When it comes to romance, the stereotype is that girls overthink everything. In truth, they're not the only ones. Guys do it too. From a feeling of pressure that they have to make the first move or initiate a relationship, men can become bogged down. They start thinking as a result. Even though some view men as all instinct and no brains, the fact is a man's brain works more than most would think. This is especially true in the beginning of relationships. No other time is a guy's brain more overly active. Like a star athlete with one last shot to win the game, a guy feels a weight strain on him. He has an opportunity in front of him and he doesn't want to blow it.
While we don't always recommend going into a guy's headspace, it may make a girl more sympathetic to his plight. More than anything, she just wants to know if there's anything in there. Does he actually want to ask her out? Or is he just crippled by indecision? When it really comes down to it though, she just simply wants to know what he's thinking. Here are 18 things he could be mulling over before he (finally) asks you out.
18 He Wonders If He Can Handle Rejection
We all have to guard our hearts. Some of us do it to a fault. Just because men can have rough exteriors doesn't mean they're not emotional creatures. They just naturally tend to hide their feelings. What are those feelings exactly? Well, they probably have some fear. You may be wondering what exactly they're afraid of? Really, what so many men fear most is actually being rejected.
As The Social Generation points out, when a guy is rejected, he feels like a complete failure. There are tons of tips and advice out there on how men can appeal to women. They feel like they have everything they need. Then when they get rejected, their self-esteem takes a nosedive. It's sort of unfair for women that men can place so much importance on the relationship to hold up their self-esteem. More than likely, you don't really care about the game that men want to play. Rather, you just want to get to know the guy to see if there's a future. For some guys, there's a macho element. When women are attracted to them, it can have an interesting effect. He will want to figure out whether he can handle rejection before he dates a girl.
17 He Worries About What You'll Think About His Imperfections
Everyone thinks about the way they look at one time or another. It's part of the human experience to be conscious of how others perceive you. While it'd probably be a better world if we could all just accept one another's appearance for what they are, the reality is that this awareness is (arguably) stronger than ever. With the rise of social media, a huge element is how we look on the surface. It's the way we present ourselves to the world, after all.
Naturally, before a guy asks you out, he's going to think about his own physical appearance. As The Odyssey Online points out, "We tend to notice our imperfections better than look at the big picture." When he looks at himself and sees only his flaws, he's going to think he doesn't have what it takes to date you. While some women might think it’s actually sweet and don't really care about his flaws, it can prevent him from asking you out. As a result, he can either work out and make himself better looking or choose not to let it bother him. It really just depends on what kind of guy he is at the end of the day.
16 He Feels Like He’s Texting For The Very First Time
Although it might sound really basic, he's probably thinking about how he should reach out to you. After developing a crush, sometimes he pays attention to the smallest details. How does he want to come across to you? How does he contact you in the first place? This day in age, there has never been more ways to reach out and get ahold of someone. Even though he probably has a phone, there's a myriad of ways to use it. He can use it the old-fashioned way and call or send you a text message. Last but not least, he can go the most modern route and reach out over social media.
Like Lifehacker mentions, the first text message he sends is always the hardest. Inevitably, he's going to have some uncertainty or nervousness about reaching out the first time. That's what all the holdup is after all. He's thinking about the best way, what to say and where it goes from there. In an attempt to anticipate how you'll react, he's trying to create the most favorable outcome. If he plays his cards right and receives a positive response, he'll feel a boost of confidence that encourages him to continue the pursuit.
15 He’s Going Try With A Little Help From His Friends
A responsible guy is usually going to consider how his friendships will change as a result of dating. This is going to turn him into a Winnie the Pooh sitting on a stump and thinking things through. He wants to date you, but he's unsure of lots of things when it comes to his friends. Will you get along with his friends? Is he willing to spend less time with his friends as a result of dating you? Will his friends accept and approve of you? These are just some of the questions swirling through that head of his.
When two people go out, their friendships start to blur together. As per Cosmopolitan, a good sign is when his friends start sending you friend requests on Facebook or social media. They go on to say it's definitely confirmation that he's serious about going forward with you. Alas, this is what he's thinking about. Is he willing to share his friends and time with you?
Plus, he's considering your friends into the equation as well. Are they a bunch he's willing to get along and hang out with? Most guys know that friendships are important and will spend time thinking this through before asking you out.
14 He’s Overwhelmed By The Fancy First Date
A first date sounds really simple, right? Most people can picture what it should look like and how it will go down. When a guy is into a girl he wants to take out, he sometimes overcomplicates matters. This doesn’t have to be the case! However, due to his desire to make it perfect, he overanalyzes it. He's probably thinking up all the ways he can make it really great. The problem with that is it tries to accomplish too much too soon.
The Social Man has a great tip about this, advising guys to steer clear of making it fancy. Not that it can't be fancy, just that men tend to go this route thinking she'll be more into him if he does. It may actually hurt his chances more though. His goal should be to find a place where he can get to know you more. That's really what the first date is all about. He wants to see if you're the right fit for him and vice versa. He's going to be thinking a lot about how he wants the first date to go in his head. It's part of what guys strive for in wanting to impress.
13 He's Picturing What A Normal Day Would Be Like If You Two Were To Be Exclusive
Might sound funny, but things like music are important to a guy. While it might seem inconsequential to a girl what they listen to in the car, to guys it's more than it seems. One could even argue it's a guy getting really practical. He's imagining what an ordinary day looks like with you. By thinking ahead to whether your music interests will coalesce, he's sort of preventing any future conflicts that could arise between you both. Maybe that's a stretch on our part, but our thoughts about whether he's thinking about music isn't.
The Odyssey Online agrees, asking questions such as, "Would she want to change the station, for those of us who still listen to the radio?" If you switch the station for something else when he's really enjoying it, that could be a deal breaker for him. As much as she wants to roll her eyes at this, she'd only be hurting herself by not taking his interests to heart. The Odyssey Online also mentions certain musical tastes can be a turn off for guys. A guy will examine everything in a girl to see whether she's the one. Music is going to be one of those areas.
12 He’s Taking Time Out To Consider The Timing
Guys aren't always the easiest creatures to understand. They may come across simple sometimes, but their behavior tells a different story. For example, he could be really into you, but nothing happens. According to True Love Dates, it could be because he doesn't think it's the right time. The article points out that each side's idea of timing could be in direct contract to each other. You may be totally ready, while he's far from ready. While there are lots of reasons as to why he may not be ready, we definitely know that his insecurity about timing will get him thinking.
He's going to ponder on it until he reaches a decision. Otherwise, he might just think about it long enough to actually change the literal timing. It's up to you whether you're willing to wait around for him to get his act together, or whether you want to take matters into your own hands. That means either going up to him directly to tell him your intentions or moving on to someone new. While the right timing could sound like a cop out on his end, maybe there's drama outside of your hands. Problems at home or emotional ailments could contribute to his reasoning about timing. If they do, chances are he's going to ponder on it.
11 He's In Love, And He’s A Believer
If religion is important to your guy, it's going to be a strong influence on his life decisions. It can serve as a compass guiding his path whenever he doesn't know what to do. When he encounters a girl that he really likes, he's going to want to know if she has the same belief system about faith and the world that he does. If she already shares the same beliefs as him, he doesn't have to do much thinking. On the other hand, if she believes in something else or nothing entirely, it's going to put him in a tough situation. He'll have to decide if he likes her enough to pursue the relationship or let it fall by the wayside.
According to Pew Research Center, Christianity is the most popular religion in America today at 70.6%. That means the likelihood your guy is a Christian is strong. For many religious people, they think it's vitally important to date someone who believes the same, but The Guardian provides a different case. The Guardian states that interfaith marriages can actually strengthen commitments instead of hampering them. It's possible that your guy is considering the same exact thing. But with the future uncertain, he's going to take time to think it over.
10 He Wants To Predict The Future
Like anyone, guys wish they had a crystal ball with which to see the future. It would sure make life a lot easier to know how things were going to pan out. Then they could make decisions that would have their best interests at heart. Relationships just don't really work that way. You have to give in order to get. That means risking the chance you could walk away with a lot of pain after years of pouring into someone else. That's the gamble with a huge pay off if all works out in the end.
Guys are going to think twice before going down this road. They want to know with certainty if everything will turn out well in the end. Otherwise—in the least—he wants to make sure that if things end, it doesn't ruin his life. Can he find love again with someone else if it doesn't work out? Will his family and friends be too attached to let go? These are impossible questions to answer—especially before you even go on the first date with him—but some guys will take it upon themselves to try and predict the outcome. Once he looks at it from every angle, he might be ready to move forward.
9 He Wants To Make Sure You're A Transformer: More Than Meets The Eye
Is there more than meets the eyes? That's what guys will want to know about a girl that strikes their fancy. Taking a valuable lesson learned from their interest in Transformers (you know, if they're nerdy), they'll want to see if she has brains to go with her beauty. He wants to know if she has a sense of humor and if she's got dreams and goals. He wants to know if they have anything in common. Even though good looks are important to a guy, he's going to consider the long-term potential.
Plus—as Verily mentions—personality is a critical component in determining whether the two of you have chemistry. What he's probably taking a while to figure out is that he just needs to be himself around you. More than likely, you both like each other for who you already are. He might be thinking that he has to be something else entirely to attract you. We're probably guessing you like him just as he is. If he's not dating you yet, maybe it's because he wants to make sure you will both vibe. He wants to be certain that you're not just too good to be true.
8 He’s Doesn’t Want To Fail
While it doesn't have to be the rule of thumb for every relationship, usually the ball is a man's court in romance. What this means is it's up to him to make the first move. There's nothing wrong with a woman doing it, but it's traditional for men to be more assertive. Your guy may know that and accept it, he's just hesitant to proceed. Why is he? It actually has nothing to do with you. He just doesn't want to screw up this perfect opportunity.
As The Huffington Post notes, society expects a man to hold a woman's attention over the course of their relationship. That kind of thinking might intimidate him from moving forward. Even if the girl that stands before him is everything he wants, he's waiting for what he thinks is the perfect timing. While he really should just go for it already, he's plagued with the possibility of failing. While The Huffington Post does stress that he should sell himself daily to her, he's also not perfect. Usually it just takes a guy to think it out and come around to this understanding. It may just be necessary for him to take some time and realize this before he dates you.
7 He’s Guarding Himself Instead Of Regarding You
Let's face it, guys like having time to themselves. They're not the only ones, so it should be pretty easy to understand why they'd be hesitant to start dating you. They don't want to lose what they have—which is doing whatever they want to the beat of their own drum. Free time is something he's going to have to give up if he wants to be with you. After all, women give it up too.
As Verily points out, we all need our alone time. That's when we take it easy, recharge our batteries and get going again. It doesn't have to go away. Men just assume it will because they'll have less time to do what they normally would. Life is about balance and it just takes time to adjust to a new situation. What they don't realize is that many women enjoy their free time and schedules too. In fact, Verily notes that independence is a quality that men are drawn to in partners. He just needs some time to think over whether she's an independent person, or if she's going to take up all his free time. It's not surprising he'd want to think things through first.
6 He Doesn’t Think It’s Just A Kiss
Yup, he might just be thinking about whether he should lay the smack on. What we mean is whether he should kiss you or not the first time you really hang out. It's something he wants to know first before taking you on the first date when things go up a notch. Like Love Panky points out, women tend to be mixed on what they want on the first date. Obviously—on the one hand—it's very special and intimate. On the other hand, perhaps it rushes things forward too quickly. These are two considerations every side of a couple has to consider going into the first date. It really just depends on where both of them are at that point.
He might want to know for sure—going into the first date—whether he wants to go for it or not. A girl might feel more open to seeing how things pan out in the midst of a date. Other guys may need to have it all worked out beforehand mentally. They don't have forever though to come up with a conclusion. Otherwise, she's not always going to wait around for him to make things happen.
5 He’s Asking Her 21 Questions
Some guys will have certain hang ups going into a relationship. They may have one or several. There's really no limit to the number of things holding him back. The more things he's uncertain about, the longer it'll likely take him to reach a decision. What he should probably do is just ask you out but he chooses instead to think long and hard about it.
One of the things he may be insecure about and wants to improve is whether he has enough good questions to ask. After all, the first few dates are all about getting to know each other. The only way to learn is to show an interest and ask lots of questions. Maybe he's not very good or experienced at asking questions or hasn't been in a real relationship before where he had to. If that's the case, then he's going to spend loads of time thinking of ways to learn about you. If he knew that it wasn't so important to go in prepared and to take a more natural approach, he probably wouldn't spend so much time worrying about it. He's built up this situation in his head, so he'll think about questions to ask you.
4 He Just Wants To Make A Girl Laugh
In a relationship, guys test who they really are. It essentially reveals qualities about themselves they didn't know or see before. Maybe he always thought he was funny, but when he starts dating he can't make her laugh. If he's more of a comedian than a jock, then he's going to pause before dating her to question whether he's funny enough. While he never had a reason to question it before, now that he's face-to-face with this wonderful girl who holds his heart in her hands, he's second-guessing himself.
Girls can take note of what The Social Man notes about how men use humor: they do it to ascertain how much you're really into him. What a guy is really looking at is how much she responds to his joke. Girls may even laugh at a joke that isn't funny to show she likes him. When you understand how much humor means to some guys, it may make you more sympathetic to what all his fretting is about. If he's stuck in a rut before the date, he's probably evaluating whether he's got what it takes to make you laugh. If you think that sounds absurd, just be sure to save your laughs for when he's around.
3 He’s All About That Hard Knock Life
You could be waiting on a guy to ask you out, but maybe he still thinks old school and doesn't have any dough. It may have never crossed your mind. Why would he let that get in the way of your first date together? It's bound to happen to some couples. If he's flat out broke, he's flat out not going to ask you out. While it can vary from case to case, guys usually won't take that next step unless he has the capital.
By way of Time, a study revealed more than 50 percent of women pay for their dates. Unsurprising, men had hoped women would pay more as well. This definitely goes against the traditional understanding previously existing within dating for years; but is she really willing to fork over some dough to go out on a date? Some women might prefer to split the check both ways. That seems to be less common these days though, with the traditional view still holding out the majority. Chances are he knows this and is afraid to go further because he doesn't have the money. Plus if he's a good guy, he'll want to do it right. This will get a man thinking.
2 He’s Afraid Of The Friend Zone
The friend zone—it's that dreaded place guys claim they never want to be. A guy likes a girl. She doesn't like him. She still hangs out with him but delegates him to simply being her friend and nothing more. That would be the friend zone. No guy wants it. In fact, it might be even worse than a rejection for some. They would rather have her put him out of his misery than continue being friends.
As Elite Daily points out, the friend zone is bad because he's afraid of rejection that loves being around you. It's hard for him to move forward and risk losing the relationship, but it hurts as much staying put. It can be hard for two people who have been friends for so long to suddenly transition into a romance. If he suspects that the friend zone is where you two are at, then he's going to do some hard thinking. Maybe he's thinking of a way to get out of it. She pretty much holds his fate in her hands at that point. If she wants him to move forward, all she has to do is show a more flirtatious side of her. Or, she can drop him at a moment's notice too.
1 He's Actually Thinking About Your Political Views
Politics can get messy. It can really become a hotbed of hostility if there isn't a mutual understanding between two people. It doesn't even matter if two people are of the same political stance. There can still be so many variations of thoughts within that political party. Like religion, some folks require others to share the same political beliefs as them in order for the relationship to work. That may explain why he's thinking about his crush but not actually doing anything about moving forward with her.
As Good Therapy points out, a relationship isn't dead in the water if two people have completely polarizing viewpoints. Love should be able to transcend political beliefs at the end of the day. If he's strongly aligned with one political party, perhaps he's thinking about whether you agree with his stance. Consider your own political beliefs and whether you think there's incompatibility. What makes it hard for a relationship is when political and world-views blend together. It makes it hard to separate the two, forcing one side to accept the other's political views in order to love them. Chances are he's considering your political views—or lack of them—before he asks you out.
References: Social Generation, Odyssey Online, Lifehacker, Good Therapy, Cosmopolitan, The Social Man, True Love Dates, The Guardian , Pew Research Center, Verily, Huffington Post, Love Panky, Time, The Social Man, Elite Daily