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5 Ways to Feel Confident That He’s the Real Deal

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?