According to The Big Lebowski, a man is someone who is prepared to do the right thing, whatever the cost, who also has a pair of testicles. I’d say this is a fairly accurate definition of A Man, referred to as ‘Grown-Ass Man’ in this post to differentiate him from The Manchild currently plaguing society, the existence of ?whom/which? is unquestionable when we consider ‘adulting’ is a real fucking verb people use regularly.
Anyway, if you’re dating a grown-ass man, congratulations. If you aren’t sure, you’ve probably answered your own question but read on anyway. Who knows, you might learn a thing or two.
Disclaimer: I’m not discussing masculinity, so let me preemptively tell the haters to back off. Also let me preemptively add that yes, all of this applies to a ‘real woman’ too. Minus that whole testicles thing.
1. He picks his battles
A grown-ass man will let trivial matters go, understanding that most matters are. He won’t allow his ego and a stubborn preoccupation to be ‘right’ overshadow the relationship because nothing is a big enough deal to waste precious time squabbling over.
2. He does his own laundry
And he’ll do yours, too. He’ll also pick up after himself because he understands that A) he is no longer a toddler and B) is not living with his mom. Hopefully.
3. He isn’t afraid of your period
If the dude reacts to the sight of your blood with disgust or if he has any hang-ups with running out to get you some tampons, it’s time to run like hell, leaving nothing but a bloody trail in your wake.
4. He’s nice to waiters
A grown-ass man can be gleaned via the Waiter Rule—if a dude is rude to service people, it’s time to run like hell, leaving nothing at all in your wake (dump your plate of food in your purse if you must, that steak ain’t gonna eat itself.)
5. He can debate ferociously without taking it personally
He doesn’t resort to name-calling, instead able to listen calmly, internalize thoughtfully, and respond with an enthusiastic counterpoint.
6. He’ll go shopping with you
This isn’t to say he’ll come galloping out the door every time you suggest a trip to the mall. But he’ll come along to keep you company every now and then if you ask him to because compromise.
7. He is not immune to change
Quite the opposite— a grown-ass man will not only embrace change, he’ll seek it. He understands that without it there is no growth or progress, a notion that scares him more than that of ‘change’ itself.
8. He does what he says he’s going to do
A grown-ass man is a man of his word. He is reliable. He understands a broken promise reflects on him as a person.
9. You don’t have to worry about him in a room full of strangers
A grown-ass man doesn’t need his hand held in a room full of your brand new coworkers. Social anxiety disorders aside, he is able to strike up and carry a discussion with any human regardless of age or any other factor inconsequential to a good conversation. This also means your parents when you aren’t around.
10. He wears matching socks
90% of the time at least.
11. He owns more than one pair of shoes
He’s got like, 3, at least.
12. As long as we’re sartorially-focused, he wears clothing that fits his body
This is important.
13. He doesn’t write a Facebook post on how he just fixed the brakes on his car
He knows nobody cares. He also doesn’t post a lot of selfies, but the ones he chooses to share have some cool shit going on besides his big ‘ole face. Social media is just a vehicle for an ego boost after a certain point, and grown-ass men don’t need their egos stroked by a bunch of semi-friends.
14. He has a job and his own transportation
Self-explanatory. Also, health insurance.
15. He can get you off
16. He knows the difference between fast food and real food
Dude doesn’t have to be a master chef, but a grown-ass man can make, like, two decent meals at least, and yes a burger counts. Also—no Lunchables. A grown-ass man does not buy and eat Lunchables. Notice I said ‘buy’—this is because he isn’t above accepting a free Lunchable, and you shouldn’t be either.
17. He’s interested in things
A grown-ass man’s got hobbies. Hobbies that have nothing to do with you or drinking. This is an imperative cog in the machine that is a successful relationship, because the only way to keep it successful is to live two separate lives that jive really well as one—not to live one life, together, doing all the same shit, together, day in and day out, together. Vom.
18. He doesn’t lie
Unless it’s warranted. I’ll let you decide what that means.
19. He tries to communicate properly
Main word here being ‘tries’, since communication is a vast and oftentimes baffling sea that is rarely completely calm and storm-free. That is, he tries to discuss his feelings without fearing emasculation. He tries to cope with stressful life situations proactively instead of reactively. Oh, Lebowski also said “strong men cry.”
20. He has read a book for pleasure
At least one. AT LEAST ONE.
21. He knows your name is not Susan (not applicable to Susans)