Don’t Waste Any More Time On Losers—Here’s How You Know Whether He Has Long-Term Potential

So many of my friends are currently going through dating burnout. They put all their energy into these guys who inevitably reveal their true colors by the third date. It can be exhausting to put so much time into people who aren’t worth it. Luckily, I’ve been able to notice some patterns that’ll hopefully let them weed out the losers early. Here are the ways you can tell he actually has potential.

  1. He doesn’t immediately ask about sexting. A guy who is all about sexting and dick pics isn’t in this for the long run. The right guy will get to know you first, and feel out if you’re even comfortable with requests like that. That kind of stuff can be important in a relationship, especially if you’re long-distance, but it pales in comparison to other traits. He might just be looking for a hookup if things get sexual way too fast.
  2. He has his own living situation. I’m not going to fault guys for living with their parents or having roommates. The economy isn’t the greatest and sometimes we all just need to survive. But a guy who isn’t leeching on mom and dad to pay the bills is a guy who’s more serious about a long-term relationship. If he does live with his parents, it’s at least a good sign if he has an exit plan that he’s working towards.
  3. He’s happy in his career. I’ve had plenty of awful jobs in my life, but do you know what I did when I reached my breaking point? I found something new. It’s often hard to switch up jobs and careers, but it is possible. Having a guy who’s miserable in his situation yet isn’t offering up a solution to change it is bad news. He’s in control of his destiny. You’ll last maybe two months with this guy before he gets way too depressing.
  4. He compliments you on things outside of looks. It’s true — you have beautiful eyes and the guy who just wants to hook up with you will make sure to mention that. But a guy with real long-term potential will pick up on other traits. Maybe he likes your sarcastic sense of humor, or your ability to stick up for yourself. Maybe you’re a people-person and flourish in social situations. Maybe he just really loves the way you connect with your family. Guys do notice this stuff if they’re really into you.
  5. He’s not constantly on his phone. Phones are addictive. These days, I start panicking if I left my phone at home, completely forgetting that my childhood was phone-free and still healthy. But when a guy is completely locked into his phone or even protective of it, he’s not paying attention to you. You need to be with a guy who actively listens to you. Otherwise, you’ll face a big problem with communication down the line. If he’s into you, putting his phone back in his pocket for 15 minutes will be an easy task.
  6. He hasn’t dated any of your friends. Some friend groups are completely okay with a scenario like this, but others aren’t. But if this is a guy who hasn’t tested the waters with other people in your group, you’ll feel more comfortable about your relationship altogether. Plus, it proves he’s not just bored and looking for an easy date.
  7. He doesn’t ask you to pay for every date. Curious about who pays? The best rule is, the person who asked the other person out to lunch is the one who’ll foot the bill. Keeping things as balanced as possible is the healthiest technique. That said, sometimes it’s good to switch it up. But if your guy never seems to have his wallet on him, and you can’t remember the last time he took care of the bill, he’s just using you for cash. Dump him and find someone who’ll respect you more.
  8. He’s added your family members on Facebook. This is a daring move for a guy you’ve only gone on a few dates with. But if he met your folks and they happened to get along, it’s a sign that he sees this as being a long-term romance. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have bothered. This is a guy is likely very confident over what he wants. If he’s just looking to boost his amount of followers, he’s just clueless. But that’s something you probably would have picked up on already.
  9. He’s been an open book. Everyone has a right to privacy, but when it comes to the big questions, he has no problem opening up. If he was in a serious relationship before, he’ll let you know about it. If he has kids, they won’t be a secret. Guys who are invested in a relationship know that secrets will only blow up into huge concerns later. By being open, he’s also building trust. If you don’t trust your partner, the chances of you making it long-term are pretty slim.
Karen Belz is a New Jersey native who is currently living in Maryland. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Speech Communication with a focus in Broadcasting and Print Media Studies from Millersville University of Pennsylvania. Since graduating, she has written for sites like LittleThings, HelloGiggles, and Scary Mommy and is currently an e-commerce editor at Bustle.

When she's not writing, she enjoys making her phone run out of memory after taking too many photos of her dog. You can find her on Twitter @karenebelz or on Instagram @karenbelz.