What It Genuinely Means When A Man Talks About Marriage, Babies And A Future With You

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When you’ve been dating a guy for a while, it’s natural to wonder where the relationship is going and when it's OK to talk about marriage.

You may think he's been giving you all kinds of hints, maybe even suggestions, but how do you know what to read into or take seriously when considering whether your boyfriend is truly interested in a future with you — one that includes more than just a committed relationship — one with, perhaps, marriage?

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To give you some clarity, here are three things it means when a guy talks about a future with you and how to know if he fully intends to make that happen.

What it means when a man talks about marriage, babies and the future (even if it feels like it's "too soon")

1. He may be getting himself warmed up to the idea of marrying you.

When a guy starts musing about how he wants to have kids "someday," or get married "someday," he may be warming up and trying the idea on for size.

He may also looking for your reaction. And when I say looking, I mean that literally. He's looking at your body language. Do you smile or frown? Do you seem interested or indifferent?

I strongly suggest you do not jump all over this seeming invitation to gauge your reaction by going completely overboard and, instead, use your body language in a subtle way. For example, smile if you're interested. Resist the urge to talk about the M-word at this point.

Remember: he's only trying it on for size and looking for your response.

The first step for a man to want a future with you is to imagine what it would be like. He's role-playing to get an idea of how it feels to be with you. Play along. because it's fun and it will get you used to the idea, as well. Just remember, he’s not serious. Yet.

2. He may be trying to establish a timeline.

To him, "soon" may mean he's starting to establish a timeline. While he's still fishing, he may begin asking you questions, quite frequently often out of the blue, such as, "When do you want to have kids?" "When do you want to get married?"

I suggest you answer these questions honestly because, at this point, he is likely to be sizing himself up to see if he believes he will be able to deliver.

Men are often noble in this regard. They only want to talk about a future they believe they can provide. Your honesty will go a long way toward building a strong foundation. Anything less means you will be building a castle on sand.

You want to be with a man who is forming a realistic timeline ... which leads us to number three.

3. He is working on a definitive plan.

When a man wants to have a future with you, he goes from A to B to C. In other words, he takes things one step at a time, but in a strategic way that makes logical sense to him.

To explain this more clearly, let's say that: first, he talks about getting you a ring. Then, he gets you a ring. Then, he proposes to you. Then, you spend a definitive period of time being engaged. Then, he's ready to get married at a certain date.

Men know they need to grow into responsibility, and that is why they take it step by step.

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With all that said, it is still vitally important that you be with a man who has a definitive plan and timeline for the future, such as the one outlined above. Otherwise, you may be left with only a dream that could easily go up in smoke on any given day.

At this point, I want to suggest that it takes about a year to get to know somebody.

At a minimum, I recommend that you not sign any contracts or legal agreements for at least a year.

On the flip side, it’s important to have — and maintain — momentum. The sweet spot is about a year and a half. This gives you enough time to get to know each other, while still having momentum working in your favor.

A man who is genuine starts with a "someday I want..." statement. That lets you role-play together and try things on for size.

It becomes more real when he moves into "coming soon" territory, which means he wants to know more about where you stand on your timeline, so he follows up on this with questions about when you might want to do A, or B, or C.

A man with a definitive plan creates a definitive timeline, asks you how you feel about it, and takes action to make it happen.

Talking about a future is great. A man who wants to build it with you is what makes it a reality.

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James Allen Hanrahan is a highly sought after relationship coach for strong women based in Los Angeles. If you're a smart woman struggling to achieve relationship success, check out the treasure trove of information in his book, Dating Advice For Alpha Women.