It’s happened more often than not where a girl has wondered to herself whether or not she’s dating a man and not a boy. Whether the person before her just has a cunning tongue that spews empty promises or is a gentleman true to his word. Regardless of age, the mental maturity sometimes eludes the opposite sex and their lower package commandeers their mind, throwing respect for women and their own dignity out the window. But there are a select few who have reached an admirable state of mind. These rare breed of educated men have surpassed social puberty and practices the lost arts of chivalry and honor. Not everyone is perfect but there is common agreement in what separates the two. Gone are the days of gloating about their vices and instead replaced by articulating their present stature and future with class, intellect, and tact. Now there is a spectrum where one could be on the verge of graduating to the mature side but this barometer is based on the upper and lower echelon of each category.
Curious to know which one embodies your significant other? Just look at these traits listed below and decide for yourself if he’s a man, not a boy.
- A man is confident in himself without the need to be overzealously loud about his success.
A boy is arrogant and loudly brings to limelight every single accomplishment he has done while simultaneously denouncing his competition.
There is fine line between being proud of one’s accomplishments versus blatantly shoving it in another’s face. A man is secure enough with himself to only publicize his success when deemed appropriate and in a tactful manner because he feels he has no need to prove himself to anyone while a boy seeks attention by being obnoxious about his announcements and degrading others to better himself. He will secretly look for the physical lurking eyes of girls who crave a man with trophies on display and habitually solicits comments and likes on his social media page to validate his status. A man welcomes the accolades but does not seek them. The biggest difference is that one pursues the acceptance and adoration while the other receives it freely without having to use a microphone. One commands through influence and leadership while the other demands with noise and fallacies.
- A man will be direct with his intentions with you and will forego beating around the bush because he respects both your feelings and your time.
A boy will play games and entertain the possibility of other options that is available to him while talking to you.
When it comes to the prospect of a relationship, a man will be honest and candid with his feelings from the beginning. It won’t be a guessing game of where the two of you stand and he will contact you when he wants to, not when the dating rules that society has presumed to be appropriate says. If a man has strong feelings and would like to initiate an intimate and serious relationship, he will explicitly indicate it. If not, he will respectfully let you know and avoid dragging it out for his leisure. He will not allow it to be an unrequited courtship. A boy on the other hand will enjoy your company while in the midst of others unbeknownst to you. There will always be that nagging question of exactly what type of relationship it is because it has never been addressed. Friends with benefit? Exclusive but not official? More than friends but can’t overstep the boundary? It is a never ending guessing game and the very thought of having to suggest even having the conversation is terrifying. One sees it as an opportunity to build a monogamous future with someone they feel is special while the other looks at it as an opportunity for an ego boost without severing ties from potential candidates.
- A man will communicate with you and take the time to resolve a fight before going to bed regardless of how small or big it is.
A boy will either shut down, blame you, or put on a facade to acknowledge the issue then move on to avoid having to actually address the problem.
Arguments and its lack of attention is one of the major downfalls of a relationship in this generation. What I mean by lack of attention is that it is usually recognized but never fully addressed and resolved. A man does not run at the first sight of adversity. He will respectfully listen to your side of the argument and then voice his opinion while finding a solution and compromise. He will not ignore the animosity that might brew and understand that if left alone, it can torment the relationship in the long run. He has an uncanny ability to understand your body language and know that suppressing emotions can be extremely detrimental. A boy will do the opposite. He will want to avoid having to fix the issue or even speak about what happened because it will force him to face emotions he deems are weak and unnecessary. He will play the waiting game where both will avoid each other for a few days to “cool off” and then reach back out as if nothing ever happened; this inevitably creates unresolved issues that eventually boil over. One sees this obstacle as a chance to strengthen the relationship while the other avoids it like a plague for fear of further becoming more involved and taking responsibility.
- A man will respect you for who you are and will love you passed the superficial aesthetics of beauty.
A boy will constantly want you for your beauty and your body with little adherence to your intellect.
It is something that I have preached since the inception of The Modern Alice. Beauty is only skin deep and eyesight is fickle. A man will love you for all things that encompass who you are—that includes your beauty, your body, and your mind. He will admire your personality and the person that you are beneath the makeup and the stylish wardrobe. He does not treat you as a trophy to be displayed and stroke his ego boost, instead he proudly shows you off because of the kind of woman you represent. To him your attraction stems from intelligence, your wit and humor, the quirky little things that only you reveal to him, and the way you make him feel when you have a bare face and only his t-shirt and boxers on. A boy on the other hand prides himself on having the prettiest, baddest, and most lusted woman in the area. He will expect you to look your best and will show no hesitation in being openly vexed if a hair is out of place. Aesthetics is big for those who have not yet matured as it is a barometer for social acceptance. The less attention, the lower the self-esteem and the more they justify the ludicrous idea that they are not desired. Boys have wandering eyes so if everything about you is not done to perfection or on “fleek” as they say, then it’s guaranteed you’re just another name on the queue. One will love you for who you are and find all your flaws beautiful while the other will mold you to his ideal perception of what a woman should be according to his standards.
- A man will support you in your career and encourage you to pursue your goals even if it means he will be put on the back burner.
A boy will ensure that he is at the forefront of your priorities and will visibly voice his discord if the situation was not to his expectations.
Women with budding careers are often put into a predicament where she will most likely have to choose between her relationship and the pursuit of her dream job. When focused on her career, she is accused of neglecting her duty as a dedicated and loving girlfriend and becomes a justified reason for her significant other to seek comfort in the arms of another woman. A man is repulsed by this idea and is secure enough in both himself and you that he supports your career and encourages you to take any opportunities that would propel you to achieving your goals in an expedited manner…even if he takes a back seat. He believes in your abilities and pushes you to become a better person. He understands your drive because he too has his own ambitions and strive to achieve them with the same intensity and perseverance. A boy will become insecure if he is not at the forefront. He himself is still struggling with the vision of his own future and revels in the instant gratification of present day luxuries. He prefers to be taken care of than to take the reigns to pave his own path. He will talk about wanting an independent woman who is established but does not want deal with the struggles that are associated with it. One will inspire you while the other will hinder.
- A man will trust you and give you the independence to make your own decisions; so you won’t have to worry about jealousy.
A boy will have his doubts and will let insecurity best him, making him lurk and allow envy to take hold of his emotions.
Insecurities are the bane to all relationships. Without confidence, there can be no trust. Constant doubt and comparisons will be an emerging issue and the repetitiveness of it can become overwhelming. A man will be in a monolithic state of confidence and comfort that he will respect your time, your space, and your ability to be an adult and make the right decisions to protect the relationship. He knows that you are capable of doing the right things and will not barrage or interrogate you. A boy will not hesitate to make accusations, whether it is silently done or vocalized loudly. He will question relationships with other male figures, make a scene in a social setting such as a bar if the opposite sex initiates flirtation, and/or gives you an ultimatum—him or your friends. One is mature enough to understand that a relationship is based on trust while the other likes to posses and claim what is his publicly in an immature fashion.
- A man will give you his time regardless of how full his calendar is.
A boy will tell you that he is busy and to quit being clingy.
Life happens and often times others have a fuller plate than the norm. However, that doesn’t mean that it is an excuse to put your significant other on the side. A relationship only works when both parties put in the time and effort. A man will always make time to contact or see you. Point blank. He might not spend every waking moment with you, but he will find ways to show you he cares. That simple gesture of “good morning or good night text” every girl vies for? It definitely happens–consistently. You won’t have to yearn or fight for the right to receive it. It will be freely given on a consistent basis, not just during courtship. A boy will engage in such charming actions during the “chase” but once he catches you, he will retract. He will indicate that he is “too busy” and shove the “you’re being too clingy” phrase in your direction (a girl’s worst nightmare by the way). As the old adage goes, if you really want it, you’ll find a way to get it. It’s the same concept with a man and a boy. A man will do what is necessary to keep his lady happy because he understands that the little gestures are what matters while a boy does what he has to, to keep himself happy because “he’s doing him.”
- A man knows what it takes to be a man and chooses to be one.
A boy knows what it means to stay a boy and chooses to do so.
There’s no question that both a man and a boy know the difference between the two. This not only applies to how they present themselves but everything else that encompasses both categories: how they dress, how they articulate their opinions, how they conduct business, how their personal and financial lives are, and how they treat those around them including family, friends, acquaintances, and strangers alike. What truly separates the two is the choice in which lifestyle they choose to lead. One understands the challenge and raises to the occasion because he know he is a man of standards while the other chooses the path of being a libertine and profligate person.
If there is one thing that ultimately separates the two, it’s that one plays games with your mind while the other enhances it.
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