When you’re dating a guy, it’s easy to think he’s perfect. You’re in a love haze, so be careful because there are definite differences between the boy you date and the man you marry. It’s true that people can change, so don’t ditch a guy just because he seems like a slacker at first. It’s okay to give him a chance to prove himself. However, if you don’t eventually see some of these characteristics, don’t be afraid to dump him and move on to someone new. If you’re young and having fun at this point in your life, it’s okay to date around and have flings, but before long you’re going to want to settle down, so make sure you do it with a quality man, not an immature boy.

1. The boy you date…

asks you to “hang out,” which involves less commitment than a date. He wants to have fun with no strings attached.

The man you marry…

asks you out on dates and is clear about his intentions with you. He wants to be with you and wants you to know where you’re headed.

2. The boy you date…

talks with you about people you know from your past, or pokes fun at that guy at the bar, or only shares funny stories because he can’t connect on a deeper level.

The man you marry…

can hold a conversation with you about books, movies, music, and other common interests. This makes for a more substantial relationship in the long run.

3. The boy you date…

will say he never wants to get married or have kids, and nothing will change his mind. Don’t try–this is a red flag that he’s not Mr. Right!

The man you marry…

might change his mind about wanting to marry and have kids after he’s met you.

4. The boy you date…

hears your attitude, takes it personally, and starts firing it right back at you until it spirals into a major fight.

The man you marry…

can handle your attitude and talk you down from a ledge. This is especially important when you have major life crises or a bad day at work.

5. The boy you date…

calls you mean and immature names to make himself feel like a winner.

The man you marry…

fights fairly. He doesn’t call you names or use physical force, no matter how angry he gets.

6. The boy you date…

cares too much about looks, and will tease you for looking sloppy until you fix yourself back up to his standards.

The man you marry…

understands that everyone has good and bad days as far as looks go, and won’t hurt your feelings or love you less if your weight fluctuates or you have a bad hair day or forget to shave for awhile.

7. The boy you date…

will say “I’m sorry” because he just wants you to cheer up or stop nagging him. He says “I love you” because he doesn’t want to lose you, even though he doesn’t really feel the meaning of the words.

The man you marry…

will say “I’m sorry” because he honestly is, and he never meant to hurt you with his words or actions. He says “I love you” because he truly means it, and wants you to feel that love every minute of your life.

8. The boy you date…

will expect to have things done for him because that’s what his mom did, and that’s what other girls have done for him, and he doesn’t have to take care of himself.

The man you marry…

will know how to take care of himself: how to cook, clean, do laundry, pay bills, and more–because he’s already a man. It’s important for people to have this figured out before they’re ready to marry, which is a great way to tell what type your guy is.

9. The boy you date…

doesn’t want to meet your friends because he just wants to be alone with you all of the time.

The man you marry…

wants to hear stories about your friends until he can meet them and get to know them himself.

10. The boy you date…

well, you’re too embarrassed to take him to meet your parents, not that he’d ever bring it up himself.

The man you marry…

wants to meet your parents, and impresses them when he does.

11. The boy you date…

is always the one you fantasize about marrying, because he’s cute and all you do is have fun together (until the first big blow-up…).

The man you marry…

is never a sure thing. You hem and haw over if he’s right, if you should settle down with him, if your relationship can make it long term.

12. The boy you date…

doesn’t listen to you or fully engage in conversations. He nods while you talk, then changes the subject or just tells you what you want to hear.

The man you marry…

cares about what you have to say. He wants to know your thoughts and opinions on anything from major issues to tiny moments from your day.

13. The boy you date…

runs at the first sign of trouble because it’s too much drama for him, and he doesn’t want anything tying him down.

The man you marry…

sticks with you through tough times because he’s committed to you and the relationship, and wants to see it through to the end.

14. The boy you date…

doesn’t reach for the check, and huffs if you ask him to split the bill with you.

The man you marry…

pays when he takes you out, even after you grab the check and insist five times that it’s your turn to pay.

15. The boy you date…

never gives you security. You don’t know how he feels or what he’s up to when he’s not with you, and your friends might even have money riding on how long you’ll last.

The man you marry…

will make you feel secure. You’ll always know he loves you, you’ll be able to trust him, and you’ll know that you two can make it through anything.

Featured photo credit: WEDDING/古 天熱 via flickr.com

Love this article? Share it with your friends on Facebook