By the time I was 23, I had given up on love. That might sound melodramatic, but it’s true. Already I’d had my heart broken once and been through an epically awful breakup. When it came to dating, I was done.
Taking myself out of the game made me feel safe. I decided that my chances were over, and it was better not to hope for love at all.
Yet at the time I made this resolution, I’d already met the man who would become my husband. At 23, I swore off love, and at 24, I was happily married.
What happened? The short version is, I learned to look at people differently. I gained confidence to see beneath the surface, to prize integrity over drama.
Without further ado, here are my top 5 ways to tell if the guy you’re dating is the real deal.
1. He treats other people with kindness and respect.
Notice that this is about how he treats others, not you.
While of course how he treats you is important, in the beginning of a romantic relationship both people tend to be on their best behavior towards one another.
It’s easy to get a great first impression, to fall in love with someone who treats you like royalty for a little while.
But if you want to know how this guy is going to treat you over the course of a lifetime, look at how he treats other people. Sooner or later, that’ll be you on the receiving end of that behavior.
A big part of why I fell in love with my husband was how he treated the adults with special needs who were our housemates at the time. He treated them with respect and dignity, and that meant a lot to me.
Is your guy’s tone harsh and cutting when he speaks to his parents? Is he rude to the waiter? To quote Dave Barry, “A person who is nice to you, but not nice to the waiter, is not a nice person.”
2. He is patient.
Not to go all Biblical on you here, but there’s a reason that the first line of that popular passage in First Corinthians chapter 13 is, “Love is patient.”
Is the guy you’re dating patient? Does he bear with you when you forget your coat and need to run back, or does he scowl? Does he freak out during a subway delay, or does he make the best of it?
Patience is what enables you to bear with each other in your faults and foibles.
My husband was patient in his love for me. He took time getting to know me before making a move; he showed respect, so much so that at first I thought he wasn’t interested in me!
At the time I was much more familiar with guys who wanted the whirlwind romance. But when you find someone who’s worth your time, you’re willing to go at a steady pace.
3. He shows up on time.
This might sound minor, but it’s major. Showing up on time demonstrates respect for you and the kind of self-governance that will help you both in your life together.
If the guy you’re dating is always running late, it means that he doesn’t have a handle on his own commitments. Conversely, if he tends to show up when he says he will, that’s very promising.
4. He is willing to face reality head-on.
When we were getting engaged, my now-husband asked me, “What are your outstanding debts? Do you have any prior felony convictions?” I laughed, but he was dead serious.
He wanted to go into marriage with eyes wide open. He wanted to know how much I owed on my student loan, because he understood that paying it back was an effort we’d undertake together.
Look for indications that the guy you’re dating is willing to face reality, particularly in the area of finances. If he has no idea how much money he owes, that’s a problem. If he is paying down debt and budgeting and spending consciously, that’s great.
5. He supports your dreams in visible ways.
It’s easy to give lip service and play the supportive role: “Sure, of course you should go for that dream job!” What’s much harder is offering the kind of practical help that makes dreams reality.
So, ask yourself: does the guy I’m dating support my dreams in tangible ways?
Does he show up at your art gallery opening, or does he flake out? Does he encourage you to go to bed early before a big event, or does he subtly sabotage your success by begging you to stay up late?
When my husband suggested that we convert one of the rooms in the historic home he owned into a writing room to support my dream of authorship, I knew I was a fortunate woman.
“Everyday Life in Utopia”
I love this phrase from Gretchen Rubin’s book Happier at Home: Everyday life in utopia. If your guy is the real deal, that’s what you get to experience.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that your shared life will be perfect. You and your partner are human, so sometimes you’ll fight and get on each other’s nerves and forget to buy bananas at the grocery store.
Even people who are “the real deal” go through hard times. (Just last week, I had no bananas for breakfast. Come on!)
Seriously though, if you share enough of life with someone, you will go through some dark times. You will struggle. You will feel the truth of that great line from The Princess Bride: “Life is pain, highness, and anyone who says differently is selling something.”
And yet – if you choose someone who is the real deal – there will be so much goodness in store for you too. You will also get to look across the table at the guy you love and think: thank you, thank you, thank you.
That’s my wish for you: gratitude, and the confidence that comes with choosing well.
Caroline Garnet McGraw is the creator of the free video interview series The Confidence Course: How to Defeat Self-Doubt, Trade Perfectionism for Possibility, and Live Your Dreams.
It's a free crash-course in confidence from people who are giving back and playing big, and I’m honored to be one of the 33 all-star speakers!
The roster includes Olympic Gold medalist Samantha Arsenault Livingstone, #1 New York Times bestselling author and TED speaker Adam Grant, double-platinum, ARIA award-winning musician Ben Lee, and of course the owner of this website, Your EZ Dating Coach, Mike Goldstein.
During this series on Dating, Relationships, and Confidence, you’ll learn …
The vital importance of showing up as the real you, which is the foundation of all confidence
Why keeping a list of 5 essential qualities you're looking for can save you time and heartache
One practical way to re-structure your requests for your partner
How to shift your mindset from impressing people to really engaging with them
The mental hack that allows you to find common ground and let go of social anxiety
And much more...
This high-caliber online event launches on Monday, January 29th; attend for free using this link: https://awishcomeclear.com/TheConfidenceCourseSeries/2z5v
Everything is going great.
You met someone who you really feel like you can develop a connection with.
Maybe you even went on a few dates.
Both of you seem interested, texting back and forth for days.
And then, suddenly...
It’s something everyone dreads, but which is experienced all too often.
Ghosting is defined as the cessation of all communication suddenly and without explanation.
For most, it is devastating and downright rude.
So what should you do if it happens to you?
Here are my thoughts...
Why It Is Done
First, it is important to understand the psychology behind ghosting.
The action of ghosting is definitely not new, but the methods and the ease with which people can get away with it is.
Because we are so reliant on our technology for dating and relationship building it’s often difficult to gauge how someone really feels.
After all, text doesn’t generally express tone.
Often times, people use impersonal technological methods to figure out how they feel about an individual. Equally common is the person realizing they are no longer interested after a brief period.
In an effort to avoid their own emotional discomfort, they simply break away without the courtesy of letting you know.
The worst part is, most people have done it at some point, creating a culture where it is taboo and somehow acceptable all at once.
But Ghosting is not acceptable and those who regularly do it probably aren’t ready to be in a relationship.
What You Should Do
That is not to say that there is nothing you can do.
Quite the contrary.
There are many steps you can take not only to make sure the other party is ghosting you, but also to potentially elicit a response.
Here are six tips you should follow. No cheating!
1. Make sure you’re actually being ghosted.
Sometimes people just don’t have the time to send messages.
Perhaps they mentioned a hectic schedule ahead or even a planned vacation.
Don’t jump to conclusions about someone’s intentions before you confirm them.
2. Don’t freak out.
False accusations of ghosting can be instant relationship killers.
No matter how it may appear, there are often simple answers for seemingly strange behaviors.
One thing I highly recommend:
Try to avoid checking out their social media and doing other things that would be deemed “stalkery behavior.”
There is no reason to add fuel to the flames, especially if you’re still unsure.
3. Reach out in a calm and lighthearted way.
If you haven’t heard from someone in a while, the best way to initiate is playfully.
Being abrasive and harsh is never a good idea, especially if it turns out you’re not actually being ignored.
Start out by saying something like “Hey, long time no speak!” or something similar that won’t be taken out of context.
This indicates that you are aware that the other party is being distant, but you’re not worried about it or pressuring them.
4. Stop texting.
After reaching out once, you can try one more polite text.
If you don’t get a response, STOP.
Text bombing is a great way to show someone that you are needy and insecure. And nobody finds that attractive.
At this point, it’s a waiting game.
The other person will either respond and explain themselves… Or they won’t.
5. Don’t call.
After texting twice, you may be tempted to try something more dramatic.
Aside from the fact that if their phone is working, they definitely got your messages, calling is just another way to demonstrate your inability to cope with what is happening.
But more on that later.
6. Don’t speak to their friends.
If you have some friends in common, don’t pursue an answer from them.
Relationships are personal things and getting others involved is usually not a good idea. Especially in this situation.
The one situation where I would recommend asking is if they bring it up.
If someone asks you how a relationship is going, you can nonchalantly ask if they know something.
Getting Over It
If you find that you have, indeed, been ghosted, it is critical that you be proactive about getting over it.
The first thing to keep in mind is that you did not do anything wrong.
Sometimes we fall into the trap of believing that it was our actions that caused someone to behave a certain way.
This is not the case and people are always responsible for the choices they make and the actions they take.
If you were being true to yourself in your conversations, it probably just means that they weren’t for you.
Once you come to that realization you can start moving on.
Go on some dates, do fun things, hang out with friends… It really doesn’t matter how you fill your time, as long as you are doing positive things.
If you want to post pictures on social channels that the other person is bound to see, go for it!
There is no use letting someone else control your emotions.
At least not publicly. :)
About the Author
Pauline Plott is a London-based blogger who became a dating guru after learning the psychology behind modern romance and signing up for every dating website in pursuit of relationship bliss. She shares her reviews and opinions on www.DatingSpot.co.uk.
Dating efficiently for women can be the most confusing process in the world. At first, I will tell you to go wild and message every man that makes sense for you. The next minute, I will say "do nothing and let him come to you." Any woman reading this should want to tear her hair out and say, "Mike! Make up your mind! Do I sit back or pounce?"
The answer is simple and can be broken down into two steps.
First, message every guy that looks good for you and yes ask these men on dates. Why should YOU, being the woman, ask him, being the man out? Because Men do not see you as a real live person until they meet you in person. Thus, you need to get to the date as fast as you feel comfortable. Once you are on a first date, he can fall in love with your beauty, get to know your personality and determine if he is interested in you and vice versa. But until he sees you, you might as well be a figment of his imagination. You do not exist. Thus, get your butt on the date if you don't want men to disappear online.
Alright, now that you are going on dates, how do you get a guy to chase you.
Well first, watch this video and I will show you.
Next, here are the 3 Steps To Make Men Chase You
STEP 1: Go On The Date - Well that was simple and straight forward! Well there is more to it. Dating should be fun, exciting, and exploratory. However, if you are looking to settle down sooner rather than later it also better be strategic. What do I mean by that? Before you go dating, build you perfect man list. This should be a laundry list of 20-40 items you want in the perfect man but narrowed down to your top 5. Now, during the date, you should be asking questions that hint at whether your date has your top 5 qualities. If he doesn't have your top 5, move onto the next guy. If he does have your top 5 and you enjoyed the date, proceed to step 2.
STEP 2: End Date The Right Way - Assuming your date has your top 5 and you have fun say this, "I just had the best date of my life with you. I really hope I get to see you again." You say that slowly and confidently. You drop the mic and you walk out.
STEP 3: Do Nothing - Do not text, call, or email. It is finally time for him to chase you. This step is so vitally important because it gives you all the information you need. If he calls/texts you in the next 72 (hopefully 48) hours, hopefully asking for another date then he likes you. If you don't hear from him than 98.5% of the time he doesn't like you. If you hear from him, he has your top 5 and you would like to see him again then agree to a 2nd date. If you hear from him and he doesn't have your top 5 then don't agree to 2nd date.
Finally, repeat STEP 3 after every single date until you are exclusive. It is important once he knows you are real that he comes after you.
Wait! I forgot the most important part. Do not have sex with him until you are exclusive. He must chase you and chase you and chase you until he wants to lock you down. He will want exclusivity for a few reasons:
1. He thinks you are fantastic
2. He wants to finally have sex with you
3. He is convinced he has found a prize that few men could have earned - He only feels this way if you don't have sex with him. If you have sex with him on date 2, whether it is true or not he will assume you do this with every guy. Thus, he is NOT special. And, if he is not special, then you are not special in his eyes.
Alright ladies. Let's break down one more time so we are crystal clear. First, message every guy possible and be aggressive to be all your competition and land a date with the best guy possible. Next, end the date like a rock star by complimenting how awesome the guy is and how much fun you had. Finally, do nothing and find out if he likes you by him finally reaching out to you. If you do this process over and over again, you will find an amazing guy who is going to chase you for a lifetime.