Love, dating and romance may seem like some of life's biggest mysteries, especially during the teen and young adult years. If you're dating a guy who is reluctant to make it formal and call you his "girlfriend," understanding his intentions may seem like a challenge. Before you throw yourself heart first into a relationship with a guy that isn't ready to get serious, understanding why he won't make you his girlfriend and what you can -- and can't -- do about it is key.

Considering the Combinations

Going from casual dating to a long-term relationship isn't something to take lightly. Becoming a real couple takes a combination of attraction, closeness and commitment, according to the TeensHealth section of the KidsHealth website. Although you and your guy may have a chemistry type of connection, if the true closeness, trust and commitment aren't there, your "date" may not want to take your relationship to the next level. If your relationship is mainly physical or it's just built on attraction, it isn't likely that either of you feel the closeness to make it long-term.

Exploring Options

During the teen years -- and immediately after -- it's common for young adults to want to explore their romantic options. This may translate into having short-term relationships or looking for different kinds of experiences, assert the developmental experts at KidsHealth. If the guy that you've been dating isn't ready to commit, he may want to explore his other options. This doesn't mean that there is anything wrong with you or that he doesn't have a genuine interest in dating you. Instead, it may mean that he is still in the process of discovering who he is and what he is looking for in a relationship. Although knowing that your romantic interest is seeing other girls -- and doesn't want to make you his girlfriend -- doesn't feel good, you can use this time to explore your options as well.

Fun Filled

It's likely that your guy isn't old, or mature, enough to consider getting serious yet. During the teen and young adult periods, dating is often about fun and having a good time with friends. If he seems reluctant to make you his official "girlfriend," he may simply want to keep having fun with you. This doesn't mean that he thinks you're not important, but instead that he is enjoying hanging out with you, going to the movies or having group dates with your gang of friends.

Your Take

Wanting to take your relationship from just dating to being a true couple isn't unreasonable. As you spend more time with your guy, it's completely normal to want him to make you his girlfriend. If he won't take this next step, you may begin to wonder what you can do to speed the process along. Relationship-building takes time, and this is what your guy likely needs to see if the trust, respect and communication compatibilities are there. Instead of forcing the issue, let things progress naturally. Avoid nagging or trying to force him into becoming your boyfriend by giving him ultimatums. If you truly feel that the relationship isn't going in the direction that you want, or that it will never become anything more than casual dating, it's time to consider walking away.