How To Tell If You're Dating Mr. Right Or Mr. Right Now

by Candice Jalili

As a 20-something in the dating scene, you're at a stage in life when the possibility of potentially marrying the person you're seeing isn't a weird concept.

And yet, you still feel like a 12-year-old trapped in an adult's body, so the whole idea of MARRIAGE is a little... well, terrifying.

Given this inner struggle, you eventually have to decide with each guy you date: Are you still just having some young fun with this person, or is he THE ONE?

Of course, just sitting back and enjoying the ride is — and could always be — an option. But if you're awake at four in the morning stressing over your love life, it's time to pick a lane, sweetheart.

Go through this list and figure out once and for all if you're with Mr. Right or Mr. Right Now:

Mr. Right makes you happy; Mr. Right Now never makes you unhappy.

Mr. Right makes you really, really, really, truly, from the bottom of your heart HAPPY.

Even years into the relationship, whenever you see his name pop up on your phone, you can't help but grin like a stupid idiot. And that grin only gets more intense when you're with him in person.

You look at him and you can't help but smile because you have no idea how you got SO incredibly lucky.

But Mr Right Now doesn't have the same effect on you.

Mr. Right Now doesn't make you grin at your phone like an idiot.

It's not that he makes you upset; you're not falling asleep crying over him or anything. But you're not grinning at your phone like an idiot, either. You see what I mean?

You like him. He's a good guy. But you're just... sort of, whatever about him.

Mr. Right challenges you to be better; Mr. Right Now doesn't see the potential.

You're going to fight with Mr. Right sometimes. Why? Because he sees how great you could be.

He believes in you, and pushes you to be the most awesome version of yourself.

If you're being a total dick, he'll call you out because he knows you're better than that.

If you're giving up on that distant childhood dream you never admitted you had to anyone but him, he'll tell you to get back in the game and keep trying.

Mr. Right Now, on the other hand... well, it's not that he doesn't believe in you.

It's just that he doesn't challenge you. He takes you the way you are and doesn't expect or even necessarily want you to change or grow in any way.

You like him because, obviously, it's nice to have someone who embraces you for who we are and lets you be comfortable in your own skin.

But people change and grow, and we want someone who's going to help us through that process, not hold us back.

Mr. Right believes in you, and pushes you to be the most awesome version of yourself.

Odds are, there's going to come a point where you change and grow right out of him.

Mr. Right makes you forget about your ex; Mr. Right Now is just better than him.

Mr. Right makes you forget about your ex completely. There's simply just no comparison.

That guy was little league, and this guy is the majors. He's the real deal — there's no doubt about it.

Mr. Right Now you probably ended up with as a result of your ex.

You gave him a chance because he did everything your ex didn't do. And now, you constantly reassure yourself you're with the right person by comparing him to your ex and reminding yourself that he's so much better.

Meanwhile, with Mr. Right, there's no need to remind yourself you're with the right person in the first place.

You just know.

Mr. Right came along when you were least expecting it; Mr. Right Now came right when you needed him.

Your relationship with Mr. Right just sort of happened.

Whether you stumbled into him when you were drunk at a bar with your friends, or you wound up sitting a couple desks away from him at work, you didn't go into it looking for some everlasting love.

No, you just sort of fell into it.

Your relationship with Mr. Right Now, however, was forced.

You were bored, trying to get over an ex or all your friends were in a relationship and you felt left out. Or, you gave in because he was the first boy to ever really like you.

No matter the catalyst, you chose Mr. Right Now for a reason other than because you simply liked him.

Mr. Right takes care of you; Mr. Right Now needs you take care of him.

I honestly don't love the term "takes care of you." You are a strong person who can take care of herself. You don't need Mr. Right.

But sometimes, the going gets tough — and in those times, you'd like to think you can depend on your significant other to be there to support you.

Mr. Right is the guy who will be there. And in return, you'll be there for him.

Mr. Right Now is usually the one who needs you to take care of him. And, unlike your relationship with Mr. Right, you can't necessarily rely on him to be there for you in return.

Mr. Right is worth the fight; Mr. Right Now isn't.

It all comes down to this...

Imagine you and your boyfriend got in a huge, colossal fight.

I'm not just saying someone forgot to put down the toilet seat or showed up 20 minutes late to dinner... I'm saying someone cheated or lied or failed to keep a big promise to you.

Would you stick around? Would the relationship ultimately still be worth the pain it would take to save it?

If the answer is "yes," I think you've found yourself your Mr. Right.

If the answer is "no," then it may be time to reevaluate if staying with this person is the direction your 20-something self wants to go in.