9 Things That Change When You Finally Date A Real Man

All men are not created equal. In fact, some men aren’t even that — they’re boys, but you still give them the time of day. You don’t realize how much you’ve been missing out on for all these years until you finally date a grown guy who knows how to treat a woman.

1. He always offers to pay, but still lets you pay, too.

Grown men understand that grown women don’t need to be taken care of, and we get satisfaction out of picking up the tab, too. A man-child will feel like he needs to show you he’s the boss and can support you, but won’t understand why its important to you that you contribute.

2. He isn’t afraid to acknowledge that you’re together —in fact, he’s proud.

When you finally date a mature guy, he has no issue saying you’re his girlfriend because he isn’t worried what other people will think. He also won’t be as hung up on “time” and if he is moving too fast or too slow. He is interested in what feels right.

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4. He doesn’t hesitate to tell you when he doesn’t want a relationship.

This can be a bummer, but we always complain we want men to be more honest about their intentions. When you date a man, he will be. Now, don’t confuse honesty with excuses, like that he “doesn’t have time” for a relationship, because that’s B.S. But if he tells you upfront that he’s only looking for something casual, thank him for his honesty.

5. He’s upfront about his baggage.

Guys have had lives before you, so it should come as no surprise that they have exes and potentially children, too. If he’s honest and upfront about it, he’s a man; if he hides it from you until you see a stuffed My Little Pony at his place, you might consider running, quickly.

6. He has a healthy fear of your family but doesn’t avoid them.

Smart men know that a woman’s family is usually a huge (though sometimes annoying and stressful) part of her life. He also knows that he needs to care about his relationship with them, and shouldn’t avoid them. A boy, on the other hand, will let his fear get in the way and steer clear of them, which will just make it harder for you.

7. He respects you.

You need this, and only a true man will give it to you. Respect should be administered whether you’re just getting horizontal with him or you’re going to marry him. A man is respectful in both situations, while a boy is likely to treat a hook-up like an easy woman and only save respect for a serious relationship. No thanks.

8. He wouldn’t think of ghosting.

Let me repeat: a real man does not ghost. He understands that every relationship comes with the risk of a break-up, and that as a grown adult, he’ll have to handle that should it come to an end. REAL MEN DO NOT GHOST.

9. He isn’t threatened by your male friends.

If they’re truly just your friends (and you’re not trying to pull a fast one on him), then a grown man doesn’t force you to stop hanging out with them. In fact, he tries to assimilate them into his life, too, so that there isn’t any drama and you don’t have to bail on friendships. It all goes back to respect.

10. He loves you at your worst.

This sounds cliche, but a real man has been through crappy situations in his life too and he gets that we aren’t all perfect 24/7. So even if you have a drunk hysterical meltdown where you throw your wine glass across the room, he gets it and doesn’t punish you forever for it. Boys will hold a grudge, ignore the bigger picture of why you’re hurting, and make you feel bad endlessly. Screw that.

C. is an aspiring yogi and Ph.D student who loves her dogs, bright lipstick and to travel. Find her on IG @drparko121314