If he ticks these off, he’s the real deal.
I think we all go through a stage where we wonder if the man children we’re dating are the best we’re going to get; when we seriously consider accepting our fate and settling for the guy who only bathes every few days and lives in his mother’s garage.
But while some of us eventually give in and end up in dead-end relationships, others, like me, hold out hope that despite the prevalence of fuckboys on the current dating scene, real, grown-ass men who know how to treat women like the queens we are do still exist.
And the good news is once you know how to spot them, it’s easy to separate the men from the boys. Here’s how you know you’re dating a total keeper…
1. You know where you stand with him
He’s literally the opposite of a fuckboy when it comes to DTR (Defining The Relationship). You don’t need to give yourself a mental pep talk to bring up the DTR talk with him, or fear him running for the hills at every possible hint of one of you developing feels.
Unlike the fuckboy, he’s not afraid of his own emotions, or of sharing them with you. Chances are he may have already even had the exclusivity discussion with you, as he doesn’t have hangups about putting a label on what your relationship is.
2. Your relationship is drama free
The only drama in your life plays out when you tune into The Real Housewives on TV. You look back and question why on earth petty fights existed with previous partners, and often find yourself wondering how you’ve managed to find a guy who’s so cruisy and drama free. Oh, wait. Maybe because you’re actually dating a grown-ass man now?
3. You don’t need to examine your interactions in depth
Long gone are the days where you needed a PhD in human psychology to deconstruct your male interactions and work out what they mean. In fact, if you’re doing that, it’s already a sure-fire sign you’re dating an emotionally immature man who’s just not that into you, according to relationship expert and New York Times best-selling author of He’s Just Not That Into You, Greg Behrendt.
“If you feel the need to start ‘figuring him out,’ please consider the glorious thought that he might just not be that into you. And then free yourself to go find someone that is,” says Behrendt.
On the flipside, if he’s a grown-ass man who’s truly into you, you’ll feel a refreshing sense of calm around him. Long gone will be the days when your girlfriends painstakingly helped you co-author text messages and you checked your phone a hundred times a day waiting for him to text back.
4. You can discuss feelings without him running away
For the first time ever, you feel like you can lay your emotions down on the table and he isn’t going to bail. You won’t approach those big conversations feeling like you’re walking on eggshells anymore, because an emotionally mature guy won’t flinch at the first hint of a serious discussion.
In fact, he’ll even be able to have an argument with you over something that matters, be around you when you’re riding the emotional PMS rollercoaster, and not disappear afterwards. He accepts you, moody side and all, and gets the fact that relationship aren’t always a bed of roses.
5. You don’t need to babysit him
The main difference between a grown-ass man and a man child is one feels more like a genuine lover, while the other makes you feel like you’re his mother.
If you’re with an emotionally mature man, you’ll never feel like you’ve taken on the task of parenting a new adoptive child’s life, nor compelled to keep him on a leash so he doesn’t do something stupid. He irons his own shirts, pays his bills on time, and, while he hopefully knows how to have fun and laugh at himself from time to time, he also knows how to be a serious adult when required – ergo, you’ll never find him surrounded by empty Red Bull cans in front of the Xbox on a work day.
6. He views sex as give and take
Never again will you have to cross your fingers in the hope that your bedroom buddy will let you orgasm before he nuts and naps. Like the lady you are, he always ensures you come first. Every. Single. Time.
Chances are, he also enjoys giving oral sex and seeing you in pleasure. Sex isn’t a race filled with jackhammering and moves exclusively aimed at getting him off – for Mr Maturity, it’s a delicious marathon all about enjoying your body.
7. He doesn’t get jealous
While man children will puff their chests at every subtle hint of competition, jealousy isn’t cute in the eyes of a grown-ass man. A secure, emotionally mature guy knows you’re together, and that’s enough for him. He trusts you and doesn’t ask if you’ve slept with every male you bring up in conversation.
It might have been flattering when your exes past thought you got that much sex prior to them, but it got ridiculous when they assumed it was with everyone you glanced at. No grown woman wants to be with a possessive guy who needs constant sexual reassurance.
8. He’s keen to get to know your friends and family
‘The future’ to the right guy doesn’t merely consist of making plans for the weekend; he’s committed to having you in his life for as long as possible, and that means taking the time to get to know your friends and family. While man children will avoid coming into contact with your mother and BFF at all costs, often going as far as changing the subject every time you mention they’re in town; a grown-ass man won’t have an issue with joining you for your family birthday dinner, or coming out of the bedroom to say hi to your bestie when she drops in unexpectedly.
Not only that, but those closest to you will almost certainly instinctively like him too. Unlike that man child still dreaming of a career as a pro skater who always attracted eye rolls when you mentioned him to your friends, it’s all smiles and “He’s such a nice guy!” comments whenever your grown-ass man is around.
9. He isn’t throwing you breadcrumbs
A man child still can’t make his mind up on which girl he wants, so he sends out sporadic texts with generic compliments, also known as the toxic habit of ‘breadcrumbing’, to keep his options open. Whereas a grown-ass man wants you to know that he’s committed to you. He isn’t throwing you breadcrumbs, he’s throwing you the whole loaf of bread.
10. He’s motivated
You don’t need to give him daily pep talks and send him article links on how to adult because he’s already doing it. Not only is he improving his career, he’s improving every facet of his life and he inspires you to do the same.
Grown men aren’t interested in coasting; that’s what makes them so appealing. They’re like fast-moving trains that are headed exciting places, and you wanna hop aboard (in more ways than one).
11. You never feel like staying at his house is a step below camping
Never again do you have to go fishing through your purse to find a tissue because there’s no toilet paper in his bathroom, or repeatedly shake the sheets to remove crumbs because his fave pastime is falling asleep with a pizza. This man doesn’t live like he’s in a frat house or a zoo; he prides himself on his surroundings and wants to make you comfortable, too.
12. He keeps you accountable
Although we’d like to think our partner would let us get away with murder, we know that a grown-ass man worthy of our time pulls us up when we need it. He lets you have your little pity party, but he’s there to snap you out of it and hold your hand to help you deal with whatever you’re going through, too; he know’s you’d do the exact same for him.
13. He makes you see how crappy your previous relationships were
You always used to wonder, ‘Is this as good as it’s going to get?’ where now you’re oh-so glad you held out for this amazing man in front of you. And because of all the gaslighting fuckboys you’ve previously dated that gave you so much anxiety around relationships, he’s slowly, and patiently, reversing those fears and earning your trust at the same time.
Images via favim.com and giphy.com.
Comment: What are signs you look for to help you differentiate a grown-ass man from a man child?