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Do they want kids? Where do they want to live? Do you both want to buy a house in Prague when you retire (just me?).
There are things we can figure out easily, but other things that seem unanswerable.
Like, what makes a woman wife material? When a guy meets you does he lock eyes with you and immediately decide "wife" or "sexy party time pants friend"?
Before you go and wife yourselves up in a panic, read on. I asked an anonymous group of dudes the immortal questions: how can you tell if a woman is a potential future wife or just someone they want to have sex with?
When you go out with a woman (or when you still dated) are you looking for a wife, a friend, or sex? Why?
"I don't want to say wife because that sounds weird but I'm looking for a long term partner that I see weekly and communicate with daily. I want a real connection and I'd like it to last."
"Usually sex, but sometimes a friend and sex. I can be friends with women but it usually comes around that I want to sleep with even my female friends. I love sex and love the female body."
"I was looking for friendship and sex. I enjoy sex, but I don't spend most of my time with other people having it. So, friendship was super important. I eventually married my best friend."
"I'm not looking for anything per se. I'm very sexual, so I'd want to know that sex was a good possibility. But sex doesn't preclude friendship or love. I wouldn't say "wife," because I'm not looking to get married. I've been there. I'm an atheist. It doesn't mean much to me."
"A friend. Largely never thought I'd find a wife and the idea of sex without the emotional component of intimacy never worked out for me."
"Any of the above is a treasure. A wife, ultimately, but casual sex is nice and so is friendship."
"Friend. Looking for a wife seems like jumping way way too far into the future and not focusing on the present and finding happiness in current friendships and relationships. I'm also not looking for sex for somewhat similar reasons although in that case I have a hard time building trust due to past traumas."
"A friend, first and foremost. I don't think I could have sex with someone I didn't think of in a friendly fashion, and I hella can't imagine marrying someone whose friendship is uncertain."
There's always one. "I'm looking for a friend my wife can have sex with."
How long does it take you to figure out which of those categories a woman falls into?
"I think you can usually tell after one or two dates. Anybody who is saying within seconds is incredibly shallow and probably not looking for the same thing I am."
"About 30 seconds."
"I don't put people in categories. I take a relationship and let it be what it will be. I go by feel. If it seems like we aren't going to get along, I'll end it politely. If she seems like someone I'd like to have sex with, I'll go for that. Figuring if we have a relationship takes a little longer, usually. As far as the friend tip goes: I'm not looking for just friends at all, but friendship is required to be sexy or dating with a woman. I feel bad about myself if I fuck someone I don't like."
"It was easy, since I wasn't ever looking for just sex."
"Different with every person. I start to have a feeling after hanging out for eight or ten hours."
"I use a 'frienddate' ahead of time to set expectations. Anything further would require boundary discussions and would iterate from there. I was asexual/aromantic for most of my life so I don't know what looking for a wife in a date looks or feels like."
"A couple to three dates, maybe an extended set of conversations."
What are the biggest distinctions between the women you date for sex and the women you date in the hopes of building something more?
"Questions. I think if they're asking questions about me and I'm asking questions about them then we probably are interested in each other for more than sex."
"Mainly, intelligence. She has to have a good head on her shoulders to be more than a sex object."
"Those aren't separate categories for me. I go on dates to form friendships that may include sex."
"My hope is that every date could be at least be fuckbuddies, and I'm open to any of them being relationships, too."
"Never dated anyone for sex. Had a weekend fling once, though if long distance weren't a factor we likely would have dated following it."
"No difference in the beginning. But if the woman wants sex and no more, I may still date her because that's nice too."
You're not alone! "I'm nervous about this answer; I genuinely don't know the difference."
"I don't date for sex. That's a thing that happens naturally (theoretically!) between friends who are attracted to one another."
This article originally appeared on YourTango.