1. Make sure you love yourself before getting into a relationship.
As cliché as it sounds, self-love is required. You aren’t ready for a relationship if you just want to be in one in order to feel “whole.” We were told that our future partner is one who “completes” us, but not in the sense that we feel nothing when we are without them. A partner is supposed to help bring out the best we can be—not do all the work.
2. Start with friendship.
The key to a good relationship is obviously friendship. Is he interesting to talk to? Could you truly be yourself around him? Or are you just in it for the butterflies and lovey-dovey feelings? If that’s the case, then you might just be lusting over him. Or it may be infatuation.
3. Observe his work ethic.
If he’s still in school: I don’t want you to judge him by his grades, but I want you to see if he is at least trying to do his best with academics. Is he passing in his homework? Does he cut class? Do you know if he cooperates in group projects? Knowing these simple factors may tell a lot about his outlook on work itself—how he would look at his job in the future. After all, old habits follow you until you change them.
If he already has a job: How does he feel about going to work? Is he striving? Or is he doing it just because he has to?
4. Be aware of the type of people he purposely surrounds himself with.
We all know the saying, “Birds of a feather flock together.” We also have to admit that it is pretty accurate. What is his group of friends like? Does he even have a group of friends? How does he act when he’s around them? Can you imagine yourself hanging out with his type of crowd?
5. See if you could accept his hobbies and interests.
Respect is the key. If you could respect what he is into—unless it is illegal—then your relationship might flourish smoothly. If you can’t accept him now, what more in the future? You can’t just force him to “unlike” something. Changing him isn’t a form of love; acceptance is. Well, unless you are “changing him for the better”; but be careful—you may be the only one who thinks it’s for the better.
6. Make sure he is a trustworthy and reliable guy.
When he makes a promise, does he actually keep it? Or could he just be the type who only goes as far as saying flowery words that make your heart melt? Ask yourself: Does he walk the talk? Can you depend on him during times of need? Or is he the type to bail on you at the last minute? If he is, he better have good reasons. As well as proof.
7. See if the silence is good or not.
Whether we like it or not, there will be times when the world will fall silent. Now the question is, is it awkward when that happens? Or is it actually okay? I honestly believe that if someone’s presence is enjoyable, words don’t have to be said. Though if you are feeling awkward, then that could be a sign that one of you, or both of you, is trying too hard. The point is—everything should just come out natural. However, if there is no form of communication—as in no eye contact and the silence turns to noise—that’s a different story.
8. See if he is opening up to you about his life.
Not only does this show that he is comfortable with you, it shows that he trusts you. Trust is a huge thing. If he is still “shaky” at the thought of answering questions, or just seems to cut you off every time—then that could mean he is hiding something. Or he could just be a naturally secretive guy—would you like that, though?
9. See if his morals and goals match yours.
What is his outlook on life? Are his morals and goals compatible with yours? Does he even have goals in life? You better make sure you’re going to share your life with a guy who is willing to accept you for who you are.
10. Find out if you share the same spiritual beliefs.
If you are planning to have a relationship with him, that means you’re planning to marry him. Why else would you date him? If there’s another motive, then don’t even start. But if you are content with the statements above, then it would be wise to ask about his religion. If it’s different, are you willing to change? Would he be willing to change for you in the future?
11. Imagine him as your boyfriend. Would you be proud to have him?
Having a boyfriend doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s a chance for you to flaunt the one you love—but if you are uncomfortable introducing him to other people, then something is definitely up. Your other half should be someone you unconditionally love and accept—unless he is abusive, of course.
12. Say ‘yes’ only after meeting each other’s families.
How he treats his family—especially his mother—will give you a glimpse on how he would treat you as a wife (as well as your future family together).
13. Can you imagine growing old together?
Is he the problem you would like to solve for the rest of your life? Just think about that.
14. Now the final question is—could he read all these statements and think the same about you?
Love is a promise; not a feeling. He is not the only one you should be cautious of; you should also be cautious of yourself. Yes, we are all imperfect—but that doesn’t mean that we should use that as an excuse to not try anymore.