Every relationship comes to a crossroads when both people have to decide what type of commitment they want, if at all. Some of us have clear rules and don’t waste time playing around any longer than three months; while, others hang on for years. But, there is no need to squander precious time with someone who isn’t ready to step up.
If you’re beyond “buddy” or “boo” status and ready for something steady, it’s time to start weeding out the boys (who may be nice) but just aren’t ready to grow up. Don’t know the signs? Here are a few to get you moving:
1. He’s still in school…getting his third Bachelor’s degree.
Not a Master’s, not a Doctorate, not a Ph.D.—a third Bachelor’s degree. It’s wonderful that he is educated, but he doesn’t have a clear vision. Many of us figure out who and want it is we want to be during those first four years and progress toward our professional goals thereafter. A man who is unsure of who he is and where he would like to go is not prepared to make long-term commitments. He may be bright but he needs more time to define his vision.
2. He still heads to Cancun for Spring Break.
Remember the 20 year-old guy that would come to your high school parties? This guy is no different. When college ends so does the pseudo-adulthood debauchery that goes with it. Guys who feel the need to rehash their younger years are simply avoiding the maturity expected with age. Nothing wrong with being the life of the party so long as it’s not a foam party…full of underage co-eds.
3. He’s unemployed by choice.
Yes, the recession has left many jobless; but, there are some who also haven’t been looking very hard. Whether he’s living on student loans or mooching off Mom, an able-bodied, unemployed man is a sign of pure laziness. If you’re in the market for marriage-material, you need someone resourceful and ready to hustle (legally).
4. He’s over 25 and lives at home with his parents.
There is a level of independence a mature man has that won’t allow him to live with his parents except in the case of dire (and I mean lost his job, house burned down) circumstances. The guy who contently lives at home isn’t ready to do what’s necessary to leave the nest. If he can’t (or won’t) provide the basics for himself, surely he can’t do much for you. Think Baby Boy. He may be cute and nice, but babies and STDs are the only thing you can count on from Jody-types.
5. He follows Lil’ Wayne on Twitter.
After a certain age, retweeting @LilTunechi (unless you’re somehow related to the entertainment industry) is a bit childish. Though many grown men may listen to hip-hop music, they are aware that most of what’s said is nonsense. They don’t retweet rappers because they have jobs, reputations and other things that could be lost or tarnished. Beware of the guy who follows behind the words of today’s mainstream hip-hop artists. All that pride, lust and greed is not where you want to invest.
6. His bro-circle is impenetrable.
You want a guy with a solid group of friends. Among many things, it lets you know he has a sense of loyalty; but, sometimes, the boys can be too much and a force to reckon with when they always come first. When the bromance is too strong, it’s time to move on. Not because he’s not a good guy, it’s just not the right time. When he’s ready for a serious relationship, his priorities will shift accordingly.
7. He’s ready for kids but not marriage.
Don’t waste your time fooling around with guys who think they can be fathers before husbands. “Commitment issues” are one of the biggest signs of immaturity. If he’s unable to make decisions and follow-through, throw him back to the girls with low standards. It’s likely going to be a while before he grows up, if ever.
8. He fights guys who “try” him.
We want to feel like our man can hold his own and throw hands if necessary, but it’s quite alright if he never actually shows us. Why? Fighting is juvenile. A grown (or growing) man has too much to lose over nonsense.
LaShaun Williams is a culture and relationship columnist, blogger and social critic. Her work has been featured on popular urban sites, such as The Grio and AOL Black Voices. She has made appearances on the Tom Joyner Morning Show and Santita Jackson Show. Williams is also the voice behind Politically Unapologetic, where she unabashedly discusses pop culture, relationships and everything in between. Follow @itsmelashaun on Twitter, Tumblr or Facebook.