Every girl’s been there before – in a relationship with a terrific guy with whom she sees a serious, committed future, hoping he feels the same way about her. So if you’re there right now, you’re in excellent company for sure. As far as you can tell, it seems like the desire to build a life together is mutual, but how can you know for sure?

The answer is in the little details. So here’s a look at what to consider and look for when determining whether a guy truly wants to take that next step with you or is simply happy to let things stay the way they are indefinitely. Does any of the following sound familiar?

1. Commitment is part of his relationship philosophy.

Many people these days no longer believe in long-term commitment for any number of reasons. Some are former children of divorce, while others may have been burned before and are now reluctant to take the plunge again.

So, when your man talks about commitment, marriage, nuclear families, and all the rest of it, what’s his attitude like? Does he believe in those things and talk about them in a positive light when they come up in conversation? If so, that’s a good sign.

2. You’re part of his vision for his future.

Everyone has plans, dreams, and hopes for their future, and they’ll occasionally talk about them. Of course, most guys will talk about things like the professional life they hope to achieve or the type of car they’d like to drive one day. But what you really want to pay attention to is whether or not you’re part of the picture.

When he imagines himself coming home from that dream job, does he see himself coming home to you and perhaps a couple of kids you may have had together? Does he say “we” instead of “I” when he starts daydreaming about the things he wants to do? If so, that’s a clear sign he sees you in his life for the long haul.

3. Most of his friends are married.

It’s true what they say about how people are who they hang with, meaning you can tell a lot about a guy by what his friends are like. So when you look at your guy’s social circle, what do you see? Are most of his friends commitment-minded men who are married or want to be someday? Or are they swinging singles who see commitment as a trap to be avoided?

Most people don’t like to be the first among their social circles to get married or engaged. So if most of your guy’s friends have already taken the plunge, he’s that much more likely to want to follow suit sooner rather than later, especially if he’s given you other reasons to believe he’s thinking about it with you.

4. He doesn’t shy away from making commitments.

Think about all the little decisions people make in life that tie them to their partner in one way or another. They buy homes together or open joint bank accounts. They decide to have children together or talk about it as a possibility for the not-too-distant future. In other words, they start laying the groundwork for a whole, committed life with the person they love.

Has your guy been making any commitments along these lines with you? Has he talked about making others or tried to feel you out on topics like these? If he has, he’s definitely thinking about a future that includes you in a starring role, and he may be close to taking that next step soon.

5. He’s serious about working through any issues.

Naturally, even the best, most loving relationships aren’t perfect. Every couple has their problems and the little things they quarrel about, especially initially. However, there’s a big difference between how a man handles such things with a woman he’s serious about versus one he simply sees as good enough for now.

So how does your guy handle arguments, sticking points, and other issues couples tend to have? Does he do what a lot of guys do and ignore problems, hoping they’ll simply go away on their own? Or does he sit down with you and try to work things out together as a team? If it’s the latter, he feels invested in your future together and hopes what you have together lasts.

So when you think about your guy and his potential as a promising future mate, what does your gut tell you? Is he a standup, emotionally mature, financially stable guy who’s going places – life partner material all the way? Does he talk and act like someone serious about the right things in life? If not, keep looking.

Life’s too short to waste it on someone who isn’t serious about the future. It’s also so much better with the right partner along for the ride, so don’t settle for anything less.