The thing about dating a Grown Ass Man is that you won’t know you’ve found one until you have one. They’ll exist only as these mystical creatures, hybrids of your dad’s best hypothetical qualities and the way McDreamy treats Meredith Grey. (Treated. RIP. Ugh.) No matter how he comes into your life, or how long it takes you to find him, dating a grown ass man is a game-changing thing for a grown ass woman. It is an absolutely magical, unprecedentedly wonderful experience to be with one of these emotionally stable and mentally secure individuals. You realize that most of the stress you suffered in your previous relationships stemmed from nothing more than the simple fact that you have to be of a certain maturity to actually have a healthy, happy, functioning relationship.
It’s an experience every last one of us deserves to have, but relationships, so it goes, can be deceiving: Are you sure the man is your life is truly a grown ass man? When you’re drunk on hormones and happy brain chemicals, it can be difficult to see through your love haze to evaluate the Grown Assness of a man in an objective way. So to help you identify it more clearly, here are 14 signs you’re finally dating a Grown. Ass. Man.
You realize that most of your relationship issues prior stemmed from simply being with someone who was completely not ready to be committed
The biggest fears you have about relationships — wondering if you’ll be emotionally compatible with someone, be able to coexist with them, and maintain your own existence while still devoting enough time to theirs — become obsolete when you date a grown ass man. You don’t worry about his infidelity. You don’t worry about where you stand or what he wants or how things will be six months from now. Simply, he’s at a place where he can actually care for another human being and treat someone with as much respect as he gives himself. He’s confident enough in his own life that he can support someone else’s dreams and goals. He’s matured enough not to let the little things blow him over.
He’s honest and up front about his intentions
With a grown-ass man, you’re not constantly wondering “will this work?” in an existential how-can-I-tell-if-this-is-meant-to-be kind of way, simply because you’re already doing it. You have your answer, from the beginning. You’re making it work or you aren’t. There’s no guesswork involved. That’s not to say that every relationship with every grown-ass man is meant to be, or that they all have perfectly happy endings, but there’s no guessing. If you’re on different pages, and want different things, you’ll know it because he’ll tell you. You’ll know exactly where he stands, and if you don’t, you’ll be able to ask him, and you can have an adult conversation about it.
There’s no intense emotional drama over anything in your day-to-day life
There’s just not. You don’t argue over petty things that don’t actually warrant concern. You don’t waste your time or energy on becoming irrationally jealous and letting that feeling overcome you to the point of making a Whole Big Thing out of it. You trust each other because you know you’re both trustworthy. There’s nothing more to it.
He’s busy with his career, and supports you endlessly in yours
You don’t collapse into each other, or cease to exist outside your bedroom for the first three months, because you have shit to do, and he has shit to do, and that’s one of the most beautiful and sustainable things about your relationship: You’re both committed to more than just one another. And because you both understand that, you can respect it in one another (and ultimately use your love to bolster your drive to achieve even more).
You don’t have to do influence him to be an adult, and you certainly don’t have to have anxiety over whether or not he’s going to be highly irresponsible in some practical and devastating way. You can talk about money and know he’ll be reasonable and responsible about it. He remembers to call his mom and send her flowers on Mother’s Day. He has practical goals and pays his electric bill on time. He can cook himself a meal and clean his apartment. He is, all in all, a functioning adult, and thankfully is not waiting around for someone else to get his life on track for him.
He’s the beautiful combination of emotional and mental maturity
He doesn’t let a moment of anger consume him, nor does he lose sight of the greater goals you have for your relationship. He has a basic grasp on the tenants of emotional intelligence. He can view things objectively and not get swept away by one small issue. In essence, he understands what it means to have a good relationship, and he also knows how not to let his emotions control his life in any negative way.
You can talk through anything (no, but actually, really talk it through)
You think that, in theory, you’ve been able to “talk though” anything with your past partners, as it’s almost a promise you’re required to make to each other when you’re first opening up to a new relationship. But it’s not until you’re with a grown ass man that you know what this really means. It means that you can put anything on the table, and so long as you are respectful and honest and kind, you’ll receive the same treatment in return. It means that nothing is too weird or bad or traumatizing to discuss, and you go into every conversation not as “will this break us?” but “how will this make us stronger?”
He takes you out. He wants to treat you well.
Date night is not something he begrudgingly agrees to because he feels obligated. He actually wants to show you how much he cares, and this is one of many ways he does it. He wants to get dressed up and take you somewhere nice. If it isn’t already principle for him to be respectful, grateful and want to show his partners a great time, when he’s with you, it’s taken to a new level. He cares enough about your partnership to want to wine and dine you, and keep dating you even after you’ve been in a relationship for so long. It’s not about showing off, or asserting dominance by spending money one you (hell, who’s to say he even pays every time?) — t’s about spending time together, and taking time to make that time special.
He regards you as a sincere equal, and it shows
You being his absolute equal isn’t just something he says. You see this in the way he speaks to you, brings up hard topics, compromises, respects your opinion, etc. He doesn’t talk down to you. He doesn’t treat you like a child to which things need be explained. Even if he has a better grasp on the topic at hand, he regards you as an equal, with an opinion as valid as his, and he responds accordingly.
You don’t have to look for “hidden meaning” to your interactions
Your texts are just texts. You don’t have to sit around wondering what a comment “means” because you can just ask if you’re unsure. Grown ass men are not in a place where they need to play games. There are no mixed signals, or “hints” that are supposed to be magically interpreted as statements.
He knows what he wants
“Knowing what he wants” may mean he knows that he’s really into you and wants to keep dating to see if anything will come of it, not necessarily lock it down next week, and that’s okay. That might not be what you want either. The point is that, regardless, he knows where he’s at, so you never have to wonder. He knows what’s best for him in this moment, and what he can offer you now and in the immediate (and long-term) future.
And he’s willing to hear the ways he might be wrong. He wants to change, and be better, not because you’ve told him to, but because he wants to. He wants to live a better life, understand who he is, and do all of this in part so that he can share it fully, and genuinely, with someone he loves (aka, you).
He regards your trust as something he must earn
He does not expect you to be immediately trusting of him, and this isn’t because he considers himself untrustworthy. It’s only because he recognizes that you’re an intelligent, capable individual who knows that not everybody can be nor should be trusted right off the bat. So little by little, he opens up to you. He shows you why he’s trustworthy. He makes no empty promises without evidence to support them. He makes you feel as though you’re safe — not as though you have to convince yourself you are.
He regards your love as something he experiences, as opposed to something he owns
He’s grateful for each day he has to spend with you. He understands that a relationship is about experiencing things together, and choosing to be in each other’s lives. He never thinks he owns you, or takes your company for granted. He does not regard you, or your relationship, or your love, as something he just “has” indefinitely. Often this is the biggest downfall in relationships: You begin to take it all for granted, and sooner rather than later, it becomes dull, and uninteresting, as you assume it’s just “yours.” Any grown ass man knows this isn’t the case. He knows that you are not reliant on him nor do you need anybody else to validate you. Because of this, your love is something you share to have the experience of love, not to become codependent and start a family because that’s what you “should” do. In this knowing, he remains present and grateful to be with you. And when you consider each moment a blessing, not a right, you treat it as such.
“You must take advantage of the opportunity of a lifetime during the lifetime of opportunity” – Eric Thomas