But at the same time, there are certain things guys do that suggest they wouldn’t be very good boyfriends at all. And just so we’re as sure as possible that we’re making the right decision, some things need to happen before we enter a real relationship, not after.
Every girl’s relationship prerequisite list will look a little different, but the important thing is that we know enough about a potential partner and their motives to confidently take the next step.
Generally, a guy who’s going to become our boyfriend should make his intentions clear and show that he’s ready to put in the effort and commitment that a relationship takes. Most importantly, we have to make sure we’re on the same page as the person we want to be with, or any relationship we have is going to be full of misunderstandings.
Check out our list of things he must do before we call him our boyfriend, and things he can do after!
20Before: Be Open About His Feelings
Before you start calling him your boyfriend or think about having that talk (about him actually becoming your boyfriend), it’s a good idea to find out how he really feels. There’s a lot you can tell about what’s going through a guy’s mind and his heart from his body language and the subtle hints he drops.
But ultimately, you won’t know anything for sure until he tells you what he’s feeling. It doesn’t have to be a huge, over-the-top declaration of love—just something to let you know for sure that he feels more strongly about you than just a casual fling.
19It Can Wait: Find A Spot That They Will Share
One of the cutest parts of being in a relationship is sharing things between you that seem like nothing to everybody else, but are meaningful to you. Most couples have that one spot that will always be theirs. It might be the place where they went for their first date, or where they had their first kiss, or where they first met.
And no matter how much time goes by, that spot will always belong to them. This isn’t something you have to rush, and it’s not a prerequisite to having a boyfriend, so you don’t have to hurry it along.
18Before: Mention It To His Friends And Family
Before you make things official, it might be an idea to let your people in on your plans. You don’t have to disclose every little detail of your personal life, but you can just mention that you’re dating someone and that you think it’s getting serious, just to keep them in the loop. This is something that he should do as well.
Him mentioning you to his family and friends, even if it’s only briefly, suggests he really is interested in taking things to the next step and is making room for you in his life. Most people don’t just surprise the people closest to them with an official boyfriend or girlfriend—they ease them into the idea first!
17It Can Wait: Take Care Of Her When She’s Sick
Partners support each other through good times and bad, and a good boyfriend will always be there for you when you’re at your most vulnerable. That includes when you’re sick and don’t look or feel your best. But you don’t have to wait until he proves he’s capable of this before you make him your boyfriend.
These tough times will show up, but they might not show up until you’ve been together for a while. If you get sick and he’s there for you before you’re even officially together, great. But it’s not a necessity you have to tick off your list.
16Before: Delete His Dating Apps
Before he becomes your boyfriend, he should get rid of his dating apps. Assuming you’re interested in a monogamous relationship with him, this needs to happen before you become an item, and not after. It doesn’t have to be months before—it can even happen all in one go.
You can sit down and have the conversation about becoming a couple, and then you can set a few ground rules and both delete your dating apps. Even if they’re supposed to be just for fun, there are still very few people who would be okay with their partners browsing through dating profiles when they’re “committed.”
15It Can Wait: Propose The Next Big Step
Getting into a new relationship is exciting, but you only have to take it one step at a time! Once you’re a couple, then you can start to work towards other goals and milestones, like moving in together or getting a pet together. And obviously, engagement and marriage come a lot later!
Sometimes people move in together and then become an official couple afterward, in a housemates-turned-partners situation. But in terms of moving in with someone you’re romantically interested in, and whom you can see a future with, that can all wait until after you’re officially together. Of course, if the potential boo is already your roommate, all bets are off.
14Before: Plans Dates Without Being Asked
Before you take the huge step of becoming someone’s girlfriend, it’s a good idea to make sure that they are as invested in the relationship as you are and they’re just as ready to put in an effort.
A good partner will take initiative and organize dates without being asked. They’ll also show you that you’re one of their priorities, so it won’t feel like a one-way street of you always having to be the one to text first or initiate a date. This is something any guy or gal should prove to you before you set things in stone.
13It Can Wait: Say Those Three Words
There’s no right time for two people to tell each other that they love each other. It’s a very personal thing that doesn’t always make sense, so you don’t have to try and orchestrate the perfect moment after a certain amount of time. And you don’t have to use a declaration of love as a cue to become someone’s partner.
For many couples, those three words come after they’ve been officially together. Some people say it before, and then get into a relationship afterwards. It’s about whatever works for you, and if he hasn’t said those three words to you yet, it’s fine.
12Before: Understand Her Needs
He doesn’t have to tell you that he loves you before he becomes your boyfriend, but he does have to show that he understands you and what you need. It’s not that he has to have you all figured out, because relationships are all about growing closer to someone and learning more as you go on.
But he should have an idea of what you’re looking for in a relationship and what you need from a boyfriend. If he has no clue, then there’s a chance he may not be able to give you what you need, and getting into a relationship would be a waste of time.
11It Can Wait: Be Vulnerable In Front Of Her
One of the most beautiful moments in a relationship is letting the other person see you in a vulnerable state. It might be awkward and uncomfortable, but it’s really a positive thing because it shows that you’re close enough with them now to let your guard down. It takes time to get to this stage though, and it’s not something that needs to happen before you make things official.
Some people open up early on, but others are a little more guarded, and that’s okay. If he’s not comfortable being vulnerable around you yet, it doesn’t mean he shouldn’t be your boyfriend.
10Before: End The Date Properly
How a guy acts on a date can tell you a lot about whether he’s boyfriend material or just fling material. In particular, how he ends the date can be very revealing. Does he walk you to your door, or not even wait until your Uber arrives? Does he tell you he had a really good night, or pressure you to come upstairs with him?
All these little things can point to someone who would make a good boyfriend versus someone who’s okay for fun and nothing else. If he genuinely shows that he cares about you and is interested in more than just your body on the date, he could be boyfriend material.
9It Can Wait: Be There As Her Biggest Supporter
Before you decide to make him your boyfriend, he should prove that he’d make a decent one. That means showing you that he’s interested in your mind as well as your body and that he has a good idea about what you want from a relationship and is prepared to meet you half way.
But at the same time, he’s not a knight in a tournament trying to win your favor. He should show that he’s there to support you, but he doesn’t have to prove that he’s your rock and pillar who’s prepared to jump into a fire to save you.
8Before: Get The Sparks Flying
One thing we always say a good relationship needs from the beginning is chemistry. There can be many elements to your relationship, but it probably won’t get very far if there are no sparks flying between you. Before you make things official, make sure that the sparks are there.
Now, there doesn’t have to be fireworks and magic, but you should feel differently about him than you feel about your friends. There has to be that special something there. If you’re still waiting for it to develop, there’s the chance that it won’t at all, and this person just isn’t right for you.
7It Can Wait: Knowing Her Dinner Order By Heart
A fun part of being in love is getting to know the nuances in your partner’s personality. Finishing each other’s sentences might be a bit much, but many couples do get to know each other so well that they can predict how the other person will react to a situation, or what they’re going to order at a restaurant.
Don’t worry if he doesn’t know your dinner order by heart yet, though. These things develop over time, with more experience, and shouldn’t be part of the criteria that will tell you whether you should make someone your boyfriend or not.
6Before: Understand The Deal With Work
There are certain things you should know about someone before you enter a relationship with them, and one of those is the situation with their professional life. Before becoming your boyfriend, a guy should not only know what you do for a job but know what your goals are and how you feel about working.
Is it one of your biggest passions that’s probably going to take up a lot of your time, or is it just a means of making money and you forget about it as soon as you walk out the office door? Making sure you’re on the same page with regards to work will decrease the chances of you pairing up with someone who will distract you from your professional goals.
5It Can Wait: Give Her A Cute Nickname
Nicknames. Another novelty of being in a relationship that the people around you can’t stand but you don’t care because you’re so in love! Calling him a pet name, or waiting for him to allocate you one, definitely is not a prerequisite to being in a relationship. This kind of thing usually comes a little way down the line when you are more comfortable with each other.
Some people think that because it’s a classic thing to do in the early, honeymoon stage of a relationship, that it’s important or a must. It’s not really. Nicknames can be cute, but they’re just the cherry on top.
4Before: Prove There’s Some Kind Of Future Ahead
You can’t expect him to make you grand promises about the future before you say yes to being his girlfriend like you’re the one he’s going to marry one day or you’re going to be the mother of his children. Those conversations usually don’t happen for quite a while!
That said, you should be reassured that there’s some kind of future ahead for the two of you, even if it’s just that you’re both committed to putting everything you have into making this relationship work. If he’s still taking things one day at a time, you might want to put on the brakes before trying to move your relationship to the next step.
3It Can Wait: Get Her To Feel Completely Comfortable Around Him
The beginning of a relationship is normally filled with butterflies and nervous sweating and caring about what the other person thinks and spending hours in the bathroom beforehand beautifying yourself for your date. And then there comes a day when you feel comfortable enough to pick a fight because the way he’s chewing his food is driving you crazy.
Eventually, you will feel more comfortable around each other (which has its pros and cons!), but that doesn’t have to happen before you officially become a couple. It will take some time to get to that stage, so don’t worry if you’re not there yet!
2Before: Make Dating More Enjoyable Than Stressful
Ultimately, there’s no point in dating someone if being with them makes you unhappy rather than happy. Sure, dating isn’t easy, and there are times when it’s stressful, anxiety-inducing and downright painful. But with the right person, it should also be fun.
There should be times where you laugh, times where you forget how many hours it’s been since you sat down to chat, and you should have good stories to tell your friends that make you smile when you think back on them. If dating him is nothing but stressful and you’re not actually enjoying yourself, don’t make the mistake of becoming his girlfriend.
1It Can Wait: Create The First Inside Joke
In our opinion, laughter plays a very important role in any relationship. Laughter saves things from being awkward, diffuses the tension, and helps you to create a lasting bond with someone else. It’s part of what makes hanging out with them so fun.
Laughter in a relationship is a must, but that doesn’t mean you have to have your first inside joke together before you consider making him your boyfriend. You’ll probably have many inside jokes together in the years to come, and there’s plenty of time for that. As long as there’s some laughter between you, it’s another sign that you’re good to go.