He doesn't need to recall your conversations word for word, but he should put his phone down for a sec (yes, really), listen, and offer thoughtful input. Sure, his eyes might glaze over when you're obsessing over Justin Bieber for the millionth time, but anyone who is worth your time should take a genuine interest in you and your life. Maybe you ask him to run flashcards before your big test and he says no.
Or maybe you talk about your big dreams of running your own company one day and he laughs you off like he doesn't believe you can do it. In the long run, you'll be happiest and most successful with someone who has total faith in your abilities by your side.
If he wants you to change (by dressing differently, blowing off your friends, or drinking and partying when that's not your scene) that's a sign he doesn't really like you for , and you deserve someone much better. If a guy really likes you, he should let you know, and if you're in a relationship, that shouldn't even be a question. If it's not so clear, that's a red flag that merits a serious conversation.
If he never pays attention when you talk to him, what's the point of dating him?
And if he swears up and down that every single one of his exes are crazy, it may be a sign you should run. Obviously, he's allowed to think other girls are cute, but you should feel confident enough in your relationship to know that he's only into you. He'll do it again, and even if he doesn't, you deserve someone who would never violate your trust and risk your relationship like that. A healthy relationship involves spending time together, sure, but it also includes time apart.
But if he's staring at the girl across the room when you're literally right there and ignoring you, he's not worth your time. If he goes a few hours without returning your text every once in awhile, it's NBD. If he gets salty once, he might just feel left out.
There's no reason to rush into it until you're really ready.
The right person will respect you by listening to your boundaries and taking things at a pace you're comfortable with.
If he can't give let Even shy or stoic guys can open up every once in awhile to say nobody makes him laugh like you do, or that your performance in the school play deserved an Oscar, or that you look like a freaking supermodel in that dress.
Your BF doesn't have to be besties with your besties, but he should make a serious effort to get along with the people who are important to you.
Hannah Orenstein is the assistant features editor at