How commitment-minded men approach dating and relationships according to science

I had the pleasure of talking with Dr Duana Welch, Dating an Relationship Expert and Author of Love Factually - 10 Proven steps from I wish to I do and her more recent release Love Factually for Single Parents and those dating them.

In this first of two conversations, Duana is sharing her insights, personal experience and solid advice about How Relationship minded men approach dating and commitment according to her own research.

You can listen to the Audio Version here.

Dr Duana Welch- Love Factually.jpg

What are some obvious and less obvious signs and behaviours that a woman should look out for to prepare herself when she’s dating

I have clients that are sending me the emails and texts from men they’re meeting online and they do that so that I can help them discern if a man is commitment-minded. Yesterday a client reached out and told me that a man had reached out appropriately. He didn’t just say nice pictures or how’s your day going? Because they’re not real contacts

The real contacts involve when a man has reached out with something more sincerely, that shows that he had actually read your profile.

She had replied, and he replied that he was just looking to make friends and to see what developed

This man isn’t looking for anything, he’s looking for a hookup and he’s telling you that.

He said who he was.

As Angela Mayou said

When someone tells you and shows you who they are, believe them the first time.

This man had shown who he was and we need to believe him the first time

My client said, “what do I do with this information?” The answer was nothing. He’s told you what he wants, so move on.

It’s so hard for women to do that. So many times and I remember this with my own search. My advice is based on science at the same time I remember my own search and I’m in it with my own clients now.

We know we’re ready for a relationship.

So many times instead of scanning for signs that he isn’t prepared, we’re grasping for any straw that he’s interested.

Women think he wrote to me so he’s prepared. But, look what he actually said.

So one thing is a commitment minded man will say commitment-minded things usually.

“I’m looking for a serious relationship”.

“I’m looking for a long term relationship”.

80% of my clients are male, and they’re looking for a wife and they don’t hesitate to say that they’re looking for a wife.

This idea that it’s a unicorn the guy who looking for commitment is not true.

There are plenty of men who are looking for a serious relationship, and they won’t hesitate to tell you and they approach you in a serious way.

Look out for how do they approach you.

Maria: I’ve coached women who have been in the position, where they’ve met a man who on the surface level meet the criteria, they’re charming, successful etc, and they are energetically attaching and investing but the man has told them “lets wait and see, I don’t know what I want”. And women are placing themselves in a “waiting” energy, for men to change their minds. What are your thoughts on this.

That's frequent with many of my heterosexual female clients. They take themselves off the market for men and make a man a priority who is viewing them as an option, not a priority.

Don’t allow yourself to prioritise a man more heavily than he is prioritising you.

Dr Shelley Taylor was able to find that women do something call tending and befriending.

We try to get on the same level as other people for example, I’ve asked you to call me Duana not Dr Welch but if I were a male I would most certainly tell you to call me Dr Welch but there’s a reason for that.

That’s a very common finding with men, they want to use their title, and  superior position not only professionally have across the board,

There are solid reasons for that, they tend to get more sexual opportunities from doing that so it makes sense that they try and do that,  - just like women leverage youth and beauty, it gets them more solid mating opportunities

Men aren’t bad to do that.

Women try to tend to exist on a more equal playing field with people. They talk to people behind us in the grocery store, whereas men don’t tend to do that

We befriend

Men don’t do that

They live in a hierarchy where there is a one up and one down in each situation want status on all things and they don’t want to make a permanent commitment or marriage with someone who is a level down, they want status in all thing that including their girlfriend of eventual wife.

Women think I better make him breakfast, I better have sex with him right away,  I better do the things that I know he wants, she’s thinking as if she were dating a woman.

Women know what they want when we’ve got it. It’s men who know what he wants when it's gone.

So when a woman makes a man a priority, the reason we’re doing that is that we befriend.

So if a woman put her mating psychology onto a man, looks after him when he’s sick, sleeps with him takes care of him she’s thinking I better do the things I know he wants

She’s thinking as though she’s dating a woman

So if he made us a priority we know he’s truly invested.

So instead of treating men like women,for women, you’re not dating women,

Instead of treating men as though they have your same mating psychology it’s a good thing to start by recognising that men don’t. Globally.

Every place in the entire world where this has been studied including in  Scandinavia, where they’ve taken care of a lot of the financial difference between m and women and they have a created a strong social safety net where hypothetically  women don’t need men to survive like we once needed. We find the largest sex differences there

These come from ancient times it’s in our ancestral history.

It's actually something that's there to help you.

So women what you’re looking for a man who is ready to commit is he will

Approach you in a confident forthright manner and shows you respect.. He’ll ask to spend time with you several days before spending time with you.

Unfortunately, there's a mating dance that we do, just like birds do to show their fitness, and humans do it everywhere in the world to show their fitness

Women, your role in this dance is, is to let him strut his stuff but to say I’m not quite available yet.

Say yes, but don’t be available more than once or twice a week right at first,.Let him strut his stuff, say yes I like your stuff but don’t be available at the last minute, every single time he wants to get together. Only see him a couple of times a week at the beginning

He needs signs of high status in order to attach.

So he may be ready but you have to show him that you’re high status.

He shows readiness by trying to monopolise your time and saying he loves you.

He has to show it too.

Because unfortunately, players have figured out that saying I love you, causes women to drop their draws really quickly so you can’t just trust that, you have to look for the signs

Other signs that he’s commitment minded are..

Has he given you jewellery a gift of significant financial value.

Men invest their wallets where they’ve invested their hearts. Has he given you something of significant value. Has he paid for the dates,

It isn’t about whether you can afford to pay for the dates, all our clients can afford to pay for the dates

Throughout all human history

Men have shown that they’re interested in more than just sex by offering resources without being asked for them.

Prostitutes ask for resources- I will give you this if you give me that

The difference in real relationships and prostitution is that there isn’t a quid quo pro. It isn’t about I’ll give you this if you give me that

That’s what you want in a man who is serious enough about you that he gives without knowing if there’s going to be a sexual return on the investment.

He gives to you, and it’s his pleasure.

Men tell me all the time, that when he’s going out with a woman they’re serious about he can’t do enough for them. That’s what you’re looking for a man who feels he can’t do enough for you

I’ve been married to my husband for 10 years, and he built me a new kitchen, I was telling him how much I love the counter tops, the sinks,  stove and by the way, a big key to show your high status is that you show joy and delight in the things you like about the man you’re dating

It's not being bitchy, it's having high enough standards and good esteem that he won’t take over your whole life.

Fake it till you make it

He said “do you really like it”. I said “I love it”.

He looked at me and said really sweetly and said “all I want is your happiness”.

Men who really want you, aren’t going to let you go

He really tried to get that first meeting with me, I said we were going for a walk, he took me for dinner

He asked me for the next weekend before I even thought about it.

how commitment minded men approach relationships-

If you’re wondering if he wants me, you have your answer right there.

You have to have enough faith in yourself, when you are in the presence of a man.

You won’t be everyone’s flavour of the month . There are plenty of men that didn't want me. That's ok

We’re not all a match.

That's what’s the special and unique about human mating,

We don’t match with everyone. We only match with a few people

But nurture and borrow my faith that you will meet a few people that you do match with that will want you like that.

He may not do some things, but he will do the important things.

He might not do this but does he want to introduce you to his friends and family?

Does he want to meet your friend and family?

Does he buy you small gifts – its how thoughtful it is not expensive?

Does he look for small ways to please you, it isn't about how expensive it is, it's about how thoughtful it is

I had a client who was dating a wealthy man. At Christmas he gave her an expensive necklace and said here!. He wasn’t into her. It didn’t mean anything.

He could buy an expensive necklace all day it was like a button off of his shirt.  

Then I've had other clients who were dating a man that picked them flowers on the side of the road, tied them up in a bow and wrote a love note with them and that what they got on valentines day and that was the guy, that’s what you’re looking for

does he love you or just profess love-

Does he show love not just profess love?

When to let him go

Does he talk about a shared future together, does he ask to meet your people, does he ask for you to meet his people?

If you’re trying to have a conversation about a shared future, and he avoids it.

If you’re trying to get him to meet your people, and he doesn’t do the same.

If you’re trying to make a date and he's avoiding it, and not getting back to you.

Let him go.

Have more faith in your value than that.

Stop worrying about manipulating the guy into loving you, and start worrying more about whether this guy deserves you

It's funny I’ve had clients that were like a 10, the total package. Smart, Athletic, Drop dead Gorgeous, good degree, money, they have everything. And they’re settling for men.

I tell them look at me I’m almost 50, but in my mid 30’s with a diabetic child in tow, with medical needs

I had 14 marriage proposals. I was never as pretty as you are.

How did that happen, because you have to show that you’re excited about this guy, but he can’t take over your life. Being with you is a privilege

You should always have that attitude,

Not in a snobby way. But In a way that I have a life going, I’m thrilled you want to be part of it, but you have to work your way in.

Even with Vic my husband. I didn’t stop seeing everybody else right away, and I told him that, he worked his way in, he showed me and proved it. He values that. He tells people how he worked to have me.

Four and half months later, we got engaged. We got together in September, proposed in No and married end of January.

We each had a cat, dog, mortgage kids and lived in different cities. He proposed after 4.5 months

He bought a house and planned a marriage and everything

I don’t advise that for very young people but we weren't very young. I had just turned 39, he just turned  52. We knew what we wanted. He was so clear about what he wanted

Do yourself the honour of believing your worth, and do men the honour of understanding they do want to marry the woman they think is right for them. and want to a committed relationship.

Most of them, there are men who are deeply ambivalent that they don’t know that, and you shouldn’t spend your time with them.

A man who says “Let’s just see where this is going”, or “I don’t know what I want”.

Tell him, “I really like you, you have a lot to offer, I’m looking for the right relationship if you change your mind let me know”

Almost all the stalkers in the world are guys but if a guy is interested in you, he will let you know

I went out with a guy who really screwed up and I stopped seeing in him. He found my mothers address, she lived in a different state. He wrote her a letter of apology about how he treated me so that I know how sincere he is.

You can’t stop a man who really wants you, from showing you that he really wants you

What is your advice for women who live in a small community or a place with a lack of available single men. I recommend they widen their opportunities to beyond their immediate location.

Well there are environments where there are more eligible women than men

For example, as we age, the pool of available men shrinks.. I don’t start telling my clients that there are plenty of fish in the sea.Here’s what we know about happiness based on science, happily married people are the happiest. The middle range is single people.

Being single for most people is pretty lonely. We get told we need to be happy by our selves but most of us aren’t.

It should be viewed as part of our human psychology that we need each other that's what the data indicates. The least happy people are the unhappily married people.

It makes no sense to settle for men you won’t be happy with.

Desirable men have more options

In other words, let's say there are ten women on an island. He wants the one woman who can live without him. He doesn’t want the nine women throwing himself at him,

A male client once said to me. When we're looking for a permanent partner we’re on the hunt, sexually for casual sex. We’re almost like lions so if the gazelle runs up to us, we don’t know what's wrong with that gazelle but there's something wrong with it.

They want to pursue

Part of what they get from persuing is the knowledge that you have high enough worth. Within yourself and high enough worth in your community that you can afford to wait for sex with your time.

You can’t afford to be mean

You can afford to say I’m sorry I already have something going on on Friday night free next week

Instead of cancelling plans with friends, or I have to babysit my sister's kids want to come?

No, let them think you’re on a date.

Men love to win the heart  when your high status.

I’ve had women who did all this and he disappeared anyway,

There is a large group of men who do this.

He just approaches and says “hi”, and does’t invest, what they’re showing you is low investment, and wants you to do the work.

He only wants to have sex.. If you have standards you will get rid of those men

It depends on how clear the woman is on her willingness to date more than one man at a time.

Men in their early 20’s aren’t sure what they want yet- spend time together but don't have sex.

You can let him know you're seeing other people.

Women are terrified of doing this but remember you’re not telling a woman this.

A woman would hear- “You're just an option, I’m playing the field, I'm a playboy and you wouldn't want to see him anymore”.

What men hear is “she’s desirable, other men are asking her out, I better move quickly if I’m serious about this”.

It provides a tipping point, you’re either worth the effort or not. It jettisons men who aren’t into you very quickly. If a mans is into you, it will tip him from uncertainty to falling in love.

How commitment minded men approach dating/

You can end up a man whose a terrible flirt and playboy and you don’t do it by making him breakfast, spending all your time with him, while you're spending all your time with him while he decides and not have sex with him.

You do it by telling him you're spending time with other men but not having sex with him.

If you're having sex with him, he hears your being unfaithful.

He doesn’t hear you’re only having sex with him, he won’t believe that, because he’s imposing his own mating psychology on you right

If a guy is in his forties and still saying stuff like that,” I don’t know”, “I just want to see what's out there”, he’s not worth the time.

I remember dating a man who was 47, who was independently wealthy. He asked me out on a date, I said I’d be into seeing you,  I’d like to talk a little bit more but sure.

I said to him, “I barely know you and I'm not asking how you feel about me, but wondering  what are you looking for in general in a partnership?”

Don’t be afraid to ask this- what a man is looking for  – you don’t have to say with me, but generally.

So if someone is in their 30’s or 40’s and he doesn’t know, he’s either lying or he doesn’t want to tell you the answer which is  casual sex.

His answer was, “ what do you mean?”

Not a good answer.

Well I said “that at some point I’m looking to get married again, I’m not saying it to you because I don’t know you, but it is one of  my life goals”.

I was asking about his life goal vision

If I had been seriously dating him, and asked “do you want to get married someday” then it's chasing him and unattractive.

The fact that I don’t know him is what makes this attractive . He said “do I have to know that yet?”.

I said “no, but I’m clear on my life goals, so I'm going to say no to that date, and get off the phone now”.

He couldn’t believe it.

I said, “You're not clear on what you want and I am, and it's not compatible and I'm moving on”.

He looked like a perfect man, funny, charming, wealthy, accepted my kid. If he can offer you everything but commitment is that perfect?

Stop making excuses for men who don’t want to give you that commitment

I had to tell a client last week. “You're going to make a wonderful wife because you’re putting everyone else's needs ahead of your own”. I do too now for Vic because we're married and he does that for me too.

It's appropriate I put my child's needs ahead of my own.

But don’t give a man wife level commitment when  not giving you girlfriend commitment. Lag behind until he gives you full commitment.

Women make the mistake of giving him a taste of what being together will feel like for him. But they think you’re kind of desperate- because they're status motivated

Should a woman ask a man what the status of their relationship is?

If he wanted you, you wouldn’t have to ask. In my new book, I include a letter from one woman who wrote to me. She had been going out with a handsome, tall attorney –with two kids. She wrote to me, and said he had never asked her if she would be his girlfriend or introduce her to his important people.

I had to say he's an attorney, he knows how to ask. Stop making excuses for men He knows how to ask for a commitment.

First of all, do you want to be with a man who is that dull?

This is an example of a man who doesn't want commitment. She told me that she confronted him about it, and he disappeared.

Date other people, and continue to do that until he says I’m only seeing you, and wish you would only see me too.

Fear is the motivator for men. Fear of losing you. That's the knowledge that you're dating other men

At least let him think you're dating other men, don’t lie just say you have plans.

Don’t tell him, let him think you're seeing other people

If that keeps going on, and you're sick of waiting for him to ask. Then stop dating him.

He’ll either figure out he can’t live without you, or he wasn't going to anyway.

You can’t layer on attention and affection and make a man love you.

You can back away and find out if he was going to love you

Your power is in putting up a barrier, leaving and holding your options open

That’s your power.

What are the red flags to look out for?

Weary of exclusivity too soon? I know there are exceptions.

It’s complicated because women very rarely fall in love at first sight

20% of men have fallen in love at first sight, more common

In one study, of those men, the marriages are long term and the men are still in love with their wives

Unfortunately, there's another profile of men who fit this profile

They're abusers.

First of all, just because he asked to be exclusive doesn’t mean you have to say yes

Vic asked me very quickly. He was ready to be exclusive over the phone.

I told him, “I hardly know you, I'm not ready, I'm still dating other people, I need to let you know that as I don’t want to be duplicitous”. Women are scared of saying that.

I didn’t say yes until I was ready.

For some women its as though their emotions don’t even count. They count.. A lot.

Until you're ready to make a commitment

He said he loved me first. I said “thank you, you're a good man your love is worth having, I'm not ready to say that yet, but I believe I will someday”.

I wasn’t bitchy, aloof, cold.Same with a commitment “I think ill be there someday I'm not there yet”.

Listen to your intuition. Science says it works. Listen to it

Tell the guy, “I’m complimented that you want to take it to the next level,I'm not there yet if it changes I'll let you know”. It's not going to drive off a good man.

If he says commit or I'm leaving, that's controlling and abusive – coming from a man it shows sociopathology for abusiveness not for a woman. For a woman, it’s more a case of low self- esteem.

Look out for

Does he speak hatefully of other people – his exes, other people in his life.

You can dislike someone and not speak hatefully about them.

My husband's ex-wife- long pain history there- still when I asked him about it, he said we had a long and difficult relationship, I'm upset about quite a few things, but I try to parent with her as best as I can for the best of our child.

He didn’t say any of many things the things that he could have   that I found out later

When he asked about my ex

I said he was a good man with bad problems, I loved him very much but had serious issues with alcoholism and addiction and it wasn’t safe for me to remain in that relationship

I didn't say that terrible man, I hate him, he can burn in hell. Abusers say those things.

People who are out of control say those things.

Look for someone who even when things haven’t gone their way can speak respectfully.It's a red flag if they cant

There’s general research that shows when we speak poorly of someone people assume

whatever we said of the other person is true of us. And especially when they speak poorly of their exes

Our exes are people we chose for good reasons. Even if it turns out there were deal breakers

If you can't say anything about them, the problem to some extent is you.

It's important to nurture kindness.

You're looking for someone who is kind and respectful to everyone in their world

They may be short-tempered and apologise. They don’t make excuses they make an effort

30 plus year of research of married couple shows that respect and kindness make the marriage thrive, for happiness sake. Even if there are other issues.

If they're nice to you but rude the waiter they're not nice. Also, abusers, can't pretend for very long,

What if she says she needs space and time, and he pursues and insists.

My friend has this saying.

“Two’s company, threes a crowd and one’s a stalker”. The difference between whether it's attention or stalking is whether it’s wanted or not.

If he’s fully committed to you, he’s saying I’ll be here until you're ready – it’s commitment not stalking.

It's stalking when you say I don’t want texts, calls, to see see your email, don’t follow me on face book or twitter – nothing. When you have made it that clear that you're done and he doesn’t stop, it’s stalking.

Before that, it's just the man trying to win you, its what they do.

If you decide you no longer want him in your life, you have to be clear. Women  and Men wimp out when it comes to breaking up. If you say I'm not ready yet, all he hears is yet,

You need to be clear. “I don’t feel the way that I need to  continue getting to know you”, or “in this relationship and I'm not going to be seeing you any more”.

Do not hold out hope, do not give external circumstances, because he's going to hold onto hope for the external, circumstance to change. Don’t breadcrumb him.

You have to be clear

Stalking begins when you've made it that clear

Should you stay friends with someone you don’t want to date or be in Relationship with anymore?

He not looking for friendship.

If he's hanging around and being friends, it’s because he hoping you'll change your mind. It's cruel to keep a guy on the hook hoping that you'll change your mind.

Be kind clear, brief, honest, clear direct

What that looks like is,

“I've realised this isn’t the right thing for me,  I’m moving on, and I don’t want to spend more time with you.”

He says can we just be friends?

You’ll say “I don’t think I can do that, thank you”.

That may hurt, you too.

But its selfish people

I feel like since we know from science that kindness and respect are prerequisites for a happy marriage,

It's important to be kind and respectful in all your interactions. Good boundaries and kind and respectful.

Women tend to get confused that saying no is mean but it's not.

Saying something when it's not, is actually unkind.

You can say “I enjoyed the 3 times we went out, I had a great time, I've realised I don’t feel the way I need to and it's not going anywhere for me.”

Kind and direct

Avoid the Better than Nothing (BTN) Situation?

Don't hold on to someone until someone better comes along.

The better than nothing scenario is common.

Susan Page coined the term and I stole it and she adores my book- BTN- Better than Nothing.

Science shows that its a bad deal for us.

The reason is, there a phenomenon where if you are really really thirsty, and you drink some water and not thirsty anymore your motivation to drink is gone.

But if you're really thirsty and nobody gives you anything to drink eventually you'll get off the coach to get some water. There’s a commercial in the US, that says stay thirsty my friends. I tell my clients. Stay thirsty.

You don’t want  someone giving you just enough, emotional connection sexual satisfaction, just enough of your needs that you stay on the coach.

BTNs sap your motivation. I’ve seen it my life and with clients.

I think BTNs rob us of our self-esteem over time, because all I have for now, becomes all I can get over time.

These better than nothings take up our time, and we tell ourselves I'll go out and find something better and we don’t.

Then we mistakenly tell ourselves that all I have is all I can get which is very dispiriting.

The price of finding love is saying no and meaning it with everyone that doesn’t fit what we want

Not saying no and hanging out for another  6 months.

I feel that and research shows character, kindness respect count, its really important emotional and spiritual practice to be that, meaning cutting if off and letting it go.

Don’t breadcrumb people – don’t string them along as a backup option.I have so many clients who are being bread crumbed and they're not being asked out.

When a guy is reaching out and saying hi, and he's not asking you out. You're a backup, block his number.

I don’t want you to be someones back up plan.

You can even say, “You know what, let me know if you ever decide if you want to ask me out, but don’t text or call me again I've moved on”.

He can pursue you if he wants to but you're not going to do the work for him.

Don't let him monopolise your time with the good morning texts, that take 10 seconds of his day.

I hope you’ve been inspired by this conversation with Duana Welch. To learn more about her Love Factually books and to connect with her visit

If you would like to gain clarity about your ideal Relationship Standards, Values, and Boundaries so that you date with confidence and clarity as a high status woman. Download this guide to enforce your most important criteria. This sets the foundation to empowered dating. “I wouldn’t be in a Relationship without”

I would love hear if these indicators of commitment minded men resonate with you in the comments below. What do you look for as an indication that the man you’re dating is relationship minded?


Maria x