As a mom of daughters, we’ve had many great discussions about things to consider before they choose to date someone.
Everyone will have their own personal likes/dislikes. For example, my girls have mentioned they would never date someone who has a man bun, wears skinny jeans, or has body piercings.
While hair, clothing styles, and body piercings are all a matter of preference, some things are non-negotiable, and while we need to remember no one is perfect, being aware of the following attributes (or lack thereof) will help you make a more informed choice before you choose to date someone.
Below are 14 things to consider before dating that cute guy.
1. How is his faith walk? Is he growing in Christ? Is he living out his faith? Is he unashamed of his faith? Does he pray with and for you? Is his faith an important part of his life? Does he “walk the walk and talk the talk”?
2. How does he spend his time? We have become a world obsessed with technology. While that’s not bad in and of itself, if you are contemplating dating someone who has an addiction to video games or is constantly on his phone or social media, you might want to think twice about whether there would be any room in his life for you. As a matter of fact, a name has been given to cell phone addiction: “nomophobia”. According to techjury.net, “66% of the world’s population shows signs of nomophobia.” And gaming and cell phone addiction aren’t the only addictions to be wary of.
And while video games, social media, and time spent on a cell phone are fine in moderation, look for someone who spends his spare time doing productive things.
3. What is his standard for music, books, and movies? What does he allow to fill his mind? What does he allow his eyes to see and his ears to hear? What goes in will come out in his attitude, personality, and the way he treats others.
4. Speaking of how he treats others, how does he treat…
Your family? A guy who wants nothing to do with your family is a guy to avoid. In addition, a guy who won’t allow you to spend time with your family could have possessive and abusive tendencies.
His family? Some people come from dysfunctional homes, and as such, the guy you are considering dating may not be close to his family. That is tough and there are many logistics involved in that. But is your potential boyfriend respectful to his family? Does he care about their wellbeing? You can be estranged and still care about those you are not close to.
Children? It has been said many times that how a guy treats little children and babies is a huge indicator of the type of person he is. Is he hateful, rude, and sees little ones as a burden? Does he believe babies should be aborted because they aren’t worthy of living? Notice how he treats not only your siblings and his siblings, but also children at functions, such as church.
The elderly? Does he view them as precious creations of God or as wasting society’s resources?
Animals? Your potential guy doesn’t have to be a dog or cat lover to be kind to animals. But you don’t want to date someone who mistreats or abuses animals.
5. How does he treat you when you can’t do anything for him? Does he take care of you when you are sick? Is he there for you?
6. How does he handle disagreements? Does he withdraw, get into a raging fight, or blame everything on you? Guaranteed that if you date (and later marry!) anyone for any length of time, you will have disagreements. It’s natural for two people to not see eye-to-eye on every subject. How he handles conflict speaks volumes.
7. How is his work ethic? Is he lazy and unmotivated? Or, on the opposite end of the spectrum, a workaholic?
8. Is he loyal? Will he defend your honor?
9. Is he honest? Does he keep his word? Does he do what he says he’ll do? Is he honest when speaking with authorities?
10. Does he have a servant’s heart? There are multiple ways to serve others and it’s not a one-size-fits-all. But is he using his gifting to make the lives of others better?
11. How does he handle your concerns or fears? Lightly? With care?
12. Does he respect you? Or does he coerce, guilt-trip, pressure, or force you to do things that are against your convictions, make you uncomfortable, and/or aren’t safe?
13. Does he show any signs of an abusive temperament? In other words, how does he treat those he is no longer friends with or girls he formerly dated?
One thing my daughters and I have discussed often is the high rate of abuse suffered by young women in “romantic” relationships. A horrifying statistic from the website loveisrespect.org states “Nearly 1.5 million high school students nationwide experience physical abuse from a dating partner in a single year”. Further, “Nearly half (43%) of dating college women report experiencing violent and abusive dating behaviors”. The rise of cyber abuse has contributed to the problem.
As a mom, this frightens me more than I can express. We can’t see all of the warning signs in a potential abuser, but we can be aware that abuse does exist and be on the lookout.
14. How is his overall character and integrity? One of my favorite quotes is that assessing one’s integrity is done by seeing what they do when no one is looking.
Webster’s defines integrity as “adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty”. Character and integrity are crucial and a huge part of someone’s personality. Does your potential boyfriend stand for what is right?
In our house, we put an emphasis on intentional dating. Not dating just to date, but rather seriously contemplating who to date and whether that person could be a potential long-term prospect. This helps to “weed out” those who could never be potential mates for a variety of reasons, and helps eliminate the emotions, heartbreak, and problems that arise from failed “romantic” relationships.
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