Women believe that men aren’t looking for committed relationships these days, but that simply isn’t true. Yes, it is true that many men don’t want commitment or are players, but there are plenty of good men out there looking for committed, long-term relationships. You just have to know how to figure out if he’s one of those keepers and how to get him to commit to you. You can’t possibly get a man to commit to you if he doesn’t want one or isn’t capable of making one. So, how can you avoid time wasters and dead-ends? Your best bet for protecting your time and your heart is to know how to screen your dates for their ability to commit.

That doesn’t mean that you have to grill the poor guy with personal questions on your first few dates. To him, that will feel more like an interrogation than a pleasant encounter with an interesting woman. Interrogators don’t get second dates. Why sabotage your chances of getting to know him? What’s your hurry in getting these answers? As long as you’re protecting your heart, you can take your time.

Be honest with yourself and pay attention to any red or even pink flags that you hear about in your conversation. You may be tempted to overlook some things if you find him really interesting or attractive. But watching for the telltale signs that he can’t commit is one of the most important things you can do to avoid getting into a relationship with an unavailable man who will break your heart.

Look out for these waving red and pink flag warning signs:

1- He tells you he isn’t looking for marriage.

Listen to this warning. Men typically don’t lie about this. Many women will overlook this warning sign because they think that once a guy gets to know them, he’ll change his mind. That’s a huge risk you’re taking if you ignore this red flag. Don’t be tempted to think that he’ll change his mind once he gets to know you. He’s being honest upfront about what he wants or doesn’t want in a relationship.

2- He’s never committed. To anything.

He’s never had a serious girlfriend, never been married, or didn’t even want to buy a car or house, and not because of financial constraints. A guy who can’t commit to anything concrete even if it’s not related to a serious relationship is waving a commitment red flag high and proud. This type of guy can’t even commit to taking a vacation a few months in advance. If he doesn’t want anything that ties him down, he’s going to bring that lack of commitment to your relationship too.

3- He tells you he has trouble trusting other people.

Sure, many people have trust issues, but if he’s warning you, he might be telling you that he can’t commit because of them. Relationships are built on the ability to trust. If this person is self-aware enough to admit that they struggle in this area, chances are, they won’t be able to commit to you because they will have trouble trusting enough to make a serious commitment. Let this one go and look for someone ready to trust and commit.

4- His closest friends are all single.

Water rises to its own level, and you’re known by the company you keep. When you hang out with negative people, you’re either a negative person yourself, or you’re about to become one. The reverse is true when it comes to hanging out with positive people. Unless you’re in your early twenties, a guy who only hangs out with other single men is probably going to stay single, too. When all his friends are single, they may share the belief that being single is better, or that marriages don’t work. Men who have a lot of married, family-oriented friends are probably going to value committed relationships more, and want a committed relationship for themselves. Consider this one a pink flag, and proceed with caution.

5- His life is a mess.

If he can’t get his act together, it isn’t likely that he’ll be able to make a major commitment to you and take both your lives to the next level. Besides, why would you want a commitment with someone who doesn’t have their act together? When you commit to someone, you end up taking on the positive and the negative things that are going on in their life. Make your life a little easier and your future more enjoyable by hitching your wagon to someone who has their life in order.

Have you ever overlooked some of these danger signs in a relationship? It can be easy to do when you find someone attractive, you don’t know how to look for red or pink flags, or you’re tired of being single. If you found yourself in a situation with a commitment-phobic man, how did it work out for you? Do you have warning signs that you want to share with other women who want a serious relationship?

Joseph A. Cornacchia