Life is short and you don’t have time to waste, especially on a guy who doesn’t deserve your attention. The answers to some important questions will help you figure out if he’s worth the effort. If not, you’re much better off being single until the right one comes along.
What’s he looking for? Does he want a girlfriend or does he seem more interested in a casual fling? If he’s just out of a long-term relationship, maybe he’s not ready for another one so soon. You definitely don’t want to be the rebound chick unless you aren’t looking for anything serious either. That’s fine too, of course—just make sure you both want the same thing.
What was his childhood like? There’s a body of evidence that childhood experiences affect our mental health and our ability to function in relationships as adults. Is he showing negative effects from a difficult childhood or has he handled it well and seems motivated to have a happy future? If the latter is true, maybe he’s relationship material. Did he have everything handed to him? If so, maybe he’s not very independent or mature. Knowing these things can tell you a lot about his social skills; his experiences can predict how he will act with you.
Is he close to his family? Our family experiences during development affect our adult relationships. If he’s close to his family or has a close group of friends that are like family, this is a good sign. It can be too extreme, though; if he’s too close to his mother who still comes over to do his laundry, he might expect you to be just like her and conflict will arise. Having healthy, strong family ties says he’s a caring person and will make a great partner.
Can he see himself having kids in the future? This may not be the first question you should ask, but it’s important to find this out early on in the relationship. If you feel differently about this, it could cause a lot of tension in the future. You don’t want to have to convince him to want kids if he doesn’t but you do or vice versa. You’ll end up resenting each other no matter how compatible you are otherwise—and it will negatively affect your children as well.
Does he have extreme political or religious views? If he’s a die-hard Trump supporter and that horrifies you, maybe it’s best to part ways. It is possible to survive political differences, but it takes strategic work. On another note, if his family will only accept someone of the same religion, you might as well get out now. Unless you plan on running away together, it may cause major friction. Huge political and religious differences could end up driving a wedge between the two of you.
Does he have bad habits you may not be able to get past? If he’s a big smoker or drinker and this is a deal breaker for you, don’t waste your time. Even if he says he plans on quitting, he may just be saying it to pacify you. There are many bad habits that can ruin relationships, and if you’re not willing to accept that he may not change his ways, you should probably move on.
Is he good with money? Conflicts about money are more stressful than any other issues in a relationship. You can figure out how smart he is with his finances by asking a question like, “What would you do if you won a million dollars?” If he says he’s going to save or invest some of it, he’s golden. On the other hand, if he says he’s going to a casino because YOLO, maybe he’s not the one for you. You want to make sure you’re on the same page when it comes to money. If the relationship gets serious, you should be comfortable combining your finances with his someday.
Does he have a stable job? What are his career goals? If he has a stable job, this means he’s at least somewhat responsible. If he changes jobs frequently or is unemployed, be careful. He may make it seem like he’s just independent and won’t settle for a mediocre job, but it’s more likely an indication that he’s unreliable. If he has a really good reason like being in school, that’s different. Otherwise, it doesn’t predict stability in your future. Ask him where he sees himself in five years. You want a guy that’s motivated because laziness is literally the worst.
Where does he see himself living long-term? Would he move far away for a job or for any other reason? Does he have family in another state that he plans on moving closer to at some point? Would you ever move with him if things get serious? These are important questions to consider because no matter how perfect he is for you, you could be setting yourself up for heartbreak if he doesn’t plan on sticking around.
What does he do for fun? If he’s involved in some weird hobby, like collecting snakes or something, you may want to reconsider dating him. Opposites attract, but may not last for the long haul. Being total opposites may be cute at first, but when the newness of the relationship wears off, it won’t be. You should have your separate interests too, but you want to have some of the same likes or you may grow apart.
Do you share a similar sense of humor? If you can laugh together, you can probably get through almost anything. If you think the same things are funny and already have a bunch of inside jokes, he might be a good match. Shared laughter leads to better relationships and keeps the romance alive. There’s power in humor.