How To Tell If You’re Dating A Real Man

While many of us ladies subtly appreciate a certain boy-ish charm, at the end of the day, we all want to date a man. Once you’re out of your teens and early 20s, there’s nothing attractive about a guy who’s immature and lacks direction. Instead, we set our sights on the ones who’ve got their head screwed on straight and are ready to have an adult relationship. If your boyfriend meets any of the following criteria, chances are you’re dating a real man.

  1. He’s committed to healthy lifestyle. Boys aren’t quite done screwing around yet, but men are. Men are committed to things like their health, the cleanliness of their apartment, and their hobbies. They’re committed to paying their bills on time, ramping up their side business, and working on their fitness. A real man has roots.
  2. He makes dinner reservations. Your boy might casually suggest drinks sometime soon, but your man will tell you that he’s made reservations for 7:00 tomorrow evening at that new Italian spot that got rave reviews. There’s a huge difference between the plans men make with people, versus the non-plans boys haphazardly attempt to make.
  3. He doesn’t waste anyone’s time. A man will be straightforward instead of beating around the bush. If he doesn’t think something is a good idea, he’ll say it. He doesn’t believe in wasting anyone’s time or giving people false hope. He may not always tell you exactly what you want to hear, but at least he’s honest and doesn’t avoid unpleasant conversations. This is how you know you’re dating a real man.
  4. He doesn’t live life lying down. You won’t have to worry about a man doing anything the lazy way. One of the reasons women go on less dates than they could is because the men they might be interested in are too passive to make a real effort in pursuing them. Boys are lazy and tend to put minimal effort into their pursuit of women. Men will knock your damn door down to get to you if they want you.
  5. His words match up with his actions. Real men don’t give the women they’re dating mixed signals. If he says he’ll be somewhere, he really will be there. If he says he wants to see you, he always follows up with a plan. Boys can be flaky, but men are reliable.
  6. He’s got plans for his future. A real man knows the importance of planning for his future. He not only knows what he wants to achieve, but he also has plans on how to achieve those things. A real man always wants more for himself, and will put in the work and focus required to get there.
  7. He’s picky. He’s picky because he can be. He’s a good catch worthy of dating a good woman – and he’s looking for a woman, not a girl. On your first date, rather than thinking about whether or not he’d like to take you back to his place, he was instead legitimately deciding if you were even worthy of a second date. He knows what he’s looking for, and he’s sizing you up to see if you possess those qualities he desires. If you’re not mature enough for him or you play games, he’ll move on.
  8. He won’t build you up just to break you down. Real men don’t butter women up only to demonstrate a lack of sincerity by showing their true colors later on. A man won’t suddenly switch from gentleman to douchebag two weeks down the road.
  9. His gentlemanly traits come effortlessly. He doesn’t think twice about whether or not he’s going to pick you up – of course he would do that for you. If he’s able to get out of work to be your date for an important event, he’ll naturally make that effort. He’s got your back. His gentlemanly traits come second-nature.
  10. He’s truly kind to everyone. I don’t know about you, but I don’t just want a guy who’s sweet to me. I want a guy who is truly kind to everyone he meets. A real man goes out of his way to offer a compliment or a kind word to someone, not because it gets him anything but because he believes in releasing good energy back out into the world. Kind people are always more fun to be around. They spend their time talking about all of the ways they can grow and thrive in this life, not talking about other people or simply complaining and being negative. A real man has a kind heart.
  11. He reminds you of your power. A real man wants his partner to succeed and have everything they want in life. Men (and women) with insecurities will often do what they can to keep their partner’s self-esteem at a lower level so that they always feel like the one in power or control. A real man is happiest when his partner is confident and standing firmly in their power. When your guy is encouraging you to go after your dreams and reminds you to not give up when life gets tough, that’s when you know you’ve got a real man.
  12. He takes an interest in your life. A real man wants to get to know every part of you and wants to know about every aspect of your life. He doesn’t necessarily have to love all of the same things that you do, but he should be excited for you and interested in learning about why you like them so much. This includes your job, your friends and family, and your hobbies and interests. A real man respects everything that makes you who you are and wants to know about them.
  13. He doesn’t dismiss your emotions. In every relationship, there are going to be times when couples don’t see eye-to-eye and this might result in one of you becoming more emotional than the other. Even if your guy doesn’t fully understand your point of view in a given situation or agree with it, he will still comfort you, acknowledge that your feelings are valid, and respect them. A man who dismisses your emotions or tells you that you’re overreacting or being dramatic may not be the right man for you.
  14. He shares his heart with you. A lot of men have insecurities about sharing their emotions or anything that goes with the lovey-dovey side of romantic relationships. Whether your guy is someone who is in touch with his emotions or not, the fact of the matter is that he needs to be able to tell you how he feels about you. I don’t know about you, but I’m someone who likes to be reassured of my guy’s love for me, even though I know he loves me deep down. I want him to tell me every day. I want him to list all of the qualities about me that he can’t get enough of. Real men aren’t afraid of a little poetry now and then.
  15. He doesn’t intimidate you. There are a lot of ways men will use their power and strength to assert dominance over women. Many men feel the need to use fear tactics to control and dictate their relationships and everything their partner does. This is not what a real man does. Ever. A real man will never give you a reason to fear him, point-blank. He’ll never use any form of abuse whether it’s physical, emotional, or psychological, to control you or make you afraid to challenge him. A real man treats you as an equal with respect and compassion.
  16. He isn’t afraid to be vulnerable. Society has told us over the years that if men show vulnerability, they’re showing weakness. This is just all kinds of wrong. There’s absolutely nothing weak about having the courage to show vulnerability. It happens to be one of the strongest things a person can do. A real man will be honest with you about his struggles, his fears, and his anxieties. A real man won’t be afraid to show you his vulnerable side and will find peace knowing that he has you to confide in.
  17. He strives to do the right thing. This is an important quality for all people and should be something that you look for in every partner, regardless of how they identify. A real man always tries to do the right thing in every area of his life. He won’t give you reasons to stress about things like cheating, lying, and committing crimes. He’ll go out of his way to be a good person and do what he can to make the world a better place. You’re definitely dating a real man.
  18. He makes you excited about a future with him. A real man will exhibit all of the qualities that you envision in a lifetime partner or spouse which will make it easy to see your future with him. These qualities will obviously vary from person to person but the idea is that they will meet all of the standards you’ve set for a romantic partner and make you excited to continue through the years with them.
  19. He will make you a better person. A real man will not only show you all of the wonderful qualities that you desire in a partner but he will also inspire you to be a better person yourself. Amazing partners will bring out qualities and strengths in you that you may not have even known were there. The two of you will encourage each other daily and work together to have a beautiful life.
Erica Majored in Psychology at UBC and now works in the glorious dating industry. See more of her articles on her awesome advice column Oh, and she's obsessed with Hawaii. Want proof? Follow her on Instagram @ericaleighgordon