You may not even realize how many boys you’ve been with until you date a man. Once you date a man, you’ll think, “Oh—was this an option the whole time? Having things be uncomplicated, easy, and straightforward?” We tolerate boys because we think that’s all that’s out there. We get used to giving boys a freaking parade for putting in the tiniest effort, and then we meet men who put in a huge effort every day and regret all those trophies we gave out to those lazy children. I don’t know what exactly turns a boy into a man. I know it isn’t age because I’ve met 28-year-olds who are men and 45-year-olds who are boys. Maybe it’s being raised right. Maybe it’s having the good fortune of knowing a female friend who sets them straight. Either way, here are key differences between a boy and a man.
A man suggests date ideas
A man asks you, “Can you have dinner at this specific place at this specific time?” Or, better yet, a man will research several diverse but quality options and pitch them to you, so you have plenty to choose from, but aren’t left planning everything.
A boy suggests hanging…sometime
A boy will say, “We should hang, sometime.” He doesn’t specify the time. He doesn’t pitch a particular activity. He doesn’t handle it. The very most he may do is send you a, “Hey” text one night, hoping you take over all real plans from there.
A man will discuss his past
A real man owns up to his past—the ugly and the pretty. He’ll tell you about his past relationships. He’ll let you know where he’s been and where he’s at. He’ll gladly explain what went wrong in his past relationships and how they changed him.
A boy is vague about his past
A boy will be vague when you ask about his past. He’ll change the subject. He’ll try to distract you. He’ll probably even make you feel bad or weird for asking about his past. That’s likely because he handled his past relationships poorly, isn’t proud of it, but also isn’t yet wise enough to explain it.
A man tells you what he wants
A man tells you what he wants. If he’s look for the one, he’ll have no issue telling you that. He doesn’t think it comes off as needy. He’s just making sure he wastes nobody’s time. Or, if he wants something casual, he’ll tell you that, too.
A boy shuns that conversation
A boy will tell you whatever you want to hear to sleep with him and leave the control in his hands. So, even if he wants a serious relationship, he won’t say that—he’d rather keep you feeling confused. He wants to feel in power more than he wants to be a communicator.
A man loves your goals
A man loves that you have goals. He loves that you have a life outside your relationship. He loves that you’re a hard worker. He finds your hustle attractive,
A boy just wants attention, when he wants it
A boy only has one question about your goals: will they get in the way of you meeting his needs and being there for him whenever he wants you? He’s not interested in what your goals mean to you
A man locks it down
When a man sees something he wants, he locks it down. Furthermore, because he’s a man, he knows what he wants and what he doesn’t. If you’re important to him, he’ll make sure you know it quickly. If he doesn’t see this going anywhere, he’ll let you know that quickly, too.
A boy plays, for no reason
A boy believes the BS other boys tell him—namely that he’s supposed to play the field and sleep around. He doesn’t know what he wants. He isn’t the leader of his own destiny. He does whatever he thinks will impress other boys.
A man is discreet
A man is discreet. He doesn’t talk much to other people about his sex life. Even if he ends things with a woman, he’s discreet in talking about the breakup.
A boy brags
A boy brags. He’ll get into grotesque detail about what happened with a woman. If there’s a breakup, he’ll give personal details to total strangers. He’s a baby that needs attention for everything.
A man is respectful post-break
After a breakup, a man is respectful. Even if the other person behaved a little, well, unstable, he doesn’t talk much about it. He doesn’t sully her reputation.
A boy harasses you
A boy will harass you. He’ll send you nasty, late night messages. He’ll talk sh*t about you to your friends. He’ll write dramatic social media posts that are clearly about you.
A man seeks to be helpful
A man seeks to be helpful. He gives rides to the airport. He cleans the dishes. He helps on moving day. He goes above and beyond to be helpful to you, your friends, and your family.
A boy tries to get out of things
A boy tries to get out of work or responsibility. He makes excuses not to drive you to the airport or even meet your family. He only asks if he wants to do something—not whether or not it would help someone else.