Often when you’re out there dating, it’s hard to know if you have attracted a frog or a prince.
I’ve personally discussed red flags, quite often. But what are the signs a man is worth your time?
There is so much talk about standards, but WHAT KIND OF STANDARDS?
What exactly should your standards for a great guy look like?
Usually the best way to tell if someone is worth your time is to closely observe what he does rather than what he says. It’s so easy for anyone to talk a good game about caring, loving you, wanting to be your one and only, but what traits should you be screening for to answer the question “is he worth dating?”
Here are some of the most important signs to look for when choosing a mate. The traits on this list often apply to women as well, so if you don’t quite measure up to these standards, you might want to examine your own life to attract what you are looking for.
Here are the signs a man is worth your time:
1. He is single.
You are worth having a man who you could have a future with. You deserve to be number 1 in his life. You should not have to hide your relationship because he is married or is otherwise attached to someone else.
If you fall madly in love with a married man, you must leave him alone even if it is hard and painful. You don’t want to “catch” anyone who is already “caught.” A relationship built on dishonesty is one that will crumble under the same dishonesty. You want clean and unencumbered. Vow to value yourself enough not to fish in the married pool.
If it’s really true love, he will do what it takes to become single for a chance with you. Don’t give him your time, attention or body until he frees himself up honorably.
2. He is kind and respectful.
This goes for everyone in his life, not just you. Most people are on their best behavior when you start dating them.
It is easy for them to be nice to you, because there is something to gain, but how does he treat the other people in his life and on the periphery? The old cliche, if “he is not nice to the waiter, he is not nice” is really true here. Same goes for the mailman, his mother and animals.
3. He takes personal responsibility for himself and his circumstances.
It is vitally important that you get rid of all men quickly who believe that the world owes them something. The attitude that he isn’t responsible for his problems is bad because when (not if) you run into problems together, you want him to be proactive about making changes. It can’t be that he is never at fault or responsible for changing his life. A victim mentality should be deeply repellent to you.
In order to screen for this, watch for statements about “terrible luck,” “everyone is against him,” and the general idea that the world owes him something. You want a proactive man who is flexible and good at solving the problems that he has control over. When he’s a problem-solver, he will be motivated to make both of your lives better and have the tools to do so.
4. He handles his finances responsibly.
It doesn’t matter how much he makes, it matters how he manages his money.
Is he always broke before the next payday? Does he save? Does he pay taxes? Is he in debt? Does he constantly borrow or lend money? What is his perspective on gambling?
If your relationship continues, you will eventually be combining at least some of your money. Is he someone you would feel comfortable doing this with?
5. He has good manners.
Would you describe him as a gentleman? Good manners show thoughtfulness and the ability to pay attention to other people. We want someone thoughtful, right? Right.
6. He is faithful.
Did he cheat on your or in a past relationship? Some folks just aren’t cut out for the monogamy thing, but if this is something that you value, you need to cut him loose.
7. He is truthful.
No, this does not include the question “do I look fat in this dress?” He is truthful about the important things. Little white lies to spare your feelings are acceptable. Big lies are not.
Watch to see if he tells whoppers to other people. If he lies often to others, he is guaranteed to lie to you eventually. A shaky relationship with the truth is a dangerous red flag and can often identify a psychopath. Trust, but verify.
8. He is easygoing.
When you are picking out a long term mate, you want them to be able to roll with the punches.
You don’t want a hot head, critical mate who makes you or others feel on edge. Watch how he handles mistakes by you. Watch how he handles inconvenience, changes of plans and mistakes by you and others. Flexible is valuable.
9. Find out what angers him and how he handles it.
I would never suggest to go out of your way to intentionally make someone angry, but you really want to know how he handles anger, specifically at you.
Does he use name-calling, underhanded or mean tactics when he argues? Can he talk through problems? Is he able to continue to be kind and respectful when he is angry?
These are all things that you need to know before you decide whether he is right for your future. Conflict can strengthen your relationship or it can erode it.
10. He is actively working toward meeting concrete goals.
It should be obvious that he is interested in meeting personal goals beyond “make rent this week.” Find out what he is working toward and if his is driven to improve his life. Screen for men who want to grow because you will rise to meet their level. Are his goals congruent with yours?
11. He is not a bigot.
Angry tirades or deep dislike for entire groups of people? Does he have a him vs. them mentality? Bad news. Eject immediately!
Don’t stand for being with someone who believes that he is magically better than anyone else by virtue of the way his genes lined up at birth.
12. He handles stress resourcefully.
Eventually, one or both of you will face difficulties in your life together. If he’s under pressure, notice how he handles it and whether this is reasonable or not.
Responsible stress coping techniques include meditation, social time with friends, workouts, and therapy.
Irresponsible stress coping techniques include lashing out in anger, binge drinking, overeating, drugs, heavy procrastination, self-sabotage and withdrawal. How he handles everyday stressors can make or break your relationship over the long run.
13. He is generous and giving.
How does he handle giving? Is he generous with his time, money, resources and in the bedroom? Select a mate who is willing to share and give to both you and the other people in his life.
14. He values civic responsibility.
Does he want to leave the world a better place? How does he handle authority figures? Does he volunteer or donate? If you volunteer or donate (consider it, it enriches and expands your life exponentially) what does he think about that? Does he deride causes that are important to you? He doesn’t have to be deeply concerned about your civic interests, but he should be respect that you are also interested in the
15. He is family oriented and gracious with your peeps.
Since we didn’t choose the people in our families, hanging out with family is always a mixed bag. The key here is the genuine desire to try. Is he nice to your difficult grandmother or cranky sister? Does he make an effort without an immediate payoff? Does he try to make your family feel welcome in his life?
In turn, is he open to letting you meeting his tribe? How do they treat you? How does he react to their treatment of you? If he throws you under the bus or avoids putting in boundaries when your in-laws treat you badly, watch out.
16. He wants the same big things as you do.
Do you want kids and/or marriage? Does he?
Whether you do or don’t isn’t important, it is that your desires for how you both want your lives to look match up.
17. You have similar interests.
The old saw, “the couple that plays together, stays together” is really true. This embodies the “play” part of being able to laugh and play with your partner. When staring lovingly into each other’s eyes becomes stale, you want to have shared interests to fall back on.
18. You don’t feel the need to cyber (or regular) stalk him.
The right guy won’t make you feel so off balance that you feel the need to comb through the finer details of his life. He just won’t awaken that part of your intuition that says, “there is something to look for, and I have to dig for it.”
If you seriously feel the need to snoop because you think you might actually find something, even if you don’t act on it, pay attention. Our intuition often has a good reason for this kind of suspicious feeling. Keep an eye on it. If you tend to cyber stalk with no valid reason, knock it off.
19. You feel welcome at his house.
Never darkened the door of his place? Ruh roh.
The key here as in many of these points is transparency. While his place might not be the most comfortable or right for both of you, he will be open to at least showing it to you. If you have dated for a while and haven’t seen it, suggest that you both spend the evening watching movies there or something casual. Be suspicious if he squirms.
20. He doesn’t intentionally make you feel jealous.
He doesn’t talk about, obviously gawk at or otherwise arouse your jealousy regarding other women. He doesn’t bring up his past conquests. He doesn’t make you feel off balance or like you don’t measure up to his standards. All men look at other women. However, you should have absolutely no idea he saw that girl with the big boobs at the grocery store. This is respectful both to you and to the woman at the store.
Also, he should not tell you all about his sexual conquests with other women.
He should not “still have a thing for” anyone.
You have the right to pursue a relationship with someone who isn’t with or looking for anyone else.
21. He has strong friendships with guys who you don’t want to strangle.
The company he keeps is highly indicative of the kind of person he is.
It is common for a guy to have one or two friends who you don’t completely love, but just make sure that as a whole, he associates with moral, ethical guys who are interested in meeting you. He should have friends who you can meet. You should be very suspicious if he doesn’t want to introduce you to the cast of characters in his life eventually.
22. He is thankful and appreciative.
An attitude of gratitude is ideal here. You don’t want to wake up years down the road in a thankless relationship where you feel taken for granted. You should feel like when you add things both big and small to his life he notices and appreciates it.
23. He deeply values health but never makes you feel bad about yourself.
The best people are the ones who inspire you to be a better person not because they nag you but because of the example they set. You want someone who takes care of themselves and who want you both to live a long time. If you are together for the long term, you are both going to get old. Do you want to lose all attraction for him or worse, lose him early? I thought not.
24. He maintains regular contact that does not cause you to panic.
We all know that sinking, nagging worry that the guy we’re interested in has suddenly disappeared or is seriously pulling away. This off-balance, deeply afraid feeling in your gut about what he is doing or whether you are going to see him again is a red flag. The reason is that a guy who cares about you absolutely will not want to give you any reason to doubt him.
25. He has a compatible sense of humor to you.
A sense of humor is vital. Humor is what will make your life fun over the long run. You don’t want to meet someone who is great but boring, right? I’ve talked about it before, but a sense of humor that coincides with yours is 100% vital to your long term happiness together. The ability to laugh and play together is absolutely vital.
26. He handles his exes gently.
A big bad red flag is lots of discussions about his “crazy exes.” If you feel like “wow, everyone he’s ever been with has been a mess” you need to be extremely cautious in proceeding with a relationship. While we all make mistakes in the relationship department, it is extremely unlikely that a healthy person would exclusively date people who were truly crazy.
Also, watch how he describes his exes. Does he trash them? It is normal for people to get scars along the way from their time in relationship-town, but a generally positive attitude is ideal. Statements from him like “well we just weren’t right for each other” are healthy. “She is a crazy hose-beast” is not.
If he co-parents with his ex, how does he handle her? A respectful, detached attitude with an eye on making things great for the child is what you want to see. An angry, punitive attitude is a huge warning signal that he might not be worth it.
27. He is invested in your happiness.
A good partner will care deeply about your happiness, just as you would about theirs. When he generally does not seem to care if you are happy, he does not really care about you. The right man will go above and beyond to make you smile.
Above all you must value your own needs and regard how he treats you in relationship to those. If you’re struggling to get his attention or striving to “make him like you,” it’s time to step back and see if he meets your standards in the first place. Women who have high standards find that the world rises to meet them.