As women, we have a strong sense of empathy and an urge to nurture, nourish, and take care of others. In other words, we have an instinct to mother. Some men can take advantage of that beautiful feminine trait, taking the role of baby for themselves, to the point where their needs and demands make it next to impossible for you to have a healthy, functioning relationship and family life together in the years to come. If the days, weeks, or even years are passing and your gut is telling you something might not be right with your guy, you're not alone. Here are 10 things to look for to help you decipher if he's your future baby’s father, or just your future baby.
1. He Can Handle His Own Emotions
A real man doesn’t need to throw tantrums whenever he doesn’t get his way. He can use his words to express himself thoughtfully and with respect for both of you. Yes, he’ll want you to listen, but he’ll also return the favor, listening to your thoughts, feelings, and opinions. Naturally, things can still get tense, but if every negative moment turns into a scene you might expect from a 2-year-old, that’s a good sign he’s going to be able to give you the support, consistency, and strength you’ll need in the long run. Save the tantrums for your little ones down the road.
2. He’s a Straight Shooter
We all want a partner who is honest and keeps it real. If you find yourself feeling gaslit, questioning your every thought, or walking on eggshells, chances are he’s playing mind games with you. It’s impossible to build trust with someone who always keeps you guessing about their intentions or constantly shifts the narrative to benefit themselves. Trust is absolutely one of the foundational elements of a lasting relationship. If he can’t shoot straight, things will get very dicey once your responsibilities increase.
3. Your Life Flourishes When You’re With Him
Being in a relationship shouldn’t infringe on your own personal identity, goals, or your other relationships, it should enhance them. Your man should be interested in meeting your friends and family, cheering you on with your accomplishments, and even giving you space to do your own thing when you need it. If you’re feeling like your relationship isolates you, or that you’ve felt less creative, optimistic, or healthy since you started dating, these could be a sign he’s asking too much of you.
Being in a relationship shouldn’t infringe on your own personal identity or goals – it should enhance them.
4. He’s Patient With Intimacy and Bonding
There are a few ways that men can push intimacy before it’s ready to blossom on its own, and those include love-bombing, having sex too soon, and trauma bonding. All of these make you feel like you’re in love when you might not really be, and that can be super confusing. Instead, look for a man who is patient with your boundaries and who thrives on natural, healthy connection that builds trust and intimacy over time.
5. He Offers a Helping Hand
If you’re moving, he’s there to help lift the heavy furniture. If your car breaks down, he offers to fix it or give you a ride to where you’re headed. He might make you a meal when you’re hungry, or help you with your homework. The point is, he’s both able and eager to help you when he can. On the other hand, if your time of need arises and he’s nowhere to be seen, this could be a sign he sees you not as an equal, but as a benefactor. If he expects constant favors but doesn’t offer them, in a way, he’s putting you in the role of parent rather than partner. Yikes!
6. He Owns His Mistakes and Can Apologize
A great partner isn’t a perfect person, because no one is. We all make mistakes, so once in a while, we all need to apologize. It’s a positive sign if the guy you’re dating owns up to his errors, whether they’re big or small, and apologizes in a sincere way. If you find he’s always full of excuses, or seems to find a way to shift the blame for even his own errors back onto you, this is not someone you want to tie yourself to in the long run. With actual babies, the blame might be more likely to go to you as the adult in the room. If he’s a grown man, though, this behavior is a sign that he’s more interested in preserving his sense of his own innocence than in you and your relationship.
It’s a positive sign if the guy you’re dating owns up to his errors, whether they’re big or small.
7. He Offers Genuine, Balanced Connection
When you guys hang out, you do things that interest both of you, or you take turns exploring one another’s interests. Maybe this weekend you hang out with his guy friends, and the next weekend you spend time together with your siblings. Conversations have a natural flow, where you both feel like your voice and thoughts are heard, even if one of you is a bit more of a talker. If, on the other hand, the conversation is always turning back toward him, the activities always reflect just his interests, or you feel like you’re always watching him shine and cheering him on without getting your turn in the spotlight, you may have bigger problems on your horizon.
8. Your Intimacy Is Also Balanced
Whatever your level of intimacy, it’s balanced, and you both generally feel equal excitement, pleasure, and romance about the whole experience. If anytime you connect physically it feels like he’s using you for pleasure rather than expressing his love along with his desire, this is a huge red flag that you’re dealing with an unhealthy dynamic. Intimate moments should be a way to bring the two of you closer as a couple, not another way for you to take care of his needs while neglecting your own.
9. He Brings Up Commitment
Your baby’s future father will want to commit to you. He’ll know how special you are and that he’s so lucky he found someone like you. Even if he might be cautious or shy about it, he’ll definitely be looking to hang on to you for the long haul. If your guy avoids commitment altogether, or if the commitment that he desires looks more like long-term roommates who have sex, he might be looking more for a caretaker than a wife.
Intimate moments should not be another way that you’re taking care of his needs while neglecting your own.
10. He Wants To Have Kids Together
This one may seem obvious, but your future baby’s father will want to be your future baby’s father. He’s excited to have and raise a family together, even if it’s a little way off still, and knows that your kids will be an extension of your love that will expand beyond the two of you. If the guy you’re with doesn’t want kids, doesn’t understand how you could want them, or doesn’t feel like he’ll be ready for decades, chances are he’d prefer to stay in the role of kid himself.
No woman wants to play mama to a grown man. If his wants and needs keep you so busy that it’s hard to take care of your own wants and needs, it’s unlikely you could imagine adding kids to your responsibilities. This man has taken the role of baby to your maternal instinct. On the contrary, a strong, healthy relationship should provide a foundation of support for both you and any children the two of you might choose to have together. If you notice more than a couple of these 10 giveaways lacking in your man, you may want to reevaluate the relationship. Your man should love, cherish, and support you as you create a beautiful future and a family together, rather than drag you down with his own childish behavior.
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