Is He Your Husband or Your Boyfriend? Can You Tell the Difference?

There are two types of men in this world who desire a relationship with a woman. The first is a boy and the second is a man. The boy looks like a man, but hasn't matured yet. He is looking to be a woman or many women's "boy" friend or lover. However, the man has matured and is looking for a husband/wife relationship.

The problem with the "boy" man, he is usually a "boy" friend to more than one woman whether emotionally, physically or both. He still enjoys the periodic perks from exes like money, sex, companionship, and material possessions while pursuing others. Sometimes he is with one woman usually struggling in the relationship to stay committed. He will tell the latest woman in his life what he wants out of a relationship; yet, he will fall short every time. He rattles off his needs to her over the phone or via email, but when it's time to prove himself, he makes excuses. "You must have misunderstood, what I really meant was...I had thought that you knew...what I'm really trying to say..." Once he has been sexually fulfilled by his "girl" friend, he isn't interested in much else and goes back to is "boy" ways. Some of which you will read about later.

However, the mature man isn't interested in playing head games with women these days. Most likely, he played a few of those already in his youth. He wants to settle down—he desires a wife. This man envisions his future with his new partner and works to build a relationship with her come hell or high water. He doesn't want to tear anything down that he has worked to build, because he values time and he knows that life is indeed short. He isn't interested in trading his old woman for a new one, unless of course, he has mistakenly got hitched to a "girl" friend (a girl who hasn't matured into a woman,) if so, then he will have his share of problems. For a "girl" woman goes by many names, so as not to offend, there will be no list provided, but you get the hint - she is immature in many ways. So as not to digress, this article will not explore the difference between a woman and a girl behaving in a relationship at this time. (Look for a similar article on my site.) Instead, we will focus on this question: what is the difference between a boy and a man when it comes to relationships? The following list provides 10 specific character attributes of a boy and a man.

The Boy

One. Relies on others to get him out of trouble.

Whether it is his mother or best friend, the boy needs someone to assist him in times of crisis quite frequently. The boy is usually responsible for his own downfall. Like a child, he had been warned prior to his unfortunate incident, even scolded by a relative about his actions or lack thereof, yet now he is looking for someone to bail him out. Sometimes he moves back home with his parents or crashes on his friend's couch when things don't work out with his partner(s).

Two. Gossips to relatives and friends about his partner's wrongs.

"It's because of her..." he complains to anyone who listens. "If she hadn't...I wouldn't have..." He doesn't want to be held accountable for anything that has occurred in the relationship, so he attempts to rally up support that will blame his partner for everything that went wrong in the relationship.

Three. Irritated when asked to do something.

He is still eye-rolling, deeply sighing and moving his body in the way that a teenage boy does when he is asked to do something even when he is doing nothing more than sitting on his behind. When asked, "What's wrong?" His partner is accused of not asking him in a nice way or interrupting him at the wrong time. Despite her being more careful the next time in the way that she asks him to do something, he still acts like a lazy, rebellious teenage boy, "Do I have to do it right now?" he says. Knowing that he has promised on several occasions to assist his partner, but fails to fulfill them.

Four. Offended when faults are pointed out and solutions are given.

For example, the partner is angry about her boyfriend's failure to honor his promises, so when he is confronted, he doesn't like it and makes no effort to change. Instead, he does the following: points the finger back at his accuser and storms out the house, does a poor job performing tasks asked of him, ignores his partner or yells and calls her names. What a big boy!

Five. Irresponsible with finances.

He bounces checks, overdrafts his bank account, maxes out his credit cards, and ruins his credit with businesses. He looks for co-signers, borrows money from relatives and friends, and signs contracts with anyone who will give him money or products that he believes he must-have right now. When people try to advise him, he ignores their wisdom and keeps right on making wrong decisions with his finances while hoping they will help him out the next time he is in trouble.

Six. Avoids commitment.

"It didn't work in the past, why should it work now?" The boyfriend meditates on his and others' history with relationships and decides that he will do nothing more than give his woman a kiss and a promise. Rather than work on being a good man, he reasons he is no different than the rest—a player, a drunk, a liar, an abuser, etc.

Seven. Lies, cover-ups, or remains silent when confronted on a wrong.

The boy has learned since childhood that he doesn't have to face punishment if he lies. So when he relates to a woman, he believes that he can maintain a great relationship if he just keeps on manipulating the truth. What he doesn't realize is what is in darkness will come to light usually in the worst way!

Eight. Approaches life decisions with a "me" attitude.

"My boys...my car...my jewelry...my money...my house." It's all about "me" in a boy's world! When he was a child it was, "My toys, my shirt, my shoes..." He didn't want to share back then with others and he isn't interested in sharing now.

Nine. Easily angered when his partner is talking to the opposite sex in a friendly manner.

He is going to look for any excuse to yell at his partner, give her an intimidating stare, and/or make some reference about her possibly cheating, because he is still thinking about that time when she was smiling at someone other than him. The boy is going to find a way to punish her by being extra friendly with another woman, tease her about the men she has been friendly with, or make her feel uncomfortable if she so much as looks at a man.

Ten. Assumes the worse about the future whenever a challenge in the relationship comes up.

The boyfriend is always planning for "when I break up with her." He saves for the rainy day. He looks for future places to move without her. He thinks about who could potentially be his next lover. All of

these thoughts usually come rushing forth after an argument and/ or when his partner isn't behaving in a way that he thinks she should. He bobs his head to the latest break up song as if he is brainwashing himself for the next break up. "You hear that..." he turns up the radio while giving his partner the look as if he could throw her away tomorrow.

As you can clearly see the boy isn't ready to become a man much less be in a committed relationship, but what about the man who is ready for a serious relationship?

The Man

One. Finds solutions to problems affecting the relationship by discussing them with his partner.

The committed man knows that not every decision he makes in life requires his inner circle's opinion. However, when it comes to life decisions affecting his relationship, he gets his partner involved. He asks questions like, "What do you think? Where do you think we should move? How much money should we save?"

Two. Makes the best out of situations within his control.

The future husband could look at the glass half empty, but he rather see it half full and work to fill it up. He knows he can't control his partner's emotions, but what he knows is that he can make an effort on his part to do and say the kind of things that avoid drama and bring more peace and love to their relationship.

Three. Manages his finances well. Avoids spending money he doesn't have.

The wise man knows that everything he has can be taken from him in the blink of an eye if he doesn't plan wisely. He is also aware that financial problems is one of the major reasons why many relationships end. He loves his woman so he isn't going to commit to any financial contracts he can't honor nor is he going to engage in wreck-less financial behaviors that could ruin his name.

Four. Refrains from gossiping with relatives and friends about his intimate relationships.

There are two sides to every story; therefore, the wise man knows if he shares all that is wrong with his woman to his family (while making himself look like he has done no wrong,) their opinions will be bias toward his

partner which will eventually affect their relationship. Besides, he hasn't chosen his family for a lifetime mate, so what they think doesn't matter as much as it did back when he was a boy looking for his family's approval. Further, he knows that his family will treat his partner negatively based on any information he might share with them, so rather than put his relationship in jeopardy, he avoids talking at length about it.

Five. Doesn't feel the need to impress those around him by what he wears or drives.

The self-assured man realizes material wealth doesn't make him—it's just icing on the cake! Sure he wants to look good for his partner, but he doesn't want her to be overwhelmed to the point that all she sees is his material wealth. The man makes purchases based on need and isn't concerned about the latest, the best and what people think especially when he knows he can't afford certain items.

Six. Welcomes commitment.

The committed man doesn't run from a conversation about commitment, he welcomes it. He knows the pros and cons of long-term relationships. He has had his experiences, but he has come to the realization that he doesn't want to spend the rest of his life looking for intimacy; rather he wants it with one person often. The man has learned from the past, you keep playing long enough with different partners, you will get burned!

Seven. Stays away from manipulative strategies to keep from telling the truth.

An honest man doesn't think about what lie he is going to come up with next to keep a woman off his back. His life experience has shown him it is best to be honest, but not harsh. To find the truth in every situation and run with it when both the opportunity and timing is right.

Eight. Approaches life decisions with a "we" attitude.

The committed man knows any relationship centered around me will fail. He has learned through past experiences that if his focus is on "What I will do..." he will be left alone serving "I."

Nine. Controls his temper when dealing with feelings of jealousy, anger or other emotions regarding his partner.

The peaceful man recalls the days of arguing with past partners about a phone number, a look, a flirt or something else that may have led to possible emotional or physical cheating on his part. He realizes any irrational outbursts on his part will only lead to relationship problems. So he thinks before he speaks rather than jump to conclusions.

Ten. Stays positive about the future whenever a challenge in the relationship comes up.

Despite those moments of disagreement, the optimistic man avoids the temptation to call it quits. He understands that a relationship is not always "fun," and "easy-going" that there are bumps along

the road. So he finds a way to make things right; instead of tearing them down over the littlest of things.

There will be times that a man will do and say things that are boyish in nature just like a boy at times will do things that appear mature. The question one might ask is how frequent does he change from boy to man and from man to boy in his decision making, communication with others, and habits? Is he consistent in how he behaves? Does he always seem to act immature? Does he frequently show he is responsible and accountable for his actions? When there is an inconsistency or infrequent pattern of maturity, chances are the "boy" friend is not ready to be a husband. Sometimes a boyfriend will think he is ready to be a husband and may say and do things that appear like he is, but quickly a new bride realizes she has made an error in committing to him. She will begin to distance herself from the immature man unless he makes some serious changes.

Now that you have a basic understanding of the difference between a man and a boy when it comes to relationships; if you are a female reading this hopefully the information will help you make wise decisions in selecting a lifetime mate. If you are a male reading this, may you be blessed with the wisdom to have a healthy relationship now and in the future. As for the Christian man, he knows, "When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me." 1 Corinthians 13:11 (NIV.)

By Nicholl McGuire

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