When you've been single forever (*raises hand*) and someone is finally interested in dating you in the old school "full on" and not the "in-between" way, it can feel a little bit terrifying to say, "OK, yes, I will be your girlfriend." Commitment is to one person, and you want to choose them wisely after so many years on your own. You have a lot of questions to ask yourself before you decide you should make him your boyfriend.
I've been single for a long time. In that time, I have also "dated" people for up to two years at a time — and yes, I encourage you to roll your eyes at me. When the term "girlfriend" has been proposed to me, I have run away screaming like some stereotype of a bachelor with Peter Pan syndrome. (Growing up is scary.) And when I am positive the word "girlfriend" is never going to come up in conversation unless he's talking about his ex, I have held on to said f*ckboy for dear life.
My massive fear of intimacy renders all of my complaints of being single meaningless. Making someone my boyfriend is scary, but I want to get better at it, so here's a list of 11 questions to ask yourself before making it official. I enlisted some help from dating expert Meredith Golden of SpoonmeetSpoon because clearly, I'm unqualified when it comes to commitment.
1. Does He Want To Be My Boyfriend?
This is an obvious, but important question to ask yourself. Does this dude want to date you seriously? If he's being kind of sketchy or you feel like you're pressuring him into a relationship, maybe don't. But if he's totally game, get after it, girl.
2. Does He Have A Job?
Golden says you should ask yourself, "Does he have any financial debt?" before committing. But in thinking about my credit card situation and not wanting to be a total hypocrite, I tweaked the question to, "Does he have a job?"
If he works hard and takes care of his bills, then you know he's a responsible grown up. He doesn't have to be the breadwinner, but ideally he doesn't live in a closet apartment with no running water while he pursues poetry/Reddit.
3. Does He Say "Please" And "Thank You"?
Golden recommends that you ask yourself if your potential boo is a "good man." But how can you tell? I think manners are everything when it comes to identifying a good person from bad person. The way your person treats waiters or cab drivers is a great indication of his values. If he respects strangers, he's definitely going to respect you.
4. Does He Like Going Out On Sundays?
Or Saturdays. Or weekends. Or whatever. I love going out for a casual drink or two on a Sunday night to fend off the scaries, and I recently went on a date with someone who did not drink on Sundays, period. While that is not a deal breaker, it's important to consider if you and your potential boyfriend's lifestyles are on the same page.
Having things in common is important. If you both like traveling or going on runs, you're good here.
5. What Would My Parents Think?
I don't just mean "Would they like him or not?" But you should ask yourself how he would treat them if he met them in the future. Golden recommends you ask yourself, "Will he be kind to my parents?" before making him your boyfriend. It's important to find someone who will value the most important people in your life: your family.
6. What Do My Friends Think Of Him?
This is similar to asking yourself what your parents would think of him, except that your friends have probably already met him a few times. When you're thinking about making someone your bae, friends are like the prescription glasses that help us see past the amazing chemistry (or lack thereof) to determine if this is actually a good partner for you. Consider whether your friends like him before making it official.
7. Is He A Dog Person?
While you don't need to have had the "Do you want kids?" talk this early in a relationship, it's important to know what kind of fur babies you might be interested in adopting. If he's a cat person and you're Team Dog 4 Life, it's possible for the relationship to work out, but there might be some fights in your future. Check in with your boo about what kind of pet cuddles he's interested in before making things official.
8. Is He Trustworthy?
This is a big one. Golden says that asking yourself if you really feel like you can trust the person you're dating is very important. Trust your gut. Does he seem wary of commitment? Does he have a history of cheating? Getting out now will save you hours of stress and anxiety later.
9. Is He One Of My BFFs?
Ask yourself, "Would I choose him as a friend first?" says Golden. A boyfriend is different from a hookup for a reason. If the sex is hot, but you don't care to spend time together on a weekend afternoon, maybe he's not boyfriend material. Make sure the man you make your boyfriend is someone you don't mind doing menial chores like laundry with.
10. Am I My Authentic Self Around Him?
This is one of the most important questions you can ask yourself before making him your boyfriend. When a relationship is meant to be, you should feel comfortable being yourself around your partner. Hopefully you shower for him, or even put some make-up on, but are you putting on an "act" when you're around him?
If he becomes your boyfriend, you're going to be spending a lot of time together, so make sure you can let loose and be yourself.
11. Do I Like Him?
Yes, you might want a boyfriend, but do you actually like this person? Make sure you're getting into a relationship for the right reason: because you like this person and want to spend a lot of time with him. If you're trying to get over someone else, or panicked because you want to be engaged by a certain age, the relationship isn't going to last. Your prince is out there.
These 11 questions can definitely help you decide whether or not to make the guy you're seeing your boyfriend, but also remember that you'll know deep down if you are ready to commit to someone. And if you do become boyfriend and girlfriend and still break up in a few months, it's not the end of the world. We live in strange times where people are inordinately afraid of commitment, but in generations prior, people would date exclusively for a couple of months and it was not a weird thing to do.
If you're seeing someone who treats you well and is interested in dating you exclusively, give it a go. It's easy to run the other way, and the only way to find a great boyfriend is to give him a chance. I believe in you.