Have you ever been dating a guy who just won’t step up to the plate and show up for you the way you need him to? Maybe he seems like he is dragging his feet when it comes to officially asking you out. Maybe he seems reluctant to introduce you to his family and let them know that he is dating someone. Or maybe it feels like when his friends poke fun at you, he doesn’t step in to diffuse the situation. In other words, he’s really not being too mature — it seems like he has to grow up a little bit before you can really get him to commit to you.
This is the difference between men and boys — men will do everything to show you that they are ready to commit, while boys will typically drag their feet and make excuses as to why they aren’t doing the right thing. And let’s be real here, strong, independent women need strong men, not boys. When you date them both, the difference will be so obvious to you. Here’s how a real man shows that he is ready to commit, and how a boy will reveal that he is nowhere near ready.
20 A Real Man Will Be Honest About His Feelings
Here is one of the key differences between men and boys that will be easy to spot from the very start of the relationship. According to Cosmopolitan, whether or not a guy will be straightforward about his feelings for you can either be a major green flag — or a major red flag!
A real man will simply tell you how he is feeling. You won’t have to try to be a mind reader and figure it out through little clues.
In fact, he wouldn’t want you to try — he will be open with you because he cares about your emotional wellbeing.
19 A Boy Will Make Excuses For His Hesitation
We’ve all been there — you’re head over heels for a guy, he’s sending you mixed signals, and you just feel like you’re going crazy! One moment, things are hot, but the next, things are so cold, and you feel like you don’t know which way is up and which way is down. According to Allure, this is a sign that a guy is just not mature enough for a real relationship yet. In other words, this is a sign that the guy you are dealing with is a boy, not a man. He will make excuse after excuse for hesitating.
18 A Real Man Will Simply Ask You Out
Have you ever gotten to know a guy and been surprised when he asked you out on a real date early on in the relationship? It does seem like going on real dates is going out of style these days, but according to Teen Vogue, this is definitely a good sign! Sure, it may seem rare nowadays, but trust us, when a guy wants to take you out on a real date without dragging his feet, you’ve probably found yourself a guy who is worth dating. Let him take you out on that nice date — you’ll probably have a great time!
17 A Boy Will Play Hard To Get
In the past, it was common dating advice to “play hard to get”— but come on now, it’s time for all of us to get past that and start being mature about expressing our feelings. According to Allure, playing hard to get is a sign that you are dealing with a man who is not emotionally mature.
It’s one thing for a teenage guy to act like this in high school, but as you get older, this is not the kind of behavior you need to or should accept.
You can find a guy who will not run around and play games.
16 A Real Man Understands That You Have Your Own Life
Some guys want to be your whole life — and at first, that can seem super romantic. It’s understandable if you fall for a guy like this and get a little carried away. But according to Self, you really want to look for a man who understands that you have your own life, independent of him.
A real man will want to be with a woman who knows how to be happy on her own and do her own thing.
He will be totally happy with you having goals, dreams, and hobbies that have nothing to do with him or your relationship.
15 A Boy Will Want You To Make Him Your Whole Life
When you start dating a guy who seems to get jealous when you’re doing something that doesn’t involve him, it’s a major red flag — and you’re definitely dating a boy, not a man. According to Teen Vogue, this is something that women should really watch out for in relationships.
A guy who expects you will make him your whole world is not ready for something real, and he is putting way too much pressure on you.
A boy thinks that “love is all you need,” and while it sounds romantic, it’s not true — we all need lives of our own.
14 A Real Man Doesn’t Keep Other Women On The Back Burner
Okay, this is a big one, especially in the age of dating apps. According to Cosmopolitan, lots of men these days seem to have no issue with keeping former flings or just cute friends on the back burner in case things don’t work out with their current girlfriend. But a real man will have no problem cutting off these other women and giving you his all. He won’t need other women around to fall back on — he’ll be too busy spending time with you and connecting with you to even think about other women from his past.
13 A Boy Will Keep His Former Fling’s Number
Look, we all know that going through a guy’s phone isn’t the greatest idea — sometimes you know that you have a reason to snoop, but the last thing you want is to get caught being sneaky! But according to Glamour, sometimes you’ll find something that should make you think twice. Does he keep numbers from women he had flings with in the past, but never had real friendships with? That’s a boy, not a man you’re dealing with. Being friends with an ex after things end is one thing, but keeping the number of a short term fling is not okay.
12 A Real Man Will Respect Your Friends
Have you ever dated a guy who just could not seem to get along with your friends? It’s the worst, and it puts you in such an awkward position. According to Self, the relationship between your friend group and your main guy is actually so important — the Spice Girls let us all know! If a guy gets along well with your friends and has nothing but respect for them. He knows that it makes your life easier, and that it means the world to you when you can all hang out as a group and have an amazing time together!
11 A Boy Will Get Jealous Of Your Friends
When you’re dating a guy who fits right in with your group of friends, life is a breeze, and you don’t have to deal with any drama. But when the guy you’re with doesn’t get along with your friends? Well, you’re probably going to be dealing with a serious obstacle there. According to Seventeen, a man who either doesn’t make any effort to get along with your friends, or seems to get jealous whenever you spend time with your friends, is showing you that his jealousy will always be a problem in some way. It’s better to leave him behind.
10 A Real Man Will Want To Meet Your Family
Look, if you want to be in a serious relationship that lasts for years to come, then meeting each other’s families is a must. And a real man will not hesitate to introduce you to his family! According to Cosmopolitan, this is a major sign that he is ready to take things to the next level, and that he does not just see you as a fling. After all, would a guy introduce a casual fling to his parents? No, probably not. A real man will want you to meet his parents as soon as he knows that things are serious.
9 A Boy Will Avoid Meeting Your Parents
Now, we’ve established that a real man will be enthusiastic about meeting your parents, and he will be happy to introduce you to his family, too. But what if you’re dating a guy who doesn’t seem to feel this way? What’s the deal with that? According to Allure, if a guy is seriously hesitant to introduce you to his family, it means one of two things: either he has some major family drama behind the scenes, or he doesn’t see what’s going on between you as a serious relationship. Either way, it is not a good sign for the two of you.
8 A Real Man Will Be Open About His Dating History
Look, talking about your dating history with your new boyfriend is never really easy, but at the same time, it certainly doesn’t hurt to have an understanding of what happened in each others’ pasts. According to Cosmopolitan, being able to have a mature conversation about your past relationships is a sign that you two have a positive future ahead of you. It means that you are not going to get jealous of people who have been a part of each other’s lives before. This is a sign of maturity for both of you, and it shows you are meant to last.
7 A Boy Will Be Secretive About His Past
Ever get involved with a guy who seems like he just can’t openly talk about his past? Yup, it can be pretty irritating, and it can make you feel like he is being secretive, even when he isn’t. According to Seventeen, a guy who can’t be honest about important moments that have happened in his romantic past may not really be ready for another relationship.
It might mean that he has not processed the pain that he went through, or that he is not totally over an ex-girlfriend.
Either way, it’s something to be a little wary of in the future.
6 A Real Man Will Take You On A Real Date
Look, there are guys out there who will count that going to the dining hall at college together is a real date, but ladies, we’re here to let you know that you do not have to settle for that, and you can find a man who will want to take you out on a real date. According to Cosmopolitan, a man who wants to take you out on a real date that he has planned with your interests in mind is a winner. It doesn’t have to be expensive — just something that makes you weekend a little bit more exciting!
5 A Boy Won’t Make Concrete Plans With You
It’s a shame that so many men these days think that the height of romance is texting a girl just to say “WYD?” Well, they would be boys — not men. According to Cosmopolitan, one sign that a guy is not ready to be truly serious with you and treat you as you deserve to be treated is that he won’t make solid plans with you. If he just randomly hits up your phone on the weekend, we’re sorry to say that you have found yourself a boy, not a man, and he is not likely to get serious any time soon.
4 A Real Man Will Communicate Openly
Nowadays, it is so easy for rumors to get started and for wires to get crossed in terms of communication — social media and texting make it easy for people to get confused about who said what. It’s unfortunate, but it’s just the reality of the dating scene today. According to Seventeen, one of the big signs that you’re dealing with a mature man and not just a boy is his communication skills. A real man will communicate with you openly — when you’re with him and you know that you’re both on the same page, rumors won’t even have a chance to start.
3 A Boy Won’t Always Answer You
Look, you can’t expect that your boyfriend will respond to all of your texts right away, and he shouldn’t expect the same of you — that’s just asking for too much. But according to Allure, if a guy seems to be ignoring you or always taking way too long to respond, it’s a sign that the guy you’re with is a boy, not a man.
It means that he does not take communication as seriously as he should, and that he doesn’t care too much when he hears from you.
It’s a tough pill to swallow, but it’s just the truth.
2 A Real Man Will Be Your Shoulder To Cry On
When you need a shoulder to cry on, a real man will be there for you. According to Self, one of the most important aspects of a healthy relationship is your partner’s ability to be there for you during difficult times — and vice versa, you need to be able to do the same for your partner. A man who truly cares about you will be right there when you need help. Whether you just want to vent, or if you really need to cry it out, he won’t leave your side for a moment — he’ll be right there with you.
1 A Boy Will Give You Mixed Signals
This is one of the clearest distinctions between a boy and a man — whether or not he sends you mixed signals. According to Cosmopolitan, sending mixed signals is basically all the rage these days, with so many women simply settling for a guy who says things like, “Well, we’re ‘together,’ but we’re not really dating.” Meanwhile, she really wants a relationship, and he is content to just string her along until something better comes his way. Ladies, do not settle for a boy who thinks it’s just fine to send mixed signals. Find a man who can be real with you.
References: Cosmopolitan, Allure, Glamour, Tenn Vogue, Seventeen, Self