[ continued from yesterday ]
The Boyfriend Evaluation
The following are some questions you can ask yourself as you get acquainted with your boyfriend prospects as you date them. These characteristics can make or break a relationship; it all depends on what your personal requirements and ideals are that will indicate how much priority you’ll give to each of these items.
This list is just a starting point—add your own for a more personalized touch. Whether you’ve been dating your guy for couple of days or for a number of months, keep your eyes peeled regarding some of the following:
- Is he honest and does he demonstrate integrity? Does he do what he says he’s going to do? (eg. when he says he’s going to call you, does he promptly?)
- Is he available to you, able to spend quality time with you, and make you a priority in his schedule?
- Does he have friends, hobbies, or other outlets that make for a balanced lifestyle and individuality?
- Does he strike a balance between having fun and attending to responsibilities in his life?
- Rate his degree of affection, playfulness, and capacity for intimacy.
- What’s your sexual compatibility like? What are his views on monogamy?
- Does he seem interested in health and wellness and devote time for self-care and renewal?
- What are his relationships like with his family?
- How comfortable is he with being gay and what’s his level of “outness?”
- Does he appear to have any mental health issues (depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, etc.) or addictions (alcohol/drugs, gambling, work, sex, food, etc.)?
- How does he appear to handle his finances and how are his spending habits?
- What are his views on money, marriage, religion, children, gay relationships, living together, future life planning issues, etc.? Does he stimulate you intellectually?
- How does he deal with anger and stress? Does he become violent?
- How adept is he at dealing with his emotions? How are his communication and conflict management skills?
- Is he already involved in another relationship? Has he been able to “let go of past boyfriends?
- In observing him, how does he treat or talk about other people? Is he critical or judgmental?
- Is he able to be decisive about things or do you tend to have to make all the decisions in the relationship? (eg. “What do you want to do?” “I don’t know, what do you want to do?”)
- Assess his personality traits: Is he…Clingy? Dependent? Emotionally distant or responsive? Controlling? Able to share? Maturity level? Giving and kind?
- What type of relationship is he looking for? Is he ready for commitment? Is he willing to put forth the effort involved in building a long-term relationship?
While this may seem like a lot of detective work, don’t become so preoccupied with your “mental checklist” that it distracts you from your relationship. Make your dating life enjoyable and an adventure; have fun with it!
But at the first sign of unsolvable “red flags” or non-negotiable needs not being met, remove yourself from the dating relationship before you invest any more of your heart and precious time into it—you’ll be doing both of you a favor.
Settling and thinking you can change your partner over time are serious traps that you want to avoid. Turn the above questions back on yourself to see if there are any areas where you might be able to improve upon to make yourself more solid and whole.
So enjoy getting to know your new guy and all the lessons you’ll learn about yourself and relationships. Let the journey begin!
© Dr. Brian Rzepczynski, The Gay Love Coach
The suggestions and feedback offered in this column are but one perspective of multiple approaches to dealing with problems or challenges. Information provided in articles and advice columns should not be used as a substitute for coaching or therapy when these services are needed. None of this information should be your only source when making important life decisions. This information should not be used for diagnosing or treating a particular problem, nor should it take the place of a consultation with a trained professional. It is your responsibility to consult a professional prior to making any life decisions.
Dr. Brian Rzepczynski, contributing author to GAYTWOGETHER, is one of the leading love coaches for the gay community. As a licensed dating and relationship coach, Dr. Brian Rzepczynski, DHS, MSW has over 18 years experience as a psychotherapist and life coach specializing in helping GLBT individuals and couples develop and maintain successful and fulfilling intimate relationships. He holds a doctorate degree in human sexuality from the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality and a master’s degree in clinical social work from Western Michigan University. He also runs a successful private therapy practice, Personal Victory Counseling, Inc. http://thegaylovecoach.com