There’s nothing quite like falling head over heels in love. That first date, first kiss, and first good laugh together can be blinding – which is a good and bad thing. When we are swept away by joy and excitement, it is easy to focus on our significant other’s sweet words and superficial charm, and miss a red flag that we’ll wish we had seen later. Thankfully, there are a few habits you can pay attention to early on that will give you a clue to his deeper nature.
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Here are five things you should ask yourself about your new beau:
Does he make time for you?
Some people are generous superficially, but stingy when it comes to the things that really matter – such as time and affection. Men, in particular, are often led to believe that buying a woman beautiful things can make up for a lack of quality time and undivided attention. Do not allow yourself to be bought so easily. A man who truly values you will give you his time, even if he has very little to spare. This is the kind of generosity you will need if you choose to build a life with him.
How does she handle her mistakes?
We are all imperfect. “Mistakes are always forgivable,” said Bruce Lee, “if one has the courage to admit them.” Does your partner have the courage to admit and apologize when she has made a mistake? More importantly, does she learn from it? Or does she keep repeating the same errors, refusing to acknowledge her shortcomings and declining the opportunity for personal development? The answers to these questions could determine your relationship’s capacity for growth and maturity.
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Does he hold a grudge?
Because we all make mistakes, it is important to find a partner who is willing to work through the sins that you inevitably commit, both large and small. Does your significant other forgive easily and work through his problems? Are his friendships deep and long-lasting? Or does he hold grudges over silly fights and honest mistakes? Forgiveness is a sign of strength and shows a capacity for commitment. If he is willing to throw away a decade-long friendship over a single heated argument, your relationship may be on similarly unstable ground. Notice how your partner treats a friend or family member who has wronged him – because it might be you someday.
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Does she let you see her without her make-up on?
Steve Maraboli once said “There is nothing more rare, nor more beautiful, than a woman being unapologetically herself; comfortable in her perfect imperfection. To me, that is the true essence of beauty.” A woman who is secure in her identity will not rush to put on make-up before you awaken or refuse to get her hair wet at the pool. A man who is secure in himself will not be afraid to reveal his beer gut at the beach or act a fool to make you smile. Look for someone who is more interested in having fun with you than looking good for themselves, and you’ll lead a much more joyful life together.
Does he laugh at himself?
A man’s tendency to take his self-image too seriously could be a sign of a fragile ego. By contrast, a man who can find humor in his own shortcomings and misfortunes is someone who will ease your way through life with kindness and lighthearted humor. When things don’t go his way, does your significant other laugh it off and roll with the punches? Or does he stew in his anger, ruining what might otherwise have been a pleasant day? If you decide to spend the rest of your life with someone, consider that it will be composed of tens of thousands of days – some of which are bound to contain setbacks. Don’t you want as many of these days as possible to contain some giggles as well?
How did your partner fare in these tests? Don’t worry if he failed one or two of them – if he has the capacity to grow and change, each of these can be consciously worked on and improved over time. Be wary if she failed three or more, though. This might be a sign that she lacks the maturity to build a life with you. Of course, with love, anything can be overcome. As Guillaume Musso once said, “As long as you remember the person who loved you, and whom you still love, then you’re making love endure.”