This sex and relationships writer breaks it down
By Meagan Drillinger

I’ve spent a lot of time trying to make relationships out of booty calls. Because all great relationships are built on a foundation of phenomenal sex and the occasional inside joke, right? (RIGHT?!) I mean, if you’re making me orgasm multiple times a week, why wouldn’t I want to keep you around long term and try to build a solid, lasting relationship with openness, honesty, and commitment. I can totally tell you’d be good at that while your head is between my legs…

Or so I thought. Turns out, as I’m coming upon the crest of 30, just because he’s hot and his junk gets hard, doesn’t actually make him “boyfriend material.” Go figure. This may be the biggest lesson I’ve learned in my 20s. So what then does make a man a potential Mr Right, versus a potential Mr Right Now? And which of these two men do you want to be?

HOW TO KNOW IF YOU’RE DATEABLE
To find out, let’s go through the checklist. There are a few key items that women look for when going to enter into a serious relationship. Run down this list and see where you fall. (Note: Phenomenal sex IS a great indicator of a solid relationship, but these other things should probably be in place, too.)

DO YOU HAVE A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE?
Don’t freak out! I’m not talking about crushing it at the gym six days a week and subsisting solely on boiled chicken breast and protein shakes. Healthy lifestyle means, at the most basic level, do you get up and go to work every day without the lingering scent of booze? Do you pay your bills on time? Do you go to the doctor and at the bare minimum take the measures to ensure you won’t drop dead at 45? Basically, are you a functioning and contributing member of society? If so, congratulations. Consider your lifestyle healthy.

DOES YOUR DAY HAVE STRUCTURE?
A man who is dateable has some sort of routine to his day, even if that is as simple as he tries to make it to the gym at some point. Structure doesn’t have to mean boring and predictable. He doesn’t have to roll into work at 9:03 and roll out at 5:32 five days a week, nor does he have to have his usual table at the same restaurant. But a modicum of reliability says a lot to a woman who is looking to have a relationship. Can you keep appointments? Can you show up on time? Do you have things that are important to you throughout the day that keep you motivated and focused? Passion, interests, and looking at ways to further them says a lot about the dateability of a man.

DO YOU HAVE RELATIONSHIPS WITH FRIENDS AND FAMILY?
Everyone has family baggage and drama. It’s what makes us interesting, and it’s what makes us human. Having issues with your family is entirely normal, and, in fact, expected. But on the whole do you have a relationship with your family? Do you speak to them and visit them somewhat regularly? Not everyone does have a great relationship with their family, for a variety of reasons, so that’s where friendships come into play. A man who is dateable has a strong circle of friends, or at least one or two on whom he can truly rely. Being a loner doesn’t disqualify you from the dateable pool, but it’s important to have at least one or two other people in your world who would care if you went missing for a couple of days.

ARE YOU COMPASSIONATE?
I wish this went without saying but someone who is dateable shows sympathy and empathy for others. The ability to put yourself in another’s shoes can go very, very far in a relationship, especially when the going gets rough (which, spoiler alert: it often does). Can you fight with your girlfriend in a healthy manner, meaning, after spewing your points and getting angry, can you go back and look at it from her perspective? Can you own where you went wrong, and can you apologise?

ARE YOU AWARE OF YOUR ISSUES?
No one (I repeat, no one) comes without issues. If you want a partner without issues, I strongly consider investing in an inflatable one. Whether we have phobia of commitment, jealousy problems, trust issues, etc. etc., no adult comes without an instruction manual. A man who is dateable, however, has a firm grasp on said manual and is ready to help with any troubleshooting or customer support. If you are a jealous guy, own it. If you have a fear of commitment, use your words and convey that to your prospective partner. It’s okay to be your flawed and wonderful self, but be aware of your drama so that you can explain to your partner how to decode you. Opening up about your issues and communicating them demonstrate that you have an enlightened sense of self and are interested in being close to another human being.

ARE YOU AMENABLE TO FIXING SAID ISSUES?

Some issues we can deal with, and others get in the way of lasting, healthy relationships. Kudos to you if you know what your issues are, but are you amenable to change and compromise? Your issues might not gel with her issues, and vice versa. But if you can strike a balance and find a way to make them jive together, you’ll be a lot happier in the long run.

ARE YOU WILLING TO ALLOW HER INTO YOUR LIFE?
At a certain age, we all have our lives the way we like them (for the most part). We have our routines, we have our comforts, and we have what we like. A man who is dateable, however, is flexible enough to adjust his precious routine to accommodate a new human within it, and is able to find a way to fit snugly into her life, as well.

HOW TO KNOW IF YOU’RE JUST A FLING?
Does your penis work? Do you not meet any other requirement on this list? Congratulations. You are just a fling.

Originally published on menshealth.com