Shocking news: Apparently, we're a bunch of commitment phobes. New research published by the University of Texas found that our constant need to keep searching for someone better makes us suck at long-term relationships. The researchers looked at 119 men and 140 women in long-term relationships who choose partners based on 27 qualities like physical attraction, intelligence, health and financial responsibility. And despite how desirable their partners were considered, when exposed to others who fit their needs, it became difficult to remain loyal. It was even harder if their partners were considered less desirable based on those qualities, of course. Men in the study struggled. But there’s a common assumption that men are harder to lock down than women—that women are inevitably looking for something serious, even if they deny looking for something serious. But contrary to popular belief, a lot of single women are indeed just looking to hook up. For women focused on friends, careers, fitness or something else, securing a friends-with-benefits situation is a sweet deal. Here are some easy clues she'll drop to hint that she's the one not looking for anything more. Photo: Getty Images/Oana Szekely
1. She says she’s not looking for anything serious. This isn’t always so obvious. Sometimes she’s lying because she thinks you’re not looking for any commitment, and she doesn’t want to come on too strong. But often she legitimately means it. If she says it without you initiating any talk of your commitment-phobia, it’s less likely she’s just trying to convince you it’s all good—and more likely she’s just looking for casual, convenient sex... or that she just likes hanging out with you.
2. She doesn’t initiate the commitment talk. In the same vein, if she really wants to be with you, it’ll keep her up at night wondering if she’s the only one you’re seeing. Eventually, she’ll ask you about it. If months go by and she doesn’t, it’s because she doesn’t care whether you’re dating or sleeping with other people, because she is, too.
3. She says she’s "finding" herself. If she says any version of this statement (like she’s working on herself), it means she’s into you but she’s got other priorities. Even though she’s trying to get to the gym more often and focus on work, she still has a few spare hours throughout the week to hook up. But not enough time or desire to extend that to a relationship.
4. She tells you about other men. Unless she’s clearly trying to make you jealous, she wouldn’t be telling you about her rendezvous with other dudes. If she does, it’s probably because you’ve been friend-zoned—even if you're sleeping together.
5. She avoids your pursuits—but not all the time. If you find that you’re the one always initiating plans, or that she’s flaking on your plans, it’s probably because you’re a second, third or fourth option—which is why she’ll sometimes kick it with you. It’s a harsh reality, yes, but if she really wanted to be with you, she’d want to hang out with you, and she’d probably ditch her other plans to do so. Of course things do come up, but if canceling becomes a regular occurrence, make no mistake: She’s not looking to seriously date.
6. She's flaky about planning. Likewise, if she gives you a vague response as to when you can rain check, it's probably because she doesn't want to make the commitment to hanging out with you because she's unsure as to whether she'll still feel like it when the time comes around. If she wanted to be serious, she'd be thinking in advance.
7. She won’t introduce you to her friends or family. If it’s been a while and you’ve yet to meet the people closest to her, it’s not because she’s nervous, which she might tell you; it’s because she doesn’t care enough that she needs affirmation from them. If you were a serious prospect, she’d want their opinions as soon as it wasn’t creepy to invite you to meet them.
8. She has girls nights all the time. Girls nights are a thing that continue even through marriage. And often it really is just the girls. But other times, it really is just the girls until one or more of the girls brings a man into the mix—a boyfriend, husband, rando, whomever. So if she insists that it’s a girls’ night, it’s likely that she could tell you to come hang later on, but she's just not up for that kind of commitment.