What Does Dating Mean to a Guy?

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What Does Dating Mean to a Guy?

If you are looking to settle down with someone, perhaps even start a family, you cannot jump into a relationship right away.

You have to assess who Mr. Right is, which is why you go on dates. But is it the same for a guy? Knowing what dating means to a guy is the key to avoiding misunderstandings and false expectations. 

In this article, we will go over what men mean when they say they’re dating and how it compares to female dating.

Dating vs. Relationship: Differences in the Female and Male Perspectives

Here is how men and women see dating and relationships.

Male Perspective:It is primarily a medium for romantic company.It is a commitment to a monogamous company.
Female Perspective:It is primarily a medium for romantic scrutiny.It is a commitment to get married if everything goes well.
Male Perspective:It is not always emotional. Signifies an emotional bond.
Female Perspective:Often has an emotional element.Signifies love.
Male Perspective:It can be a medium for low-stakes sex.Sex is one part of the overall equation.
Female Perspective:It can be a medium for high-stakes sex.Sex has comparatively lower stakes than when dating.
Male Perspective:It is not monogamous until official.Is monogamous by default.
Female Perspective:It is not public until officialIt is public by default.

These differences don’t apply to every guy or girl, respectively, but are generally true of the genders. But before the contrasts become confusing, let’s explore how the male perspective can be summed up in a nutshell.

What Does Dating Mean to a Guy?

To a guy, dating means giving and getting romantic company while scrutinizing the possibility of a relationship. However, looking for a future together or being monogamous is not guaranteed when a guy asserts that he is “dating” you. That’s for when a guy is “in a relationship” with you.

  • He wants to get to know you. This is the primary purpose of dating, traditionally. However, women scrutinize things more than men. For some men, dating itself can be the end goal of dating. 

  • He is interested in you. Guys might have sex with you even if they don’t find you interesting, but guys don’t usually date just for sex. There is a degree of interest in personality involved.

  • He thinks about you romantically. Platonic dating is too rare to be taken as a possibility unless explicitly stated. Guys have romantic feelings or the capacity for romantic feelings toward girls they date.

  • He might want to get into a relationship. Girls often get this wrong. Some assume that all men date to get settled, and others believe all men date just to kill boredom. Neither extreme is true, and there’s always a possibility of a relationship when a guy dates you.

  • He would like to have sex with you. Guys do not date girls they don’t find sexually attractive. If a guy is dating you, he finds you “hot.” Problems arise when he finds you hot but not interesting.

The Male Dating Seriousness Spectrum

The Male Dating Seriousness Spectrum
The Male Dating Seriousness Spectrum

You cannot think of a guy as “serious” or “non-serious” when he’s “dating” you because seriousness is not a dichotomy. When deciding between a fling and the prospect of love, there exists a dichotomy. It is a one-night stand or it is not. 

But when you start dating, seriousness lies on a spectrum, at least for men. The least serious a guy can be while dating you is that he likes having sex and enjoys your company. 

The most serious he can be is that he is hoping for things to go well enough that one day he will marry you. And on both extremes, the title of the arrangement remains the same initially. Both the guys say they are “dating.”

Knowing whether a guy is serious about you requires looking beyond the words “dating” to see the degree of seriousness involved in said dating. If you believe a guy is serious about you and he is not, you might consider the time you spent dating as time wasted. That’s why knowing the indicators of seriousness is the best way to save your time and emotional energy.

Signs That a Guy Is Serious About Dating

If you want to know how serious a guy is, you should look at how quickly he makes it official, how often he is in touch with you, and how much initiative he takes in a relationship. Compared with how often you have sex, it is an easy way to assess the extent of the emotions involved.

He Doesn’t Take Long To Make Things Official

At one time, dating used to be official by default. But over twenty years have passed since that was the norm, and now, dating is considered secret until it is made official. If you are in the ‘pre-official’ stage of dating and it has been over a month, then dating is more likely for the romantic company and less likely for progress towards a relationship. 

Some girls get confused because they assume men who date just to date are looking for easy, consistent sex. 

Romantic company is a human need, and guaranteed commitment doesn’t come with it. If a guy is serious, he will make it official as soon as he can.

He Spends a Lot of Time With You

This can be unfair to people who have a genuinely busy schedule. Still, the rule remains the same. The percentage of a guy’s social time that he spends with the person he is dating correlates directly with his seriousness regarding the said partner. 

A CEO might be busier than the average guy, so his free time might be rare. But the percentage of it that he gives to you indicates how serious he is about you. An average guy who spends 3 hours with friends and 1 with you is less serious than a busy guy who spends all his social time with you, even if that time adds up to 30 minutes. If you’re dating someone long distance, this can translate to online hours and the time he spends texting you.

A guy giving his girlfriend roses on their date
A guy giving his girlfriend roses on their date

He Takes Initiative

When a guy is really serious about you, you will notice the effort. Men have the tendency to put in more effort when they value something than when they don’t. 

If you find yourself putting in the bulk of the effort that goes into your arrangement, then he might not be as serious about you. 

Again, seriousness lies on a spectrum, especially after the third date. Up until the third date, there is always a risk of the guy just doing it for sex. And whether you go the old route of withholding sex or have sex based on how interested, you are in having sex. 

The eventuality is the same. 

Men don’t usually keep dating past the third date if they want sex only and are not interested in your personality. The degree of initiative he takes in proportion to the sex you have can be a good indicator of emotional involvement.

He Opens up to You

This is tricky because it starts pretty early on the ‘seriousness spectrum’. Men are known to start getting expressive with their FWBs (friends with benefits). Please don’t take this to mean he is extremely serious. 

Some men like to confide in women, and not all of them are picky enough to open up only to the girls they want to marry. 

Still, men don’t usually open up to girls they don’t take seriously. The presence of emotional expression shouldn’t be taken as a guarantee of absolute seriousness, but the absence of it should be seen as a guarantee of a lack of seriousness.

Final Thoughts

Dating for most guys means that they are exchanging romantic company with someone they are interested in. 

It can often mean that they would like to see if the person is a good fit to get into a relationship with, but the term “dating” doesn’t always mean that a relationship or even monogamy is on the table.

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Over the years, Stephanie has had her fair share of dating experiences. While some turned out great, others weren't so great. She believes that relationships are meant to be fun, exciting, and full of laughter. She wants to help men and women become confident, attractive, and successful in their romantic relationships.