You're with a guy. You're falling in like, maybe even in love. The conversation is good. The sex is great. He's starting to steal your heart, and you're hoping this is the start of something good. Something long term. Because he's cute, and he's nice, and you seem pretty compatible.
Back it on up, girl. Stop those dreams of babies (the ones you'd die before you'd cop to). This dude isn't in it for the long haul; he's in it for the right now. You might see next year, but he only sees so far as next week.
This isn't a relationship — it's two steps up from a one-night stand. Here's how you can tell.
1. He hasn't introduced you to his friends.
When you go out, it's always either the two of you or you meet your friends. You never meet his buddies and their girls. In fact, you barely know their names, let alone their faces.
If he was serious about you, he'd want his guys' approval for his new girl, and you'd find yourself in a bar meeting all of them at once. Or he'd take you to a party where he's the only familiar face to you, and you're the only person he hasn't known since college. If he's keeping you and his friends separate, he's not in it for the long haul.
2. You never or rarely spend the night together.
He wants to see you looking hot with all your makeup on, naked in your bed. He has no interest in the panda-smudged, blotchy morning you who farts when she wakes up and stumbles off to the shower. He's not interested in you seeing his haystack hair in the morning, either.
But most of all, he's not interested in spending the night with you because he's not interested in sleeping with you — literally, not figuratively sleeping with you. He doesn't care to cuddle with you all night, and if he spoons you it only lasts as long as the afterglow.
3. You've never been to his apartment, or he's never been to yours.
You've picked one location for sex and brief hangouts. Afterwards, either he leaves or he kicks you out. If he comes to your place, you've never been to his apartment. Oh, there are excuses — it's too far from the city center, it's a mess, his roommate is weird — but you've never been there, not even to drop off some dry-cleaning.
If you've decided to do it at his place, he's never made the effort to come to yours. No amount of asking or inviting will get him over there, and there's always some excuse that he can't make it.
4. You don't shower together after sex.
So much for the afterglow. After sex, you hop off to the shower while he sits in bed on his phone. Showering together is an exercise in cooperation more than sexytime; someone's always avoiding shampoo spray in their eyes or sliding past the other to get their share of the water.
It's as intimate as sex, but less titilating. If he were in it for the long haul, he'd get in with you. But he's not, so you shower one at a time.
5. He doesn't let you steal his clothes.
A guy who's in it long term thinks it's cute you're wearing his t-shirt. He almost wants you to wear it because it's hot. But a guy who's in it for the right now doesn't want you in his clothes. He might bolt at any minute, and then where would his Phish tour t-shirt be?
So either he leaves your place with all his clothes, or when you leave his place you're wearing nothing but what you brought with you. Letting you steal his clothes is a form of possession, something Mr. Right Now isn't interested in.
6. He doesn't get jealous.
Got plans with the girls? It's cool with him. Have to go away for the weekend? He doesn't care. A guy who's in it for the long haul will express some annoyance or regret. But Mr. Right Now doesn't care; it's his chance to do what he wants, which might include go out with some other girl.
He'll tell you he's glad for the alone time. But you want a guy who wants to be with you, and who at least expresses some regret when he can't.
7. You haven't met his parents.
If his parents live anywhere nearby, he should have introduced you to them. A guy who's in it for the long term would take you over for dinner, or out for dinner, or have you all over to his place. If he's a right now kind of dude, he avoids you running into his 'rents at all costs.
There's no point, and when he breaks up with you next week (or likely just stops taking your calls), his mom will ask about you until the end of time. If his parents don't live nearby, you'd have heard a long term guy on his phone saying something like, "Yeah, I'm out with so-and-so." A guy who's in it for right now will just say he's out, avoiding any mention of your name.
Mr. Long Term and Mr. Right Now behave very differently. Know the differences so your heart doesn't get broken.
If he won't introduce you to his parents, he hasn't been to your apartment, and he hasn't introduced you to his friends, he's not a long term prospect. Ditch him before he ditches you — and when you ditch him, note his reaction. If he doesn't seem too upset, you were right on.