You have a great time when you’re together, but you’re not sure where you stand with him yet.
‘When a guy compliments you all the time and says you look great, he is most probably being sincere at the time,’ says Sandy Hoffman a counselling psychologist. But what you might not know are the thoughts swirling around in his head, sometimes making it impossible or impractical for him to commit to you at the time. ‘He could feel like he is putting all his eggs into one basket and so he keeps a backdoor open in case he changes his mind.’
If it’s still too early to weigh the relationship down with the talk, here are a few questions you should ask yourself to tell whether he’s sincere or if he’s playing you.
IS HE MORE CONCERNED WITH ONLY HIS NEEDS AND INTERESTS?
A man who has genuine feelings for you will not only be concerned with his needs, but will also take an interest in yours. ‘The words that best describe sincere behaviour are caring, considerate and gentle,’ says Shelley Lewin, a Cape Town life and relationship coach. ‘If you feel like you are being pushed into doing things you don’t want to do and he knows that – because you have said as much – then he is looking out for his own interests and not yours.’ A man who intends on sticking around and whose feelings are genuine will bend over backwards to make you happy.
DOES HE MAKE EXCUSES?
‘If there are lots of excuses and he couldn’t be bothered to do the things that are important to you, then he’s just not that into you,’ says Lewin. If he really cared about you he would make the effort to prove his feelings.
DOES HE RESPECT YOU?
‘He will always show you respect; he will be concerned for your well being and move mountains for you,’ says Lewin. If he’s not doing that, he probably doesn’t have pure intentions.
IS HE SLIGHTLY DISTANT WITH YOU?
This is the kind of guy who will give you just enough attention for you to crave more. ‘If you are talking and he is saying the "right" things but is constantly looking out the window, looks distracted, checks phone messages, doesn’t focus on you or your feelings, you will know in your gut that he is not genuine,’ says Hoffman.
DOES HE OVER-REACT?
This over-reaction usually happens during a fight or when you ask him a question he’s not comfortable with. Hoffman says: ‘If you tell him that you feel insecure about the relationship, he should be able to engage with that feeling and reassure you. But if he says [something dismissive like] "Oh, get over it", this could be a defence mechanism used just in case he has to deal with rejection. A man likes to feel like he has control over a situation.’
But the bottom line is no emotion is right or wrong; they just are. What we do with them, however, is either constructive or destructive in relationships.