Up until some time ago, I would get ecstatic each time the boy I liked took interest in me enough to ask me out to a rock concert of his choice or the food court at the mall. I would think about what I would wear, what I would say, what we’d do, and before I knew it, I’d have our future together all planned out, including the names of our dogs as well as our kids. No exaggeration. Well, that sort of thing isn’t entirely unheard of. Austen said so, remember? “A lady’s imagination is very rapid; it jumps from admiration to love, from love to matrimony in a moment.” But little unborn Miriam and Michelle are a thing of the past. Just like the boys I once dated. And I’m glad I did date them, because all those ‘bad boys’ or call them what you will, have taught me that there is a world of difference between them and the man who would genuinely care for me. And it is because of all these disastrous relationships that I can spot those dissipated Lotharios a mile away. So, do please allow me to share that wisdom with the rest of you ladies.
1.The boy you date only wants to hook up with you. That usually encompasses anything and everything from going to a rock concert to a friend’s place where you two could ‘get to know each other better.’
The man you marry asks you out on a real date, someplace you two would genuinely appreciate and enjoy.
2.The boy you date is unsure of what he plans to make of his life. He is indecisive and ambivalent at best.
The man you marry is very clear about what he wants out of his life. His single-minded determination to achieve predetermined goals promises to take him further. He is purposeful and self-assured; qualities that you may see in several aspects of his life.
3. The boy you date has a few ideas of a perfect conversation, some of which include sharing anecdotes of that time he and his ex got so drunk that [insert mildly, oft repeated funny drunk story], talking about himself and how ‘awesome’ (yes, I did just use that word; situation demanded it, don’t you think?) he thinks his life is, or just about anything other than a meaningful discussion.
The man you marry endeavors to listen more than speak. He can carry his end of the conversation with flair and wit, and isn’t afraid of profound yet relevant discussions. He likes asking you about you, and isn’t averse to uncomfortable but significant dialogue.
4.The boy you date avoids confrontations like the plague. He’d much rather sweep issues under a rug and never have to go through the ‘unpleasant’ task of talking it out. This is a major warning sign – get out while you can.
The man you marry is understanding of disagreements and arguments, willing to sit down and exchange views and not leave matters go unresolved.
5.The boy you date is overly concerned about your appearance. He would employ a somewhat mocking tone to dismiss you for not taking care more often about your looks, leading to you forever feeling self-conscious and ill at ease around him. You don’t need that kind of negativity in your life.
The man you marry understands that you needn’t spend forty-five minutes blow-drying your hair each time you have to see him. He knows that hair is a part of your body, and doesn’t demand a Brazilian, with his carefully contrived easy manner, every time you spend the night together. In short, he doesn’t mind your bad hair days and wants you for you rather than your appearance.
6.The boy you date is mostly interested in liaisons of a debauched nature, and that is what he looks forward to each time you two meet.
The man you marry is considerate of your feelings, and does not resent meeting you even while you’re on your period. He may bring you flowers, or even get down to binge watching Netflix or playing the Xbox. Whatever floats your boat.
7.The boy you date would much rather laugh it off when he hears of what about him angered you, or may apologise with the sole intention of getting back in your pants.
The man you marry would apologise when he has inadvertently offended you, not because he wants to get you to shut up about it, but because he cares about you and never intended to hurt you.
8.The boy you date would expect and encourage you to take care of his needs and wants. He would almost always forget to take out the trash, and take it for granted that you would spend your time doing his laundry and cooking for him even when you have that presentation in the morning. He would hardly ever take his turn to do the dishes, just assuming that you would baby-sit him.
The man you marry understands that you are both partners and that these tasks often need to be divided amongst the two of you, so that the sole burden does not fall on your shoulders. He is not reluctant in joining in and carrying his weight around the house.
9.The boy you date would put off meeting your parents with an assortment of excuses. They may sound believable, but they hardly ever are legitimate. Trust me on this one.
The man you marry enjoys hearing stories about the people you grew up with. He respects your parents and can’t wait to meet them. A man who really wants to be with you would have no reservations meeting your family and friends.
10.The boy you date denigrates you and belittles your achievements. He is insecure about his own self and belittles you to feel better about himself.
The man you marry is a confident and secure individual, and doesn’t feel the need to slander another human being in order to feel good by comparison. He would never abuse you whether verbally, physically or emotionally. A man who respects you would encourage and empower you. If he doesn’t, then you know he isn’t right for you.
11.The boy you date would much rather not be inconvenienced by your troubles. He finds his escape as soon as there is imminent danger to his idea of a carefree relationship.
The man you marry would weather the storm with you. He would come through when you need him to, and can handle the tough times. If that isn’t commitment, then I don’t know what is.
12.The boy you date would either avoid footing the entire bill, or suggest you two go Dutch.
The man you marry knows that you are a confident independent individual, but also understands that you are a woman and that chivalry isn’t an antiquated notion. He is a true gentleman.
13.The boy you date is usually the one you always dream you would end up with. You build castles in Spain, and have the wedding and honeymoon all planned out. And the groom?
The man you marry is the one you ended up deliberating about several times before finally making the leap. And because in the end, you realised that no amount of calculation and analysis could make it into a ‘safe bet’. He is the one your instincts guide you towards.
14.The boy you date would tell you he loves you when all he wants is to get into your bed. The sex is all that is on his agenda, and a serious and lasting relationship hasn’t really crossed his mind.
The man you marry takes his time telling you that he loves you. He waits until he feels it in his bones, and does not feel threatened by the prospect of a long-term relationship.
15.The boy you date drops oh-so-subtle hints every now and implying that he does not ever wish to get married and settle down. He makes his dislike for having children known, and no amount of persuasion could bring him around.
The man you marry is looking to get married and would make his intentions known. If he ever feels revulsion at the idea of marriage and children, he comes around after hearing your views on it, because he truly wants to spend a life with you.