They're a rare breed but they're not extinct.
Genuine. A word seemingly reserved in today's society for objects or artifacts. This is a "genuine" piece. A "genuine" collection. A "genuine" whatever-the-hell.
What you do not often hear, though, is how a person is genuine. I read (and listen to) stories on nearly a daily basis that describe the behavior of human beings in ways that I can't even fathom. The absolute opposite end of the spectrum that our community promotes. But unfortunately, this is the world we live in.
So then, as a man, I have decided to give a peek into our psyche. For the greater good, of course. When are we serious about a woman? When are we genuine? And when are we just playing games?
The following are 15 real signs to look for when you are dating someone. Does he fit the bill or is he just playing you?
1. He will invite you on a proper date.
None of this "Hey, I'm out with some friends, wanna meet up?" before he gets to know you nonsense. If a man wants to get to know you, he will put in the time and the effort to spend time one-on-one with you, and see what you are all about. If he's always trying to fit you into his pre-existing plans and you feel like the text he sent could have gone to 10 other girls at the same time, he's just not that into you.
2. He stays close to you physically.
It could be keeping his arm around you, hugging you randomly, or cuddling up on the couch — a man who truly cares and enjoys your company will always want to be in close proximity to you. Physical contact, even when "innocent," sends non-verbal messages that are worth paying attention to.
3. He will drive a distance just to see you.
It doesn't matter if you live 10 minutes or an hour away from each other, a man who is really into you will make the effort to come see you. Even if you are not far enough along for him to stay over at your place, or vice versa, he will come to you, take you out, and then drive home thinking about you the whole way.
4. He will stop going to bars or other places to meet women.
What would the point be if he found someone he is truly interested in?
5. He really listens to you.
One of the major things that men often get accused of is being terrible listeners. Whether we don't remember that it was your friend's birthday this weekend, or which scented candle was your favorite one at the store, the small details matter most. A man who really cares for you will listen intently and do his best to absorb all of the details that he can. It's his way of showing you that he values you and what you have to say.
6. He doesn't care what you do, as long as you're together.
Oh, you have to go grocery shopping today or go out and get things for your party this weekend? Count him in. For the man who wants to spend as much time with you as he can, it's not just going to be on date night or when you are intimate together. A meaningful relationship is just as much about sharing in everyday things together as it is about the exciting things.
7. He compromises.
No great relationship was ever built on the foundation of "What's in it for me?" A man who is just playing the field will have no reason to sacrifice his own self-interest for somebody... unless he feels something deeper for them.
When we begin to develop love for someone, we want to see them happy, even if that means putting our own self-interests aside for the sake of theirs. Her happiness becomes our happiness. This is not to say he will become a doormat — there is a big difference between compromise and sacrifice. It goes both ways.
8. He appreciates you — and you know it.
Mutual appreciation is an important ingredient in the glue that holds a relationship together. It's not only about the big things, either. A man who would make a good long0term partner should show appreciation for even the small things you do.
Lack of appreciation will discourage even the kindest person from taking an extra step for you in the future, or showing you appreciation in return. If someone appreciates you, you will know it. If they don't, you'll always be wondering if they do.
9. He always makes you feel safe.
Men are naturally protective. Millions of years of biological evolution has brought us to the point where we naturally want to protect those we love, whether they need it or not. It could mean protecting you from getting hurt emotionally or physically, but protecting nonetheless.
A man who loves and cares for you will make you feel safe. He will never make you question whether or not he will be there for you in a time of need. He will stand by your side when he must, in front of you when he must, and behind you when he must. He will be your teammate through life.
10. He is willing to express himself.
It is difficult for a relationship to grow and mature if both partners aren't able to effectively express themselves and their wants or needs. Open communication between you will help you understand and love each other in new ways.
Not every guy does this naturally, but in keeping with being willing to learn and improve, you can help him along the way. Keep in mind: Allowing him to do this without judging him or his feelings will help him walk through the door of communication.
11. He always supports and encourages you.
The right guy wants to see you at your best, and he wants to support your mission to get there. He will never discourage you or make you feel like you can't do anything you set your mind to, because he knows you can. He will never feel as though he needs to bring anyone down in order to lift himself up. A man of quality never shies away from equality.
12. He will remember your interests and act on them.
Is there a book you enjoy reading? A show you enjoy seeing? A concert coming up you'd love to go to? A man who is into you will hang on your words and pay attention to detail.
13. He asks for your advice.
If a man asks you for your advice on a decision he is trying to make or a situation that he is in, it means he values your opinion enough to take you seriously and actually use it as a guiding light in his own life. If a man values your thoughts, it means he values you.
14. He won't push for sex early on.
There is a fine line here. I'm not saying that he will refuse it on a first, second, or third date if he is really into you. However, he won't push it or get upset if it doesn't happen. Can anyone guess why?
This is because he truly enjoys spending time with you and is not looking to move forward strictly physically. He values you more than someone he is just trying to get into bed.
15. He will take initiative on making plans with you.
No matter how busy a man is, if he really wants to see you, he will make time for you. No excuses, lies, or broken promises. If he is into you, he won't be putting off making plans. In fact, he will be taking the initiative to make suggestions and set dates.
See it as a red flag if he is always "too busy" for you, yet seems to have time to go out with his friends or is always posting photos from parties on Facebook.
As the adage goes, actions speak louder than words. The decisions a man makes and how he chooses to live his life will tell you more about his intentions and his integrity than mere words, which can easily be fabricated or used to put on a façade.
Pay more attention to how someone acts rather than what they say. Words can be dishonest, but actions can't.
This article was originally published at James M. Sama. Reprinted with permission from the author.