“I’m in a new relationship after a divorce. I’ve seen several people, but recently met someone who caught my attention. I don’t want to make the mistake of thinking he’s really into me when he’s simply into using me after his recent divorce. How do you know when someone’s intentions for a relationship are genuine and for keeps?”
We can’t buy time; the same amount is free to each of us. Nor can we buy a look into the future, but it will soon become the past.

Therefore, when it comes to relationships, how do we make sure our most recent past will be as bright as a future being promised? Nothing can be quite as discouraging as investing everything into a relationship only to find our return has bellied-up. Whereas there are no guarantees in love, there are some components of it that are clear indicators it is worth our efforts. Here are a few questions to ask yourself. Remember: honesty-laced answers will ferret-out the truest picture of your relationship.

  • Does he love spending time with you? Yes, there are those men who want you on their schedule…only. If there are times you could be together, but he’s more into video games, hanging with friends, hunting, football, etc., that’s not unusual. When those times are more frequent than not, he’s most likely into other things more than you.
  • Does he contact you first, or are you chasing him? Unfortunately, we women do get desperate in our love. Take an account of who’s making the first move to call, text, or visit in person. If you seem to be making more attempts than he does, perhaps you’ll be looking at a waste-of-time scenario in your future.
  • Does he come to you? Call me old-fashioned if you will, but I love hearing stories when women share with me that “he picks me up to go out,” or “he drove to my house just to see me.” That’s the heart of a man who protects, and an important ingredient for a woman’s security!
  • Is respect in place? Assess the times he has disrespected you in some way — any way. If it happens in a “casual” relationship, should you ever agree to a long-term/permanent relationship, the behavior will probably increase. As will your heartache.
  • Have you found yourself compromising your principles? Now, that’s a loaded question. Some people don’t even know what principles/standards/values they live by or even believe in. But, most of us have set some sort of bar for our moral compass. When someone is truly interested in our well-being, compromising our values or principles would never become an issue. Evaluate whether you are a stronger or weaker individual because of the relationship. If there are things you’re doing that you wouldn’t share with your parents or pastor, perhaps he’s not as much into you as he is himself.
  • Does he talk about the future with you? No present is going anywhere without discussion of a future. Your relationship might be a bit early for major future plans, but even dreaming about a trip or a special event he wants you to be a part of is an indicator he plans to be around for a while.
  • Has he introduced you to his friends and family? That’s a huge step, I know — meeting the family. Getting to know his friends can be equally substantial. If you have been in a relationship for at least three to six months and still no sign of family or friends, it would give me cause for pause. Combine this negative with another in this grouping, and I’d be looking for the exit door.
  • Does he love you just the way you are? I love transparency in any relationship. I don’t want pretense from friends, and I especially don’t want it from my husband, kids, and extended family. Why transparency? I believe it screams of unconditional love when someone sees you with makeup or without, yet finds you beautiful. It’s a sense of security when someone supports you even, and especially, through, life’s failures. Although we all must make “adjustments” in relationships, a total makeover is never going to foster a long-lasting one.
  • Has he shared emotional moments with you? It’s safe to assume that most everyone has a moment — one of those times we’re not proud of, something that unhinged us in some way, caused us to hurt, even feel damaged. Those times that are impressionable should be shared. Those moments have in some way molded us into who we are. We typically only share these with people whom we have deep, emotional attachments. It’s a vulnerable time that endears a heart.

This litmus test is not exhaustive, but it certainly is a great start at settling into further investment in someone you want to keep around.

Struggling with a relationship issue? Write Joyce Oglesby, Family Life FIX-IT Pro and find a solution for life.