If You’re Not Sure If He’s Your Boyfriend, He’s Not Your Boyfriend

At one point or another, we’ve all been yanked around and led on by a guy who had zero regards for our time, energy or feelings. It’s so easy to turn a blind eye to bad guy behavior and so tempting to ignore the red flags slapping you in the face when you really want to fall in love. But listen — it’s time to take a step back and figure out if your relationship is worthy of you… or if you’re even in a relationship at all. If you’ve got doubts when it comes to your place in someone’s life, you’ve probably answered your own question.

  1. Your boyfriend will make you feel secure in your relationship. So it’s been a few months, you bring up the idea of “titles” and get shot down with a, “Why do you need to be Facebook official to know I like you, girl?” F*ckboy alert! MOVE ON. Your boyfriend should be proud to have you by his side and won’t shy away from mentioning you on his social media accounts. He won’t be shady about being with you; he’ll talk you up to his co-workers and brag about you to his friends. If you’re worried you don’t have his full attention, he isn’t your boyfriend!
  2. You won’t have to sell the idea of yourself to him. Let me guess — you’re always the first person to reach out with a “good morning” text each day and the first to say goodnight? You follow up, check in, make sure he knows you’re thinking of him and there’s far more blue than grey on your iMessage screens. Let’s cut the crap —anyone who needs to be convinced that you belong in their life doesn’t deserve the bae-level treatment. Save what dignity you’ve still got and reserve those witty one-liners and so-bad-they’re-kinda-good puns for a dude who’s going to give you more than a half-assed “lol.”
  3. Does he talk a big game? There’s nothing immature dudes love more than attempting to prolong their facade, with the promise of future plans. Surely you’ve heard something similar to this one: “Wouldn’t Mexico be amazing, babe? We should go!” Or how about this one: “We should try that new tapas place uptown, I know you love Spanish food”? Except when you bring it up later, his eyes glaze over and he manages to change the subject to something about your boobs. That man? He ain’t your boyfriend. Your boyfriend will make plans, set the date, take charge of the evening and make sure you know that he had an amazing time with you. It really is simple as that.
  4. Your boyfriend will show up for you. And not just for you — for your friends and family too. A good boyfriend will know that your milestones, celebrations and successes are his too. He’ll enthusiastically support your inner circle with his presence at events like birthday parties, holidays and everything in between — okay, maybe not EVERYTHING, like your niece’s kindergarten graduation… but he’ll be at your side for the important stuff.
  5. He won’t complain about being part of your life — he’ll relish it. He won’t make up an excuse for the 19th time, citing sore muscles from leg day. He’ll come for the entire duration of Thanksgiving dinner, listen and laugh at your dad’s corny jokes, compliment your grandma’s pie even though she’s gone a little batty in her old age and might have mixed up the salt with the sugar. He won’t take advantage of the free beer in the fridge, only to dip out an hour and a half after arriving and most importantly, he won’t make you feel like a charity case. He’ll be a passionate participant in your life and he will do it genuinely, knowing you’ll show up for him in the same way. That’s a real partnership.

If he can’t take the heat of a real relationship, kick him out of the kitchen and get to cookin’ with someone who knows how to sauté, flambé and bae-bae (just go with it).

Vicky is a Toronto native who works as a professional photographer by day and a writer by night. She has a bachelor's degree from the University of Waterloo and will soon begin a master's degree in psychology.