It’s not uncommon for people to dodge the idea of “labeling” their relationship for various reasons. Couples will avoid having that talk for weeks or even months at a time. Sometimes people assume there’s an unspoken understanding in place not to see other people. You should never assume. If he’s checking off all those boxes, and you don’t want to date anyone else, you should probably make things very clear. Keep in mind, one or two of these signs doesn’t mean much, but if he’s ticking all these boxes, you’re likely not exclusive. Either way, just talk to him about it.
He has other plans often.
He makes a point to see you, which is nice, but it seems like he has tons of blackout dates that just aren’t good for him.
He usually describes those “other plans” in very generic terms.
More damningly, his excuses for being busy are questionably obtuse. When you press him, the most descriptive he gets is offering up that it’s “some family thing.”
He cancels on you pretty regularly.
It’s tough to pin him down, and he’s already canceled plans on you more than once. His excuses are the kinds of generic shit you’d throw out when you try to convince work you can’t come in. Like he’s sick with the flu or a stomach bug. Sure, some people get sick a lot and there’s no reason to hate on a dude’s immune system, but it’s also possible he’s bailing for other plans. Plans with other people. People he’s also dating.
And he’ll also try to spring plans on you last minute.
He comes up out of nowhere asking you out for a drink or to a movie because his plans changed. It’s possible he was supposed to have dinner with his parents but his dad got sick so he jumped at the chance to see you. But if everything else about him seems a bit off, it’s not unreasonable to think another date canceled on him.
He doesn’t want to put a label on things.
For some couples in their early stages, it’s just a matter of having that talk. You like each other, you’re just not officially exclusive. But if he’s the kind of "free spirit" that doesn’t want to "complicate things" or mentions he’s not looking for anything serious, then yeah… that’s his nice way of saying he’s keeping his options open. Out of everything here, this is the closest you’ll get to concrete evidence.
His social media is basically nonexistent.
If he doesn’t use it, he’s under no obligation to post pictures of any of the people he’s seeing.
He doesn’t want you visiting him at work or at home.
There’s no need to have the woman he’s dating show up if a coworker or roommate could let things slip. Or worse, have two of them show up at the same time, like some kind of zany romantic comedy.
He’s uncharacteristically MIA for hours at a time.
He’s usually texting you cute things all throughout the day. But on the weekends, you don’t hear from him for hours. Then suddenly, it’s back to constant messages.
His phone is always “dead.”
On the flip side, when he’s with you, he barely uses his phone, or it just died. Because the last thing he wants you to see is a text from someone else he’s seeing.
You’ve got a gut feeling.
Trust yourself. If you feel like he’s a great guy but things seem a little off, bring it up with him. There’s no reason to suffer in silence wondering if he’s seeing other people and you’re not. Don’t play games. Just ask him if this “thing without a label” is exclusive.
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.