Understanding men makes dating after 40 so much easier.
Are you dating to find lasting love? If so, you may be struggling to figure out who is ready. One of my clients told me how she has dated several men who don’t reveal things about themselves that she wished she had known sooner. As her dating coach, when I heard this, I realized she needed a better screening method. Here’s what I came up with.
How to Tell If a Man Is Relationship Ready?
There are four different topics to discuss with your date. You want to ask these questions gently and only one at a time. Space them out over a few dates because men hate to be interrogated. That’s why you want to approach this from a conversational standpoint, rather than looking like you are trying to dig up dirt or complete your “boyfriend checklist”.
What’s really interesting is that most men, once you get them started, will tell you all about their life, how they live it and their philosophy. so don’t be afraid to bring up these subjects. To get better at understanding men, make sure you really pay attention to his answers. Most of all, BELIEVE what he tells you. So many dating problems stem from women not believing what a man says. Like when he says he’s not looking for a relationship – BELIEVE IT. He means with you too, not just other women.
1. Ask About His Family. Ask your date about his siblings, his parents and his relationships with both. You can start with, “Tell me about your family,” then move on to ask deeper questions once the conversation starts to flow.
It doesn’t really matter if his parents are still together or had the best marriage. What does matter is how he relates to his family. Do they have good interactions? Does he enjoy their company? Or are there strained or severed relationships and plenty of fighting? This can help you take the emotional “temperature” of his family.
2. Ask About His Friends. Who you spend time with is very telling about your values and views on life. Get him to talk about his friends, what they do together and what he likes about them. You can learn a great deal about a man from his closest friends.
Hopefully you’ll get to meet them some time between the 6th and 10th dates. That’s the timing in most cases. Meeting a man’s buddies will help you see discover what he values and how they treat each other and interact. Notice too how they treat wait staff and how they speak about the women in their lives. Last, but not least, are his friends in solid relationships. If most of his friends are single and on the prowl, that doesn’t bode well for the two of you.
3. Ask About His Job. Regardless of what your date’s job is, how well he handles the ever present ups and downs will give you a peak at how he may handle other life stress. If a man likes his job and is stable in his career, that gives him an edge over other guys. Of course some of this can change with age as many people tend to become more stable. But not always.
Find out about his relationship with his boss and co-workers. How does he talk about situations that need to be resolved. Another important aspect of his job is if he is a planner. You can ask if he likes it enough to stay there or if he has plans to climbing the corporate ladder.
4. Ask Him If Marriage Is in His Plans. You may balk at this idea so you don’t have to ask if you are against it. But I did this and learned a ton from a man’s response. I often asked on the very first “get-to-know-you” date. Here’s what I would say, “for me, I want to get married. Not today so don’t worry. So, I’m wondering if you want to marry at some point. I’m not talking about me. I just want to get an idea of marriage is part of your overall plan.”
Now you may not want to marry, for the first time or again if you have already been here done that. That’s totally up to you of course. I know there are all kinds of relationships and marriage is less and less the objective today, even for women. However, if you are marriage minded, why not ask? You don’t have to ask on the first date like I did. You can ask on the second or third date too.
Keep in mind that while I listened to a man’s response, I paid more attention to his body language and what he DIDN’T say. For example, if he looked away when he spoke, probably not a marriage guy. If he said something about how he hasn’t ruled it out, probably not a top priority. A man who is truly marriage minded will not have a hard time answering this question.
Understanding Men: One Caveat
I must admit, I didn’t ask my husband this question about marriage when I met him. We had such a good conversation I never got to it. I’m not completely sure what he would have said, but , I would guess he would have said he didn’t know or think much about it.
None of these questions are 100%, but you can certainly get an idea if a man is stable, has quality friends and healthy relationships with his family. The information you gather will help you with understanding men and can be very good indicators of a man’s maturity and his relationship readiness.