Is He Really Worth Your Time?
By Vanessa Palencia
Once upon a time, before I finally found the love of my life, I was an avid dater. It really seems so strange to remember that I used jump from one guy to the next in hot pursuit of finding The One. I’ve dated a co-worker, flirted with a football player, and hooked up with a gemini. Oh, those sneaky geminis are the worst, honestly. So I guess you can say that I’m fairly experienced when it comes to recognizing whether a guy is pure gold or is just the human version of a pesky mosquito who just wants to take his bite and leave.
From my personal experience and from what I’ve witnessed with a few of my close friends, we tend to let some people stay longer in our lives than is healthy and necessary. Sometimes it’s the fear of being alone and other times it’s the familiarity we hold on to. I used to think that it was the hopeless romantic in me, but I was so indifferent to the other person’s feelings, so that didn’t make sense. But whatever the reason, it’s never healthy to lead someone on or continue letting them hold you back from moving on. While I am grateful for the invaluable lessons I’ve learned, I would never wish the same kind of heartbreak and misery that I went through, and it’s because of that reason that I want to share what I know with you.
Now, I know that you’re here reading this because you really want to make sure that the person you’re seeing is really interested in you before you take it to the next level. Or perhaps you need some clarification as to whether you really like them enough to keep them in your life. Whatever the reason is, here are some questions you can ask yourself to determine whether the guy you’re seeing is really worth your time.
Can you introduce him to your family with pride and excitement?
There’s a lot of hype that first-introductions between your partner and your family should be filled with tension and agitation than a moment of pleasure and excitement. That’s not the case. First, you need to understand and recognize the difference between your family making unreasonable judgements of your partner and logical concerns. If your family is the unreasonable type, then that’s another issue altogether. Otherwise, this first introduction should be filled positive energy.
Do your hangouts always result in make-out sessions?
Make-out sessions have their time and place. It’s one thing to lead into a make-out session when you’re feeling all the romantic vibes and your energy is just magnetizing. But it’s another thing entirely to just fill in awkward silences or avoid certain situations with a make-out session. If you find that either one of you is constantly leaning towards physical touch to make the night more eventful instead of using intelligent conversations and/or activities, then you might need to let this relationship go.
Do you like the way he smells?
No, I don’t mean that you have to like the way his dirty socks smell, but you have to like the way his skin smells after he gets all hot and sweaty at the gym or when he’s just rolled out of bed. That’s the smell I’m talking about, because if you don’t, then years down the line you’re most likely going to find yourself annoyed with his scent. And if you didn’t know already, your sense of smell is the biggest sensory receptor to memories and feelings, which may spell disaster for your relationship if you associate his smell to negative feelings. Just saying.
Can you name five things that you like/love about him?
This is extremely important. I’ve come across so many of my friends who would tell me that they really like so-and-so, but when I asked them why, they would stumble on their answer. Whenever I think back to the guys I dated, I remember not understanding why I liked them, I just did. Or so I thought. I was actually just really interested in their looks or their reputation, not who they were as a person. It wasn’t until I met Nick (aka the love of my life) that I was able to rattle off reasons why I loved him, and that’s when I knew. So make sure that you can name at least five reasons why you like/love the person, but make sure they are legit reasons. It can’t be “I like that he’s super popular.” No. There has to be more depth, like “He always respects my opinions.”
Do you look forward to spending time together?
I know this may sound obvious, but I once dated a guy where I felt like it was a chore to go out with him and spend time together. I thought I was the only one, but I met a few friends later down the road that expressed the same struggle that I went through. So, yes, it may sound obvious, but make sure that you look forward to spending time with that person and that you get giddy with excitement as date night arrives. If you don’t, then it’s time to say your good-byes.
Do you feel like a better person around them?
If you’re usually an angry person, do you feel calmer around them? Do you suddenly want to be the best person you can be? Maybe you suddenly feel like donating to charity, doing better in school, or getting that job promotion. If you’re just all around looking for ways to change yourself in a positive way, then you know that this person is making a profound change in your life. That earns them their ticket to stay.
Do you help each other grow?
Of course, most of us want a relationship where you can just Netflix and Chill, but it’s also crucial that you can learn and grow together. This doesn’t necessarily mean having to go to historical museums and art shows every weekend. This means encouraging each other to chase after your dreams, learning how to be more positive in your lives together, or understanding the true meaning of strength and patience when everything seems to be going wrong.
Have you discussed your morals and values together? If so, can you live with them?
For some reason, many couples forego this topic or stall on it until it’s too late. This is horrible! If you don’t figure this out as soon as possible, you might end up spending a year with this guy only to find out that his ideal life is staying put in his hometown when you want to travel the world and move around a few places before settling down. I’m not saying that you have to agree with every single one of his listed moral and value, but you should be able to live with them. For example, if you want to travel, then you might not be able to live with the idea of forever staying in your hometown, but you might be able to live with the idea of celebrating Hannukah every year even though you’re an athiest.
Are you interested in learning about each other’s hobbies?
Remember your school-girl obsessions with your crush and the way that you’d try to find out everything that they liked? Yeah, that’s what I’m talking about, except on a healthier level. It’s such a good sign when you find yourself actually interested in learning about their hobbies or interests and vice versa! It doesn’t mean that you have to take on that hobby, but you guys can respect your hobbies and learn to appreciate them as a way of supporting each other. But if you can’t see yourself doing that, then take that as a major sign to let them go.
Can you laugh together?
This may be last on this list, but it’s definitely not least. Of course we all love a good laugh (I hope…), but more importantly, we all need some form of humor in our relationship because it’s what helps us form and strengthen bonds. In case you didn’t know, laughing releases endorphins, reduces stress, promotes a variety of other health benefits, which all help to create a positive feeling and association with your partner. So if you can’t laugh together, then it might be a little difficult later down the line to keep up a positive and inviting atmosphere within your relationship.
Like always, every situation and every relationship varies, but the key thing here is to make sure that you are asking all the right questions. Don’t just keep someone around in your life just because you’re bored, he’s cute, or you’re afraid of being alone. If you do that, you don’t allow yourself to grow and learn.
Don’t forget to drop a comment and let me know what your thoughts are!