1. You know where you stand. You are his girlfriend or you are a girl he’s dating but either way he’s not scared to define it. He’s not afraid that a girl will cry and run away if she doesn’t hear what she wants to, he wants a mature woman because he is a mature man.
Yes!!! That’s absolutely #1 in grown up relationships. Can he define what you are doing? Personally, I’m too old to be dating for sport. I am dating to find Mr. Right. Even if the current man isn’t him, that’s my end game. I need whoever I’m involve with to be able to define who we are and what we’re doing, even if it’s not what I want to hear.
2. You don’t have to prod him to become a real adult. He’s self motivated to improve on his own. If there’s an area of his life that needs improvement, he’s working on it long before you notice it.
You can’t raise him! He needs to have goals and ambitions that are in some ways aligned with your own. Both of you should be aspiring to be better today than you were yesterday. If not, you will eventually become bitter towards each other. You’ll be upset he wasn’t motivated for positive change and larger successes, and he’ll be upset that you pushed him towards your goals.
3. Texting with him is peaceful. Sometimes you have conversations. Sometimes you make plans. But it’s never a power struggle of who initiates and who texts lasts. It’s not fishing for compliments or security. It’s simply a short form of communication.
Communication should be peaceful. It shouldn’t be calculated. You should be in a comfortable relationship without insecurities and competition.
4. He calls his mom. You don’t need to tell him to do this and he does it to keep in touch, not because he needs her stamp of approval on all his choices.
He should have a strong relationship with his mother, as long as it’s healthy.
5. He has interests. Like actual interests. Not beer darts or meeting women. He reads the newspaper or books, and when you ask him his opinion on something, he has an answer.
Be smart about real stuff! If his only means of conversation are involving video games, sports, or the days or yore, this will never work.
6. When you spend the night at his place, it doesn’t feel like camping. His sheets are (reasonably) clean, there’s (gasp) toilet paper and (double gasp) fresh towels in the bathroom, and there’s something in the fridge other than beer.
He should be a real grown up! This is a no-brainer.
7. He doesn’t disappear for days or a week at a time. He knows that if he needs space or some time to clear his head when he’s stressed out all he needs to do is say that. He’s strong enough to be upfront rather than running away.
Amen!!! I’ve said some variation of this in multiple blog posts. Don’t cut and run. Face up to whatever struggle you’re dealing with. As a mature woman, if asked for space or time, I’ll comply. I will expect some type of conversation on the whys, but I get it. We all need a break sometime. Just be upfront. “I need a few days to work out an issue I’m dealing with. Can I give you a call on (insert specified day here)?” I often do this when I feel overwhelmed. I need my own time to process what’s happening before I bring it to someone else. Even if that someone is a close friend or partner.
I get it! But, disappearing without an explanation is the fastest way to end a relationship with me.
8. He never says “just trust me” as an attempt to end a disagreement. He knows that if you’re expressing a concern, the solution isn’t to just tell you not to have it. He isn’t manipulative.
He isn’t manipulative, speaks volumes.
9. He doesn’t get jealous. Sure, it doesn’t make him happy when another guy hits on you while he’s checking your coats, but he doesn’t blow up about it. He’s secure in your admiration.
Get jealous! I like it in moderation, but don’t overreact. Besides, the other guy is just appreciating what you have.
10. He doesn’t treat you like a child. If he disagrees with you he can tell you that. He assumes you want to engage with him rather than assuming you are a piece of glass that will shatter at the slightest disturbance.
No one likes to deliver bad news, disagree, or disappoint others. And, it can be easy to avoid those types of situations to avoid the discomfort. Typically the best way to establish how these situations will be handled is handling them. Face the music and communicate openly. Key in doing this is remembering we have to watch our reaction as much as we watch our delivery.
11. He encourages you to grow and try new activities. He isn’t afraid he will be left in the dust and he genuinely wants the best for you.
In relationships, both people need interests and activities outside of each other. It’s essential to maintain a level of individuality to keep from becoming lost in the relationship. It’s a good thing!
12. You never have this conversation: “Where do you want to go?” “Uh, I don’t know, where do you want to go?”
Even worse than having the conversation is one person just deciding EVERY SINGLE TIME what the agenda will be because someone’s too indecisive to make a decision.
13. You don’t have to play a guessing game when he’s upset about something. He tells you. Directly. With words. And you have a conversation and figure out a solution.
Say. What. You. Need. To. Say.