ‘herding cats – that are rabid and want to kill you’.  Congrats on a project well done!

  16. 16

    @Mia.  Absolutely right.  I wish I had learned this lesson when I was much younger but I did lack the self esteem to say “no” then the guy I wanted was treating me badly or behaving in the way Evan describes.  I do believe I finally have had enough and after almost 4 years of celibacy due to the last major “oxytocin” binge I had with the man who threw me away, I know for a fact if I had said “no” he would have been the one begging me for more.  I still work with this man today (ugh, don’t ask) and I still struggle with the “what ifs”…if only I had been more of a femme fatale, or at least a female who stood up for herself, and said “no”.  Certainly now I am unattainable but it’s too late, I am no longer that shiny new penny.  Someday I will disappear, poof – and I guarantee he will try to find me.   Lately I feel the acute pain of loneliness and occasionally succumb to feelings of hopelessness but I just can’t imagine, at 51, that I am DONE. 
    One does get to a point in life where the extreme highs and lows are just not that appealing and the idea of comfort and security and a sense of well being, safety, belongingness are enticing.  I do think I have finally arrived and I feel ready for the man I will partner with, who will provide that soft place to land…

  17. 17

    David T.,  HaHa.  How did you herd cats?  What were they trying to prove at your workplace?  

    The best analogy I like is “nailing jello to a tree”.  If you feel like you have to force anything, don’t do it.  It is not worth it.  For people who belong together, getting together should be effortless.

    Evan, how do you find someone who does want a committed relationship? 

  18. 18

    Thanks for that blog! Great advice Evan. I visit your blog everyday to read.

    When a guy is truly into you he will let you know.
    For all the other time wasting guys they will tell you any excuse to hold off being in a relationship with you.

    Also advice to woman: don’t sleep with a guy until he is your bf!! That way you get a commitment before you get that oxytocin effect.

    1. 18.1
      A friend

      Aww Tee.   You are likely going to have to sleep with many guys before you find one willing to commit…

      1. 18.1.1
        Lisa J

        You shouldn’t sleep with any until you find one that will commit, then sleep with him and him only.

  19. 19

    Susan — you are not “done,” but I think loneliness causes us to put up with noncommittal guys longer instead of kicking them to the curb. However, this summer marks my 10 year anniversary of dating (since age 18) and it’s been a turning point, as I now have a lengthy range of behaviors and experiences and outcomes from which to draw conclusions. And it’s become very clear that I definitely have all the basic boundaries, but lack the more advanced boundaries to get the guys and the relationships I want. Men marry good girls with strong boundaries, but not good girls without them. I’ve simply been too  accepting – if a guy goes a week without calling, I don’t call him, go on dates with other ppl, and  act very pleasant when he does call – well, where has my cool girl act gotten me? Nowhere! If I had said something in a calm and rational way, maybe the guy would’ve respected me more! Or if I just said, “See ya” or didn’t return the call. In sales, too, it’s the people who are willing to walk away that demonstrate higher value…

  20. 20


    I LOOOVE your analogy of nailing Jello to a tree. The image is just too funny. One of my favorite ones ever.

  21. 21

    Yes its all okay and good that the woman goes on to find her true love and dumps her sporadic booty call…But no man will want as a wife any woman who is not a virgin..men grudgingly accept non-virgin women as wives because of emasculating feminism in the West..but men are standing up again….

    and eww ewww eww to consider as your onw girlfriend a woman who has been somebody’s bootycall?

    That’s like  rummaging through the garbage..bringing it home and feasting on it as if it was a gourmet dinner–

    1. 21.1

      But then the men should be virgins too. 😉

    2. 21.2

      I’m shocked this b.s. doesn’t have a hundred outraged people responding!  WTF are you talking about??  “But no man will want as a wife any woman who is not a virgin..men grudgingly accept non-virgin women as wives because of emasculating feminism in the West..but men are standing up again….”

  22. 22
    David T

    I think they were trying to prove if a group of people who hated each other could actually accomplish something.
    As for your other question, I suspect the answer is going to be to keep on looking.
    @Susan61  There is nothing wrong with being done if you aree at peace (if you ‘can’t believe’ you are done, I think you are not at peace, but you can work toward that). There are lots of advantages to being single, and you lose some things too. It all depends on what you want. The nice thing is that it is your choice.

  23. 23

    I’ve had several friends get into these non-committal relationships. I don’t tend to get into them, or at least, stay in them, myself because I can’t stand the agony. After a month, 6 weeks max, my tolerance cuts out. I may want to, but I simply can’t find the energy if someone is still giving me the runaround after that.

    I don’t understand the women Evan mentions in this post who let this go on for months. If someone doesn’t love you back, how much value can they possibly be bringing to your life?

    Evan is right, play it cool, but not too cool. Relationships are in some ways, about return on investment. Learn to discern where the best returns are to be had on your outlay of energy, time, emotions etc. It doesn’t matter how desirable a prospect is if there are no returns. You wouldn’t make such an investment with your money, so why do that with your other resources?

  24. 24

    @ Jane

    “And just because you wait, the guy won’t necessarily stick around at that point anyway. There are no guarantees of anything.”
    I think there is an argument that oxytocin’s effects become less pronounced, the more familiar a relationship becomes(please see below).

    But, any guy who invests time in a relationship IS (inductively)saying something about an observable tendency – which, over time, can at least provide *some* information towards predicting future behavior.

    It is far from certain, but at least contributes to some measure of confidence.

    And I would further argue, that if such a tendency has a strategic evolutionary basis, it should contribute to the success of long-term mating, and thus, bear some correlation.

    “Also, I’ve read that men are not immune to the effects of oxcytocin either.”

    This is true.

    What isn’t clear is how dependent it’s effects are on sex, with respect to humans.

    Certain animal studies have suggested that oxytocin is, to some extant, sexually dimorphic – mediating pair-bonding only in females(with Vasopressin exerting a similar effect on males).

    One important consideration, is that oxytocin is a stress antagonist – suggesting an evolutionary nexus where these effects help to reduce anxiety and stress(to help facilitate mating) during mate interactions which are characteristically high-risk, and uncertain(such as during an interval of short-term mating with a novel mate).

    Of course, stress effects women and men differently – so it is trivial to see how mating interactions with a novel mate would pose greater anxiety(via greater risk) for females then males(perhaps explaining why females appear particularly vulnerable to it’s effects).

    Another factor may be where female oxytocin ‘victims’ mate with promiscuous males, who’s defacto harems help inure the male to ‘bonding’ with any *particular* female(thus explaining his relative detachment).

    1. 24.1

      The thing I’m afraid most is to sleep with a guy and then he disappears on you. I need a solid thing to know the guy is serious. there is also the possibility that the guy can just be horny and wanting to sleep with you but not aiming to bail on you later..it’s really hard to figure it out.

  25. 25

    Yikes I thought Evan must have read my diary and then written about it:). Although I didn’t sleep with jello-man this time.  And 3 months later he is still on a ”isn’t it great we are friends” kind of thing.  AAARGH!!!!

    I especially like the line that ”getting together should be effortless”.  Becuase I think that acknowledges that being together might not be so easy, as you sift through all the stuff you both bring to the relationship, but that the bit about deciding to be together is the easy bit, the given, the starting block (and I call it assuming success).

  26. 26

    I think some of the terminology used here to describe some of these men (jello-men) is unhelpful i.e. calling them jerks, time wasters, players etc. I’m one and we don’t do it to be cruel, to play games or to hurt you. We just have a comfortable life as it is and don’t really want to change it. We don’t particularly want emotional support, daily contact, presents, love, trips away or any of the other paraphernalia of a relationship: I just want fun and sex with someone (or two) I like.
    Why must there be an assumed traditional linear path to relationships; dating – exclusivity – engagement – marriage? Why can’t we just hang out and not put a label on it? Perhaps understanding is what’s required: he just has a different long-term goal to you and that’s ok; leave him but don’t get angry or bitter.
    @ daphne
    “well, who does this guy ever end up committing to?”
    This is the internal dialogue that we have with ourselves all the time. I guess it’s when they meet someone very particular or they just grow up / get tired. But as someone said, change has to come from within and a woman can’t change him.
    @ SP
    I really dislike the antediluvian attitude of considering a woman who has been in this situation as another man’s garbage. Actually very few men in the West expect their wives to be virgins – how can we want women to have sex with us, and then judge them for doing it? Frankly a woman’s previous history is none of our business.
    @ Susan
    “and 3 months later he is still on a ‘isn’t it great we are friends’ kind of thing”
    I do this for two reasons:
    1 – I’m actually a nice guy and like these women so I try to stay friendly with them after they’ve given me the boot.
    2 – There’s probably a 30% chance that if I meet them again they’ll still sleep with me even though know what I’m like!

  27. 27

    I agree with everything you said in this article (well, nearly everything).
    If a guy calls you all the time when you first meet then that could be a sign that he’s enthusiastic about your relationship, but there’s a fine line between enthusiastic and controlling.
    If a guy calls and texts constantly this might seem like a good thing to start with, but it could actually be a tell-tale sign that the guy is going to be very controlling in the future. It varies from person to person, but if he’s constantly asking where you are, who you’re with and what you’re doing (even if it seems harmless) then it’s probably best to have a chat with him rather than just assume this means he’s dedicated to you.
    Great article!

  28. 28

    Tom: “perhaps understanding is what’s required…leave him but don’t get angry or bitter.” 

    Hit it on the head with that one. However sometimes it’s hard to suppress feelings of anger, or bitterness.  Especially if a woman really likes someone and has her hopes way up high. Even understanding where a man is coming from isn’t a cure for the negative feelings that may pop up. 

    I think the trick is not to spew those feelings all over the guy. That’s where understanding comes into play. Sure, the feelings come up but if you understand the other person it becomes much easier to keep them to yourself and work through them on your own.  

    It’s a two way street. If you find yourself just “having a good time” with a girl and she suddenly becomes needy and maybe slightly emotionally volatile it’s your turn to understand where she’s coming from and gently end the “relationship”. Saying something like “you’re a great girl but I don’t want a committed relationship i’m sorry but we have to go our separate ways.”. Even if she pulls the “I’m ok with no commitment” thing. I’m sure you’ve seen it all before. Actions speak louder than words. That’s when you say “no, I can see clearly that you’re not ok with it and i’m not going to put either of us in that position.”. 

    Is such a thing possible for a guy with your stance on relationships, or will you always sleep with the physically (if not emotionally) willing? I’m really curious…

    1. 28.1

      aww Rachael I do get what you are saying. How “nice” it would be if ‘those unavailable men” would just leave us alone instead continuing to ..sleep with us. Unfortunately or..fortunately the onus is on us to walk away. Men will continue pursue us (for sex) as long as they know we will participate in it. It is on us to say: i want love and commitment and you are not giving it to me so I have to leave. It is appreciated though when they make it “easier” and not torture us with:” but i miss you and I want to see you (but still not offering commitment)” I went through that last year. I “left” him..three times..only to keep giving in because of oxytocin. He finally “let” me go, by saying: I understand ..(!). I never lost my cool though. I was calm cool and collected every time. But I suffered when the oxytocin wore off.

  29. 29

    Tom you scare me a little! May I ask you a question? This comfortable life you have, devoid of emotional support, daily contact, love, travel or other symbols of consistent relationships, and complete with fun sex provide you the substance you need at this point in your life? I mean during the quiet times, while your alone–those times? No judgement, just inquiry. 

    Why I ask: While I agree that traditional linear paths, dating, exclusive, engagement doesn’t meet everyone’s long term goal, particularly anyone from about 18-30, I have yet to meet a woman, that, over time, is just looking for “fun and sex.” Inherently, for me to enjoy myself and give, I would want to feel safe and secure with the man I am with, and thus the necessity of “labeling it” and providing a sense of consistency and exclusivity. I emote, and I am vulnerable, so if a man doesn’t provide that safety and security, I let him know that I would love to wake up with him in the morning, but I don’t want to hurt, if that is the only morning we do so. I am also very attentive to any signs of red flags (this you learn with time). I am not demanding or anything, I just know my body and heart craves that kind of devotion. 

    I do agree that eventually these men tire and at the same time meet someone really special, thus finally commit. Or these men want a family and rationalize calming down their behavior in order to start a family. But I think what gets women angry is the stringing it on, when you have no intention of skipping down the linear path. The courting, which is often on really high levels, and when you continue to partake, but never move forward. Like it is okay to have “fun and sex” with a good girl because they should know what I am like. 

  30. 30


    Its your choice that you only fun and sex and not much more and I certainly don’t judge that …..Im curious if you make that crystal clear to a woman upfront so that the expectations of what you can and can’t give are very clear before she gets attached to you…..or do you keep this “don’t ask don’t tell” so that you can get the sex you want?

    Its enlightening that you remain friends on the 30 % chance you can still hook up with your women. That inspires me to continue to cut the cord quickly and not continue to be “friends”      

    I agree with your comments to SP who’s comments were hard to believe! 

    1. 30.1

      Kathleen..they do not make it crystal clear but..there are red flags and we chose not to see them. So again, it is really on us to walk away before we sleep with them if they are not asking us to be exclusive. They do what we allow them to. Due to biology and other things they do not attach to us the way we do to them and they can have sex with us and not want to be exclusive…

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