1. When he talks about the future, you’re in it. Whether he’s discussing your vacation six months from now or where he wants to be living in five years, you’re the one he’s going to go to Paris with or take a cooking class with or, I don’t know, go shopping for jeans with.
2. He likes being domestic with you. You might as well be living together, since you spend every weekend at his place (or your place). You have clothes, toothbrushes, and towels stashed away for sleepovers. He doesn’t really cook, but he gets jazzed to go grocery shopping together and make a meal with you.
3. He makes major life decisions around you. Moving is a pain in the ass. You don’t move closer to someone just because they’re good in bed. If he’s arranging his life around you or
turning down faraway jobs, it’s a pretty strong sign he wants you in his life forever.
4. You’re pretty much expected at family gatherings. Just because you’re not legally family doesn’t mean you’re not treated as such. His family doesn’t even bother extending a separate invitation to birthdays and holidays. They’re just assuming you’re showing up (and they’re really disappointed if you don’t). If you can make it so his parents are disappointed to see their own son, you’re doing something right.
5. He talks about “our kids.” It doesn’t matter if the second half of that sentence is, “I want to name them Tokka and Rahzar after the bad guys in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: Secret of the Ooze.” It just matters that in the back of his mind, he’s thinking about how you’re going to crank out some babies together.
6. He stays in touch with your family. He actually throws himself into the lion’s den that is your family for the sake of maintaining relationships. Only crazy people and men who are in it for the long haul would bother friending your dad on Nike +.
7. He avoids your pet peeves. If you’ve told him you’re annoyed when he doesn’t put things away or buys too many gadgets, he makes a point to correct those behaviors. Because he knows one day you two will be sharing a place, so he might as well break the habits now.
8. His stuff becomes “our stuff.” The Voice being “our show” is one thing. The couch being “our couch” is another. When everything that’s his is yours, it becomes “our life.” Also, sharing everything makes it a lot harder to break up. You know what’s worse than being alone? Being alone and navigating Crate and Barrel. So that couch is basically an engagement ring.
9. He still tries to surprise you. No one can be on romantic point all the time, but he’s at least trying to keep things interesting. He makes a point to bring home flowers or plan a date night because it’s important to him that you don’t settle into a groove. Grooves are for 20 years from now!
10. He sticks through the rough patches. Anyone who’s not looking for a serious relationship will just peace out if there’s trouble. If he wants to work through problems with you, it’s because this issue seems like nothing compared to his love for you. If he comes to your room every day to tell you the story of how the two of you met and fell in love, you are the old lady in The Notebook.
11. He says he wants to marry you. Talking about your engagement and ruining the surprise factor sounds unromantic, but it’s super practical. And also nice because it keeps you from wondering if he’s ever going to propose. The only time someone has ever said this and not meant it is when they were secretly trying to murder you and your sister so he can take over your kingdom (Yeah, that’s a Frozen reference. I saw it in theaters with my parents. Fight me.).
12. He pushes you to accomplish your goals. He wants to see you grow and achieve real happiness because yours is just as important to him as his own. Also, no one wants to spend the rest of their lives with the sad guy from Garden State.