Last Christmas, I was dating a guy. I too thought, like any other girl, everything is finally falling in place. But there’s something very similar about men who are not for keeps. Almost like there’s a pattern they follow.

Singlehood isn’t a personal failure. It depicts an ability to avoid failed relation or marriage. Terms like – “It didn’t work out”, “It wasn’t meant to be” are for one to take pride in, more of a self-created melody by those who don’t want to just give themselves away in the hands of circumstances. It is a sign of courage and epitome of an uncompromising soul.

Now, I am not saying it because that’s the only left-over choice. I am saying it because there are times we all tend to underestimate ourselves and not realize our worth & what we truly deserve. In a way, thank some of these half-baked minds, who haven’t learnt to lead an extraordinarily remarkable life as yet, to shake your grey cells and push you to enjoy a more fulfilling life.

Here are my observations that might help you navigate through douchebags that are not only time-eaters but drain out your mind, heart and soul. The attempt here is not to demean anyone but to draw life lessons and improve on one’s ability to dodge living beings who neither fit the ‘manly’ bill nor are humanly enough-

1. Language

This is the first filter. You must be able to gauge the prospect by the way he approaches you and the kind of language he uses to address you. He may be respectful but words & phrases like “babes”, “chick”, “r u coming”, “h r u” and other casual way of talks usually signify that the guy isn’t serious about you & life alike.

A man who wants to pursue a girl seriously will never use such words, initially at least. Moreover, can you imagine yourself being with a guy who cannot love and address you in proper respectable English? Eeww.

The level of seriousness comes across from the chosen words in order to respect the girl a guy is wanting to keep for rest of his life.

2. Communication

Is he able to strike a conversation with you? This is the second filter. If he fishes for subjects while talking to you after some time, then he isn’t someone you are looking for. It only means he isn’t interested in you but probably looking for something temporary, making up words to attract you to fulfill his purpose.

Men with such symptoms usually are a turn-off for women. Women love to be genuinely wooed not fooled with hollow talks. Moreover, if the guy prefers to use a chat messenger and likes to text more than having a more intimate conversation over the phone, he must be dumped for not over his choice but his no-balls decision of not facing you right up on phone or in person. Heard of ‘whatsapp break-ups?’ – these men belong to that category.

You can try to change him but trust me, men don’t change. They do change but only for a while to satisfy you and are going to fall back to their original self with time.

Good communication and choosing the right mode of communication for the special someone is an in-built quality which you must seek before you give a nod to the relation.

3. Chivalry

God knows what men think when they want to treat women “equal” by not showing most basic chivalry. He might be sending you those lovey-dovey “good morning” and “good night” messages but what he does between them is what really matters.

Don’t get love drunk by your own self. Girls are naive when it comes to love. They tend to go with the flow and not give much attention to how they are being treated because their liking tends to overpower the entire situation. Watch out for men who talk as per their wish and meet you at a place and time convenient for them.

Ideally, the guy who thinks you are special will never make you run after him and would make the connection effortless for you two. No girl is dying for flowers and pick-ups in this new age, but it’s something she longs for in her man. Old school will always be cool. Don’t think of it as a too-much-to-ask-for moment at any point of time.

4. Efforts

Women have it in their genes to give double of what they get. It’s a fact but doesn’t mean we let men take advantage of it. And let me break this to you – it is NOT lame to expect basic calls and messages – a myth women are sucked into and blamed for by those men who actually don’t like to make efforts.

You would never have to even mention about such trivial things to a man who wants to show his care because he actually does and it comes naturally to him. The efforts from a man should be at par with yours, if not more.

Does he make plans? Does he talks about your family? Does he remember every detail about you? If not, then he is someone who likes to pass time with women and feel macho (read lame) in his attempt to patao a girl and feel good about his manhood.

5. Attitude

What happens when you press a lemon? You get lemon juice. What happens when you press an apple? You don’t get juice as such but more of pulp. With time, expectations develop in a relationship and when you inflict the pressure of time in a human being, then he/she comes forth as who he/she is – whatever is inside him/her will show up.

Girls usually find it difficult to digest the change a man shows over a period of time. Watch the guy for a few months before committing. How does he behave when you both have opened up to each other? Do you find a difference in his attitude? Do you think he was a different person when he approached you in comparison to what he is turning out to be? If the answer is a Yes then don’t live in a denial that it is about you and he may not be as bad as you believe him to be. He’s exactly the way your thoughts are shaping up.

No matter how weird, funny, stupid, immature, vulnerable you behave, a guy who loves you truly will either know how to handle you or try to figure a way out to pacify things and not stop communication. Cutting on communication means he isn’t in for your fluctuating behaviour simply by the virtue of being a human and not a woman. Yes, just like men, women too have a certain typical behaviour in their genes but that’s why ‘men are from mars and women are from venus’.

He has changed and it is not an illusion. Actually, it’s not called “changing”. It is returning to original self. The guy was always the way he turns out to be after few months of your relationship. Now, it’s up to you to keep giving him chances or press ‘dump’. A guy who believes to build a relation will only take it a notch above every single time and not make merry of his negative status in your mind.

6. Mindset

Mindset reflects in conversations and more so, in actions. Watch how he reacts when you share about your late nights and solo travels. There’s a very thin line between caring, being possessive and over-possessive. A man who cares will never mind your decisions unless he understands your ability to be safe in situations while a man, who cannot handle your extrovert nature, will always stop you or indirectly make you duck decisions that once you took confidently.

This also shows how open or narrow minded he is. One of the sure-shot ways to identify a guy who cannot handle the worldly to-dos for you is to discuss leading a life without his and your parents – not because you don’t like your parents or his but to delve into how much of an independent, freedom-loving couple you can be. His reactions will tell you how progressive he is. Of course, you have to be progressive yourself to be wanting one.

7. Priorities

There’s a reason why you two are together. You are supposed to be your man’s priority – period. There’s nothing before and after this. He has to keep you at same level as he keeps his family, friends, work or passion. It is something that your guy needs to have an understanding of by default.

If he’s making you run after him then it is an ego-massage, an indulgence of teens. You want a man not a boy. The day you discuss priorities is the day you must understand that the choice you’ve made will not last for long.

8. Promises

There’s a reason why you often hear the phrase – “a man of his words.” He who doesn’t keep his words is not a man. Promises are for men who have a very strong character. I’d say, the breed is rare to find but is in existence.

If you both decide on something, then he must make sure it happens. His care will reflect in small gestures that are a result of a focused, one-woman mind. A guy’s actions speak more than his words could ever. Watch out for his actions. Even if he fails to keep his words somehow once or twice, a good, sensible, reliable man will always make up for it.

9. Time

Human beings are born selfish but it is only inhuman to play with anyone’s time and heart. It is extremely important to know the difference between ‘spending’ and ‘investing’ time on someone. Spend good amount of time before zeroing down on someone you wish to spend your life with.

Here’s a confession – it is not easy. But it isn’t that tough either if you prepare yourself over a period of time. You have to be determined to find the best guy and not settle for mediocrity.

Don’t think about losing out on age or good men with time. This particular thought-process is a man-made creation to tame & direct women into leading a life controlled by society and its pseudo caretakers. It is only with time you can know how worthy a man is. Time reveals the true identity of a person and temporary pain is any day better than a permanent damage.

Like Priyanka Chopra says, “I will only need a man when I have to make babies.” You aren’t supposed to have an identity through someone else. Learn to be comfortable in your own skin & soul and simultaneously look for a man who wants to add value to your life and make it worth living in a relationship.

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