It’s been a while since I’ve collaborated with someone on an article, so please give your best welcome to my dear friend, Caroline Forsey, a blogger for Hubspot in Boston and another Boston resident trying to navigate the dating scene in this city.

Before you all get your panties in a bunch, let’s be clear; we are not generalizing all boys on the face of the planet. Trust us when we say, we know there are gentlemen out there, many of whom are our dear friends; however, in our time dating in Boston, we’ve seen boys continually claim these five “red flags,” when in reality, maybe they are not red flags at all.

1. The girl says “I like you” out loud

Let’s be real -- most girls are scared silent, and rarely (if ever) admit how they feel. Early on in the dating game, showing your emotional cards feels synonymous with throwing them on the table and walking away. In other words, it feels like self-destruction.

Many of us girls have said “I like you,” or some form of it, and then be subsequently ghosted. Guys seem to think saying “I like you” too early means the girl is desperate, too relationship-obsessed, or simply moves “too fast” for them.

Newsflash, boys: when a girl says “I like you,” it means she’s emotionally mature enough to recognize those feelings, and she’s confident enough to vocalize them. It means just that -- she likes you.

There’s no hidden agenda. “I like you” doesn’t mean, “You’re my boyfriend now,” it doesn’t mean, “Stop hanging out with other girls,” and it doesn’t mean, “I really want to take away your freedom, text you constantly, and become that needy, psycho girl you’ve always dreaded.”

Don’t miss out on the honest, strong women who are willing to actually admit how they feel because it really means you're not wasting your time, and neither is she.

2. “Talking” (whatever that means nowadays) has been consistent

So you’ve been texting for two weeks. You’re on each other’s Snapchat best friends list (I hate our generation for caring about this). You check in with each other quite often.

But uh-oh, you've almost fallen into, God forbid, a routine. Then, poof! The time elapsed between messages grows larger and larger; communication is infrequent until it is no longer. Alas, another boy frightened by consistency.

Alert to the media: Maybe if something is that consistent, you have got someone on your hands who genuinely cares about you, your week, and wants to find time to spend with you. Maybe consistency shouldn’t be such a scary thing. Food for thought, really.

3. The girl wants to meet your friends, and/or she wants you to meet hers

Let’s be honest with ourselves: guys don’t want to mix friend groups for the same reason they don’t want to leave anything at your place. They want the option of a clean break. That can be tricky if you become friends with his friends or vice versa.

Plus, it just feels “serious” to introduce a girl to your guy friends. It feels like you’re making some big proclamation, like, “Hey guys, I’d like to introduce you to The One.” No guy wants to be the one who brings girl after girl around his friends -- it’s embarrassing.

FYI, guys, if a girl wants to meet your friends, it’s because she’s interested in seeing a bigger piece of the puzzle. Sure, one-on-one dates are a great chance to open up and share stories, but those stories all happened at a different time with different people. Girls don’t just want to hear the stories, they want to see them.

If a girl wants you to meet her friends, it isn't necessarily because she wants to get serious. It’s because she wants that guy to see a side of her that maybe he can’t see when it’s just the two of them.

4. The girl makes future plans with you

I get it. Future plans are scary. Asking to go to a concert in May when it’s only April seems ridiculous, especially really early in the relationship. I mean, so many things could go wrong in a few days or a week, never mind a month.

Guys think it’s a red flag when girls make future plans. They think it means they’re desperate for a relationship or trying to turn this “fun, casual thing” into something more. Committing to a Red Sox game in three weeks feels like committing to a full-on relationship.

But it’s not. If a girl wants to make future plans with you, it doesn’t mean she’s secretly telling her family you’re her boyfriend or penciling you in as her +1 to that wedding in October.

Face it, girls are planners. It also indicates that when she imagines fun outings or adventures like concerts or cookouts or weekend trips, she imagines you with her because she thinks you two have fun together.

FYI, just because you say “yes” to an invitation to the beach in three weeks, doesn’t mean you can’t cancel that plan if you two break up or end things. If you two are still together when three weeks comes around, is going to the beach really such a scary, serious thing?

5. After some time, she begins to wonder, and even verbally asks, if you feel the same way

Yes, telling someone you like them can still be just as scary as all of the TV shows and movies make it seem. There's overthinking, there's concern whether or not they'll like you back, and there's outrageous nervousness that perhaps it is "too soon" to convey the feelings on one's chest.

So she ends up telling you she has feelings for you or that she really would like to continue seeing you. This one can send the boys up and running, even if they may be feeling similarly. It is seemingly one of those situations where the guy may not know how to verbalize their own feelings yet either, and you know what, that is okay.

Just understand the courage it takes to admit how you feel. Be aware of the leap of faith she took to express what is on her mind. Be grateful if she spoke the words you were struggling to find yourself. Just because a girl admits she likes you, does not mean that she is ready to dive into a relationship this second nor does it mean that she wants to take you away from life as you know it.

In actuality, she knows that this whole guessing, in limbo, and walking on eggshells behavior may actually make her go crazy, so she took the step to let you know where she stands. Don't ghost her, don't run away, and don't call her crazy. She is entitled to how she feels, as are you. If you do or do not feel the same, be transparent. At the end of the day, that's what we appreciate the most.