Signs He’s Ready to Settle Down
How to Tell When He's Ready to Commit to You
There’s a point in many relationships where a woman starts to wonder if her guy is ever going to settle down and truly commit to her.
As much as we hate generalizations, it often is more of a female thing to worry about commitment. You probably have had very few male friends in your life who worried whether their girlfriend would ever commit to a serious relationship. But female friends, even those who play it cool, will almost always wonder if he is going to be the one they settle down with and the future father of their kids.
With that in mind, relationship experts shared their thoughts on what indications a man gives if he’s ready to commit.
The signs he's ready to settle down go far beyond him simply wanting to spend a lot of time with you and having you meet his friends. If he’s ready to settle down, he’ll introduce you to his family – kids included, if he’s a dad – and he’ll want to meet your family. The experts agree that if a man doesn’t want to meet your kids, it’s a sign he’s not thinking beyond the next few dates. A man can’t be planning a future with someone whose children he’s never even met.
Another solid indication is when he starts booking vacations in the distant future, or doing other things with a semi-permanence.
“You can bet he's thinking forever when he starts incorporating long-term plans or permanent things into your relationship, such as you decide to get a pet together,” said Suzanne Casamento, founder of Fantasy Dating. “Note that this is different than you moving in together and his best buddy, Fido, coming along for the ride. Nothing says, ‘I'm ready to settle down,” like the two of you deciding to purchase or rescue an animal.”
It could mean a commitment is in the works when you take on a lengthy project together. “When you decide to dive into a long-term project together, whether it's a business, a health improvement plan or a three-year photography project, it's a sure sign he's in it for the long haul. Most guys are pretty good at weighing the ‘What if's?’ And if he's willing to commit to a long-term venture, you can be sure he's in it to win it,” Casamento said.
You can bet he's thinking forever when he starts incorporating long-term plans or permanent things into your relationship, such as you decide to get a pet together.
Saving money for a shared goal is another indication he’s planning to stick around. “Whether the goal is to buy a home or take a trip around the world, if the two of you create a savings plan and stick to it, you're on the road to always. Saving money together is huge sign of trust and respect. He's not only investing his money in whatever goal you're trying to achieve, he's investing in a future with you, Casamento said.
Another obvious sign is if your guy talks about marriage. “Does he hint at a wedding someday? Maybe he's nonchalantly asked what style of engagement ring you want or mentioned how he'd love to get hitched on the beach. Even if it seems to be in a joking matter, know that a proposal is on his mind,” said Lori Bizzoco, executive editor and founder of CupidsPulse.com.
Bizzoco added, “Does he pick hanging out with you over a night out with the boys? If your guy would skip brews for some quality one-on-one time on the couch, he's ready to make these low-key evenings together a regular thing.”
Saving money together is huge sign of trust and respect. He's not only investing his money in whatever goal you're trying to achieve, he's investing in a future with you.
Rhonda Richards-Smith, LCSW, mental health and relationship expert, said, “Your partner may be ready for the next step if he wants to get to know your inner circle. If your guy inquires about wanting to get to know your close friends and family, chances are he's in it for the long haul.”
“If he is mature and able to communicate his desire for a monogamous relationship clearly, he is probably ready to enter into the next phase of your relationship,” Richards-Smith said. “If he talks about the future and uses ‘we’ instead of ‘I’ when discussing his hopes and dreams, he believes your relationship is one that will last over time. So if he visualizes the two of you together years from now, it's likely that he is ready to settle down.”
Misha N. Granado, founder and principal consultant of Love Grows: The Relationship Consultants, said you can tell he’s serious, “When he begins to involve you into the various things he deems important. Whether he asks your advice about his career, family, personal issue, etc. This means he values your opinion and feels safe to be vulnerable with you and allow you into his inner circle. Oftentimes men will operate on the surface level (albeit there are many topics to discuss at this level), however, when he begins to open up and let you into his emotional space, this is a sure sign he is ready.”
Another solid indication is when he allows himself to be vunerable. “When a man begins to disclose his dreams, desires, fears, plans, etc. this is a sign that he trusts you, feels emotionally safe with you, and values your opinion. This is a significant sign, because many men are not socialized to be vulnerable and/or they built a wall protecting their heart due to experiences when they were hurt in the past. Once you are in the 'inner circle of trust' you are very close to his heart,” Granado said.
Remember, men are simple creatures and if they are sharing their life with you, and talking about a future with you, then that usually means that is exactly what they’re thinking. If he’s not talking about those things, if you’re just living date by date with no vacation plans or talk about what you two will be doing together five years from now, then it means he’s not thinking about a future with you.
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