The Objective Way I Know If A Man is Worth My Time

A concise guide to determining who stays and who goes

By contrastwerkstatt

I know, I know, this article probably sounds a bit like clickbait to you, and so, naturally, you’ll want to scroll to the end to find out what I claim to be my “trick.”

I get it, I don’t like my time wasted either. So go ahead, scroll through the subtitles and make a few quick judgments, but keep in mind that you’re selling yourself short with all of this window shopping. It’s costing you too much and you're missing all of the sales.

Everyone’s specific criteria for the perfect relationship is going to be different, and this article simply outlines what you need to do to find your objective, fail-proof criteria for a partner.

This is not some fake universal answer I found in the bottom of my crockpot. There are a few steps, but once you understand and implement them, you’ll be able to determine if a person is not only worth your time, but also a suitable mate for you.

I’ll start with this not-so-little lesson I have learned over time:

The One Question You’ll Always Have To Answer In Any Relationship

Throughout your social experiences in life, you’ll always have one question to answer upon meeting someone new.

“Do I intend on spending more time with this person or not?”

That’s it.

Now, the consequences of your answer to this inquiry may be small or large, notable or negligible, positive or negative, but the simplicity of the question remains. You meet someone new, and, regardless of the setting and circumstance, you’ve got to analyze this person and decide whether they are an individual you want to invest your time in.

Yes, I’m asking you to judge people, and no, it’s not as awful as it sounds. It’s actually a necessary part of a successful relationship.

Everyone has standards whether they want to admit it or not, and you should have them too, as well as be aware of what they are. I mean, would you date a man who never showered? Ewww. I highly doubt it. Neither then, should you pretend like you don’t judge when really that’s the only way to determine if a person meets your standards.

And it’s okay to set your standards high too, as people will only treat you the way you allow them to.

In answering this question, mainly focus on whether or not their presence in your life going to be good or bad. Are they funny? Smart? Intelligent? Are they a positive influence or someone who perhaps challenges you to expand your mind? If so, it kind of sounds like you should keep them around.

Besides, life is about who we surround ourselves with, right? Whatever your plans are for how you’ll live your life, the people around you will always be changing and you’ll continuously be shaped by them, and them by you in one way or another.

We change each other ever so slightly with each interaction. So choose mindfully who you share your time with.

The Most Important Quality In Any Relationship

I’ll go ahead and say that I already know the “secret quality” of a meaningful relationship, or, at least what that quality has been for me. I know what I’m looking for — It’s someone who is an active listener. Regardless of the type of relationship I develop with someone, looking back, it is clear to me which were meaningful and which were not.

When people are engaged in you and you in them, mutual growth is bound to happen. You don’t have to be destined to be together to gain something. Thus, regardless of the outcome or length of the relationship, chances are, something positive will come from it — you as an individual are better for having had those interactions and that connection.

If you’re not both good listeners, something is going to get lost, opportunities will be missed, and people can be misunderstood, both in intention and character. However, If you are both active listeners, well, what do you have to worry about? You’ll both know soon enough if there is compatibility thanks to your open and honest communication. You can forget the guessing games.

The Objective Way I Know a Man is Worth My Time

So, how does this result in a foolproof way of choosing men? Just because I know what qualities I want doesn’t mean I can always spot them immediately right? And it certainly doesn’t protect against imposters, does it? I mean, we all know there are some smooth devils out there.

Well, with the good picks, every time without fail, something very specific would transpire. So, over time, I realized what to look for as direct evidence of their listening abilities and of the level of effort they were putting forward. It’s actually shocking to me how consistent this one observation became, but before I knew it, I would turn around and,

There would be pen and paper waiting for me.

Yes, that’s right. If anyone has met me, and clearly even in the very beginning, they’ll soon know that I’m a writer by nature.

Whether it is intended for publication or for personal reasons only, I always need to feel prepared and allowed to write. This essentially means I need a writing utensil, a pad of paper, a space to sit, and, well, space from people.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not asking for access to a private office or anything. Most frequently, this is evidenced by a cleared off nightstand or a desk with a pad of paper and a pen. Typically, I carry my own in the car but this display of care always means so much to me. I feel safe, warm, and closer to home with paper and pen beside me.

If you are listened to, you are likely to get what you want from your relationships so long as you speak up. If you don’t tell them, how will they know? If you do tell them and they don’t take action, well, maybe you aren’t compatible anyway.

But wait!

If I’ve met more than one guy who set me up with pen and paper without me having to ask, do I regret not following through with any of them?

No, not at all, and I’ll tell you why. It’s my current relationship. This man puts the others to shame.

My Current Relationship

How do I know this relationship is worth my time? Well, the man practically carries my journal and a selection of writing utensils for me to choose from right behind me. When I change places, they magically do too!

I don’t know if it’s out of love and understanding or perhaps it’s the fear of the consequences that may result from me not having my outlet, my main method of emotional regulation. Either way, it works for me and it shows me that he listens, gets me, and accepts me for who I am.

I remember the first time I stayed with him overnight. He had to run out and do some chores for his mother but I awoke surrounded by about ten books that I would probably never read, a few different styles of writing medium from legal pad to a personal journal, and a cup full of pens and pencils.

Oh, and I also had several spaces, from a cozy indoor couch to a spot on the balcony of a private back porch to choose from. My mind was blown. Funny thing is, I actually didn’t write much that day and I feel a bit guilty about that. Oops. I was distracted by him, to be honest, but I think it’s ok. It’s been nearly 2 and a half years and he still sets me up for successful writing.

How This Translates To You

In my case, the evidence is in the notebook. When it is provided to me I know that I’ve been heard and that the other person cares to provide me with something I need. It always happens early on and I now know without a doubt that I’ll want to continue to foster a relationship with them, that they’ll have a positive effect on my life, and hopefully I will on theirs as well.

So what’s the proof for you? Can you identify something in your relationships that stands out, something that is perhaps seemingly routine? I say take a look. Analyze for a bit the encounters that have led to something positive and those which have not.

See if you can find a specific commonality and watch for it in the future. Just maybe your social outcomes will improve. And most importantly, don’t forget to be an active and caring listener yourself. You never know what could come of it.

Mother. Neuroscience, critical care, and home infusion registered nurse. Mental health combatant. Social justice seeker. Reach out: julietteroanoke@gmail.com