When girls first start dating, it’s like they’re in a candy store. Giggles and squeals of delight characterize the pre-date functions of choosing what to wear, how to wear her hair, etc. This first boy is usually harmless and nothing much comes out of that first date. And most likely at some point as a teenager, a girl is apt to choose a bad boy to show her independence and maybe annoy her parents. Even in her 20s, a lady may not be ready to stop and analyze her dates, as she may not be sure of who she is herself. But at some point, the ladies have to sit back and take stock of just what kind of guy she is spending time with. In other words, it’s time to differentiate the boys from the men. Playtime is over. It’s time to get down to business and find that lifetime mate, the daddy of her children, her partner in life.

Easier said than done, right? Well, I want to help you out with these tips on how to tell the boys from the men. But before you dig in, there is one thing you must understand – girls are attracted to boys and women are attracted to men. Growing up yourself is half the battle. You have to be a woman, not a girl. Let’s help you with the rest.

1. A man has his act together. He has goals and they usually include finding the right woman and starting a family. A boy just wants to have fun and considers the words “commitment,” “responsibility” and “ambition” as dirty words. Say them around him and he will run like a bat out of a hole.

2. Sure, a real man wants an attractive woman, but her hotness is not his biggest concern – he wants someone with intelligence, compassion, morals and a desire to improve herself. A boy wants that dime piece that is exciting and wild. He’s in it for the hunt.

3. A man is working toward the future. He has plans to become financially stable and to be able to provide well for himself and his loved ones. A boy isn’t thinking about tomorrow, only what the hottest car is and how he can use it to pick up the ladies.

4. A man is conscious of the man he wants to be and he is willing to work at it. He has values and respect for others. A boy is in it for the moment. He doesn’t really consider the consequences of his actions.

5. A man will recognize a good woman when he encounters her and he will be respectful and try to get to know her personally. A boy will look a lady up and down and is only interested in scoring.

6. A man knows when to invest time and more into a woman. He is supportive, while a boy may toss money at a woman, but only for his own personal gain. He’s not investing; he’s testing.

7. A man will be upfront and honest about his intentions. He’s not afraid to be, well, a man! A boy is going to beat around the bush and never be interested in having a conversation about a future together. Indeed, that will make him run like the wind.

8. A man takes the time to enjoy life, but his priority is improving his life and helping those around him. A boy is most interested in what club to hit and getting crunk with his boys.

9. A man will suck it up and ask the tough questions when the time is right. He does not like rejection, but he will put himself in the line of fire when necessary. A boy is so afraid of rejection, he won’t even commit in the first place. He may be boisterous, but his ego is so fragile, it would crash and burn at the first sign of hurt.

10. A man is, well, real. He has integrity. He doesn’t feed you a bunch of crap – he follows through on his word and keeps his promises. A boy will tell you what he thinks you want to hear and his word is usually about as good as you can throw a bowling ball.

11. A man will not mess with your head or your heart. He’s not into silly games. A boy is nothing but games and he’ll do only what it takes to get you in a compromising position.

Bottom line: a man is about honesty, integrity and heart. Can you recognize him?
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