Relationship Advice: How to Tell if He's Smitten

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Posted by Jenn Clark on January 5, 2011 at 4:13 PM

It's a reality of life that it can be hard to tell how people truly feel about us.  We wonder if our co-worker is a true friend or is just using us to help them out with their work.  We question whether our girlfriend values us for us or merely because we offer her a shoulder to cry on when she's in crisis.  And how difficult is it to determine if that guy we've been seeing really likes us?  I mean, REALLY LIKES US.  Sometimes it can seem nearly impossible to determine his feelings. 

After thinking about this for awhile and coming up with the indicators I believe give his intentions away, I discussed my list with my girl, "N."  I texted her the top ten signs I felt would show any woman how her guy felt about her.  Immediately she starting texting additional "tells."  "Ooooh, that's a good one," I texted back.  "Yep.  That, too," I wrote.  In fact, there are a lot of ways to determine his true feelings.  Since men are (usually) not overly forthcoming with their emotions, this is very good news indeed.  And if you pay close attention - and watch what he DOES - you'll know everything you need to know.

1.  He contacts you regularly - A man who has intense feelings for you will not allow several days to go by without contacting you.  It's as simple as that.  Think of the book and movie, "He's Just Not That Into You."  If he's not calling/texting/chatting/emailing you on a regular basis, you are not a priority in his life.  That's the cold, hard truth.  A man who is serious about a woman wants to talk to her and be in regular communication with her.  Sure, at various times he may "pullback" and disappear for a couple of days (I'll discuss how to handle this in an upcoming article), but he will not let a week (or more) go by with no sign of life.  

2.  He wants to get to know the little things about you -  Very often, especially in the beginning, a man will do a lot of talking.  Usually about himself.  This is not a bad thing.  He wants you to get to know him and he's probably a bit nervous for you to like him.  If, however, he rarely asks about you, your life, your interests, or your friends and family, he's telling you that he's just not that interested in a long-term thing.  A man who's into you wants to get to know you, too.  He wants to find out what you like and what makes you happy.  He's interested in how many siblings you have, what your middle name is, and whether you prefer Italian or Mexican food.  He wants to get to know you; ALL of you.

3.  He wants to make you smile - I believe that when a man is serious, he will do nearly anything in his power to make you happy.  He'll want to impress you.  He'll want to make you feel good.  It doesn't matter if you're engaging in an activity he's not particularly crazy about, he'll want to do it with you.  Since he's paying attention to what you like and don't like, he'll want to incorporate the things you enjoy into your time together and into your relationship.  He'll pay you compliments and will try to make you laugh.  And when you show him you are pleased with and appreciate his efforts, watch out for the huge grin he'll get on his face.   

4.  He takes you out - Here's the deal:  If the majority of your time together is spent at his place (or yours), you are not really dating.  It is perfectly wonderful (and a very thoughtful gesture) when a man invites you over, cooks you dinner (or gets take-out), and rents a DVD for the two of you to watch.  But if that's as good as it gets, then sister, we have a problem.  A man who is crazy about you will not keep you locked away in his house.  You will not be hidden from public viewing.  Why?  Because he will want to take you out and show the world you are with him.  Unless he is a complete neanderthal, he knows that girls like being taken to dinner and to the movies.  We like going on "dates."  It makes us feel special and prized.  Further, he won't allow you to split the check or (even worse) ask you to ante up "$14.75, please.  Let's see here, your chicken pasta was $12.50 and your diet coke was $2.25.  Oh wait!  You added a dinner salad for an extra $2.00.  So that makes YOUR total $16.75.  Don't worry, I'll take care of the tip."  It's not about the AMOUNT he spends.  There are plenty of free and/or very inexpensive things to two of you can do together.  It's about whether he puts forth the effort to take you out and make you feel special.    

5.  He's affectionate - There are different types of "affection."  And it is true that some people are more affectionate than others.  But here's the deal - If he's smitten, he will want to be close to you.  And not just as a prelude to sex either.  He'll want to (at least occasionally) hold your hand when you are walking down the street, or put his arm around you.  He'll give you a kiss or a hug for no reason.  If he likes to sit next to you on the couch as you're watching a movie, that's GOOD.  If, on the other hand, he clings to the opposite arm of the sofa (or worse still, sits in the chair across the room) and only gets close after the end credits begin to roll and he thinks he's gonna get some, that's BAD.  Non-sexual touching (i.e. touching that doesn't necessarily lead to sex) is one of the biggest indicators of his feelings for you.  And, no, getting drunk and making out in a bar doesn't count.  

6.  He's there when you need him - It's easy to be supportive in the good times.  But a man who is serious about you long-term will also know (and understand) that life is not always full of sunshine and laughter.  If you are having a bad day or are going through a tough time, a quality guy will be there for you.  He'll want to listen (or at least pretend to) and help if he can.  He may not always go about it in the way you want him to ("No, honey, don't try to 'fix it.'  Can't you please just listen?"), but he will not run at the first sign of trouble. 

7.  He talks about you to his friends and family - This can be a difficult one to discern.  Unless you are with your guy 24/7 (please please please do not even think about letting that happen), it's hard to tell if he's discussing you with those close to him.  However, it's my experience that very often a man will "let it slip" that he's been talking about you to people in his life.  He might say things like, "I was telling my friend, John, about the movie we saw."  Or "My mom thought you looked really pretty in your Facebook profile picture."  If (and when) you do start to meet his friends and family, and they either look at you with blank stares or (God forbid), call you by the wrong name - Uh-oh.  If they say things like, "It's so nice to FINALLY meet you."  Or "I've heard A LOT about you." - Yeah,...  You know. 

8.  He wants to see you regularly - A guy who really likes you will want to see you a whole bunch, especially in the beginning.  He'll want to make you a part of his life.  He may even want to forgo some of his regular "guy activities" in order to spend time with you.  (Side note here:  As wonderful as all this sounds, do NOT spend every minute with him, accompany him on "guy time," or jump for joy if he breaks plans with his buddies to see you.  Trust me on this.  You'll be happy you didn't later on in your relationship.)  If he can regularly go for more than a week without making plans with you, this is a red flag.  In addition, he'll want to book your time IN ADVANCE just to be certain that he'll get to hang out with you.  And he won't break dates without a legitimate excuse.    

9.  He treats you with respect and integrity - I've learned that the number one factor in determining whether a man sees long term potential with you is if he RESPECTS you.  We all know what it feels like to be treated with respect.  And, unfortunately, many of us know how it feels when we don't get the respect we desire.  I've quoted my friend, "R," before.  She likes to say, "You can't demand respect.  You command it."  So true.  When a man is smitten, he will respect you and your boundaries.  He'll be willing to wait for sex and be happy just to be in your company.  He will limit the truly off-color remarks and will treat you like a lady.  Further, he'll want to be a man of his word and will take pride in being honest.  He will want you to trust him.  When you see these qualities in a man, appreciate them.  Show him you do indeed trust him.  You may very well have a keeper. 

10.  He tells you - Isn't that the best?  When we are falling for a guy, there is not much better than to be told that he is falling for us, too.  What's important here is to make sure his words match his actions.  If he tells you how much he likes you, how into you he is, but the way he treats you says something entirely different - watch out!  If there is a discrepancy between what he says and what he does, always always go with what he does.  Every.  Single.  Time. 

Of course, this list is not all-inclusive.  There are many other things a man can do to show you how he truly feels about you.  And, on the flip-side, some guys may not be overly demonstrative.  Maybe he's a bit more reserved or cautious with his feelings.  But if you pay close attention, he'll eventually show you just how crazy he is about you.  And never forget to trust your gut.  It's a powerful thing.  If you keep wondering if he's truly into you and doubting how he feels, there may very well be a reason...


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Jenn Clark is a relationship advice expert and author of the book “How to Be a Goddess (A Step-by-Step Guide to Becoming the Woman Men Dream About…).” You can find it on her Facebook page or on or on Twitter @JennX30


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