So you made it through the first date with this new guy and he’s intrigued you. You find him attractive, enjoyable to be around, and with the little bit of information you’ve been able to obtain at your first contact, he seems to meet some of your personal requirements and needs for a potential boyfriend thus far. So now what?
Now you’re about to embark upon the fine art of dating and courtship. Together, the two of you will begin the process of getting to know each other better through going out on dates for fun and recreation and learning about one another in a variety of different contexts and situations. Through this relationship-building process, you’ll slowly begin forming an emotional bond while gauging if the other is compatible with your visions for a life partner. Gaining this wisdom is only possible with experience and exposure to each other as you learn about each other’s preferences, personalities, needs, goals, dreams, etc.
This article will offer a checklist of qualities and characteristics to be on the lookout for as you’re forming your impressions about your new dating partner. This can help guide you in making sound decisions about your goodness-of-fit with him, as well as to guard against any “red flags” that you may stumble upon along the way so you don’t get embroiled into an unhealthy relationship.
First Things First
While this article is about examining traits in the guy you’re seeing to help you make good relationship choices, never forget that your dating success rests largely on yourself. This means that you’ve done the work necessary to have a stable, balanced lifestyle, have a strong sense of self-esteem and confidence, have put closure to unfinished business from the past, and have a clear vision of who you are, what you want, and what you stand for (both as an individual and for a life partner and relationship). This becomes your foundation for leading a fulfilling life and having the knowledge of your negotiable and non-negotiable needs for a lifelong lover that you’ll need as you date.
Secondly, keep those pants on and hormones in check! Unless you want to define your budding relationship solely by sex, jumping into bed too quickly can confuse and blur your assessment process. Sex does change things and you don’t want to sabotage a potentially good thing by being sexual too early before a foundation of trust, rapport, and security has been established between the two of you. So, down boy! It will be that much hotter when the time is right!
The Boyfriend Evaluation
The following are some questions you can ask yourself as you get acquainted with your boyfriend prospects as you date them. These characteristics can make or break a relationship; it all depends on what your personal requirements and ideals are that will indicate how much priority you’ll give to each of these items. This list is just a starting point—add your own for a more personalized touch. Whether you’ve been dating your guy for couple of days or for a number of months, keep your eyes peeled regarding some of the following:
- Is he honest and does he demonstrate integrity? Does he do what he says he’s going to do? (eg. when he says he’s going to call you, does he promptly?)
- Is he available to you, able to spend quality time with you, and make you a priority in his schedule?
- Does he have friends, hobbies, or other outlets that make for a balanced lifestyle and individuality?
- Does he strike a balance between having fun and attending to responsibilities in his life?
- Rate his degree of affection, playfulness, and capacity for intimacy.
- What’s your sexual compatibility like? What are his views on monogamy?
- Does he seem interested in health and wellness and devote time for self-care and renewal?
- What are his relationships like with his family?
- How comfortable is he with being gay and what’s his level of “outness?”
- Does he appear to have any mental health issues (depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, etc.)or addictions (alcohol/drugs, gambling, work, sex, food, etc.)?
- How does he appear to handle his finances and how are his spending habits?
- What are his views on money, marriage, religion, children, gay relationships, living together, future life planning issues, etc.? Does he stimulate you intellectually?
- How does he deal with anger and stress? Does he become violent?
- How adept is he at dealing with his emotions? How are his communication and conflict management skills?
- Is he already involved in another relationship? Has he been able to “let go of past boyfriends?”
- In observing him, how does he treat or talk about other people? Is he critical or judgmental?
- Is he able to be decisive about things or do you tend to have to make all the decisions in the relationship? (eg. “What do you want to do?” “I don’t know, what do you want to do?”)
- Assess his personality traits: Is he…Clingy? Dependent? Emotionally distant or responsive? Controlling? Able to share? Maturity level? Giving and kind?
- What type of relationship is he looking for? Is he ready for commitment? Is he willing to put forth the effort involved in building a long-term relationship?
While this may seem like a lot of detective work, don’t become so preoccupied with your “mental checklist” that it distracts you from your relationship. Make your dating life enjoyable and an adventure; have fun with it! But at the first sign of unsolvable “red flags” or non-negotiable needs not being met, remove yourself from the dating relationship before you invest any more of your heart and precious time into it—you’ll be doing both of you a favor. Settling and thinking you can change your partner over time are serious traps that you want to avoid. Turn the above questions back on yourself to see if there are any areas where you might be able to improve upon to make yourself more solid and whole. So enjoy getting to know your new guy and all the lessons you’ll learn about yourself and relationships. Let the journey begin!