There comes to a point in every dater’s life where they want more than just a hookup. Those late night booty calls and Netflix and chill dates can get old and even make you feel like you’re not worth anything more. Whether you just met someone new and want to avoid being put into the “hookup only” category, or you’ve been hooking up with someone and want to take the relationship further, there are things you can do to turn the tables and be seen as someone a guy wants to be around long-term.
Check out these 10 tips for making him want you for more than something casual:
1. Be clear about what you’re looking for from the start.
In the beginning of a new relationship, people typically hold back from saying what they truly want out of a fear of being rejected.
“In a lot of cases, this ultimately leads to rejection because the expectations for the relationship are misaligned,” explains Tiffany Toombs, relationship expert and coach. “If the other person isn’t ready for a relationship, or they don’t want anything other than a hook-up, it’s not your job to change their mind.”
And the more time and energy you spend with this person, the less time and energy you’re spending on finding the right person for you. If you find yourself constantly starting relationships as casual and trying to transition them to something more serious, you’re going to have a tough time at it.
2. Find out what he wants in a natural way
A bit of playing hard to get is fine, but don’t play any other games with a person that you want in your life, explains dating expert, Chris Pleines.
“While the ‘we’re in a relationship’ label isn’t really that necessary during the early stages, you do want to know if you’re exclusive at some point,” he explains. “The most effective approach here is to be natural: You’re going out on dates with him, meeting at either of your places, spending time together. If you truly enjoy being with each other and you’ve developed feelings for the man, it’s fine to just tell him how you feel.”
3. Don’t pretend to be casual just because he is.
“When a guy says he’s just looking to have fun, you aren’t just supposed to go along with it in hopes you can change his mind as he gets to know you,” says Apollonia Ponti, a licensed international dating and relationship expert and coach. “Understand that he is just looking to have fun and you have to decide how much attention you should give him.”
4. Don’t sleep with him on the first date.
It can be really arousing when you’re super flirty and the chemistry is bubbling over on the first date, but if you’re looking for something more than a hookup you may want to resist the temptation.
“If you’re going home with him the first night, the chances are high that this will remain as a one-time encounter,”says Pleines. “If you’re sure you want to see him again, let the sex wait for another two to three dates. Guys are hard to understand when it comes to early sex. Of course, they love it but some lose interest when they get it on the very first night.”
5. Don’t answer booty calls early in the relationship.
You can let him know how you want things to be without explicitly saying it by setting up a few boundaries. “If you want something more serious, make him see early on in the relationship what you would and would not do,” says Pleines. “If he’s asking for a booty call on a regular basis, he’s definitely going for something casual rather than a serious relationship.”
6. Don’t contradict your hookup status.
You know when you’re on a date and things get hot and heavy and you tell the man that you “want to take it slow” or that you “don’t hook up on the first date,” then the next morning you wake up looking for your clothes? Make sure when you meet a man you hold yourself accountable and stick to your word. Pacing yourself as you to get to know him.
7. Make sure you’re both initiating and reciprocating.
You don’t want to be the one always contacting him and always available. That’s a turnoff. “Let him come to you (as long as it’s not just for booty calls),” Ponti says. “But know that you have to reciprocate, and somewhat initiate, from time to time. Many women think men have to do the work, and even though this works for some, it doesn’t last long because men want to feel wanted. Make sure he reaches out to you here and there and when he shows interest mirror his behavior.”
9. Don’t be Miss Independent.
Putting on the front that you don’t need a man can backfire. If you’re interested in a guy and want someone in your life, let him know.
“I know plenty of women that went through hardship to get to where they are but a man finds it hard to fit in when you’re too independent and preach that you’ve done everything on your own,” says Ponti. “It’s great to talk about your accomplishments and hardships. But men also want to feel like they’re needed at some point in a relationship.”
If you act like you don’t need a man, except for sex, that’s probably all you’ll get from him.
10. Know your value.
“Relationships and dating provide the greatest tests for our self-worth,” says Toombs. “Be so confident in your self-worth that you won’t settle for being just a hookup. When women are lacking in their self-worth, they’re more likely to compromise their long-term needs and wants for short-term attention, company, and affection.”
This becomes a vicious cycle after the hook up, as feelings of low self-esteem are usually intensified, which leads to seeking more immediate validation, and more unhealthy hookups.
If you’ve already hooked up with a guy and your relationship is mostly casual, it doesn’t mean it can’t turn into something more. Many relationships have started from hookups. If you want more from him, it’s time to start doing other things together.
“Change the pace of the relationship and start to do more than just Netflix and chill. What’s important here is not to get too emotionally involved at this point,”says Ponti. “You want to be clear and level headed so you can think and act appropriately so he can see that balance of independence you have.”
If your guy is cool being with you and doing things other than sex, that’s a great sign. If he’s not interested in doing anything else with you, even going to get some dinner, then it’s pretty clear he only wants you for the hookups.