accessAtlanta

City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP
City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP

Dating: Character checks

When I was young and dumb, my Mother offered me loads of great advice about what I should observe about men that I dated. It was never about finding the flashiest guy or the life of the party. She always encouraged me to use caution and look for signs of his character. I shorthanded this to doing random “character checks” so I could pay attention when I needed to.

I recall two specific character checks that have stayed with me: Mother Wise Diva said to pay attention to how a man reacts when his not able to reach you. Also, observe what happens when he doesn’t get his way. It sounds very simple, I know, but let me tell you the bullets I have dodged with these!

Can you think of other ways to do a character check? Of course we are all flawed and humans, but there are certain traits that we just know won’t make a good match.

Do you think we overlook poor character traits too much in dating?

By Wise Diva, Misadventures in Atlanta Dating Blog

261 comments Add your comment

YesSheIsCute

January 7th, 2014
6:42 am

First!

One of the other ways to do a character check is to see how consistent a person is (actions = words). If a person doesn’t value his/her word that is a deal breaker. Even if they drag their feet to make their actions congruent with their word the point is their actions are congruent with their words. Trust is the basis for all relationships (friendships, partnerships, etc).

I think a lot of people get talked into overlooking poor character traits because they have been told they are too picky, inflexible, unrealistic, etc. There’s someone out there for everyone, if you don’t like what you don’t like, what you do like will come along…eventually…someday. It’s just a simple matter of probability.

lee

January 7th, 2014
7:15 am

agrees with Yes

Bundle up out there

Single and Happy

January 7th, 2014
7:36 am

Hello all

Character check, hmm just another way of saying try and get to know someone before getting all goo goo gaa gaa!!

Button

January 7th, 2014
8:29 am

Yes said it best.

Good morning!

LeeH1

January 7th, 2014
9:08 am

See how he (or she!) treats other people, especially lower paid people like waitresses or store clerks. If the person loses their courtesy and compassion when dealing with people who can’t protest or defend themselves, then they are not the person for you.

SlimNu

January 7th, 2014
9:11 am

Gooooood morning gang! What a lovely, COLD, but lovely day.

Leggs

January 7th, 2014
9:16 am

WD, I’ve told my daughter the same thing. Character is probably #1 on my checklist.

#1 – Look at how he treats his mother, because if he doesn’t treat his own mother well, what makes you think he’ll treat you well.

#2 – Keeping your word is very important to me and if a man says one thing and constantly does another, it’s a wrap. Never, ever use the word “promise” with me and not keep that promise. To throw a promise to the wayside like it wasn’t anything means “it’s a wrap.” I realize many promise things simply to shut the person up, but that speaks volumes to me if you don’t deliver. What’s worse is if one acts like they never promised this or that and negates the importance of what they said.

Good morning!

Celisea

January 7th, 2014
9:23 am

Ummm, not sure about “character checks” per se. Folks either have it or they don’t. I don’t think you’ll have to “check” for it. I think it’s going to be apparent.

Celisea

January 7th, 2014
9:24 am

IMO if you have to “check”, look for, study, for character apparently there’s a deficit. IMO when character is present, it will show you….not you look for it.

Leggs

January 7th, 2014
9:41 am

Celisea ~ don’t we all “check” for something in a mate we’re considering. We all do mental checks and visual observations just to see if there will be any advancement to the next stage of forming a relationship. I think we all “check” a/k/a observe.

Reio

January 7th, 2014
9:42 am

Morning all.

Well one of the things I always taught my daughters when giving them advice on dating, was to always make sure that he is at least at your level in life. This can be seen an various ways. If she is in high school, he needs to be in high school or a recent graduate. She’s in college, he needs to be in college or a recent graduate. She has finished college, he needs to have finished or actively pursuing a degree…Why did I tell them this? Simple. If a man is unwilling to do anything for himself, there is no way in hell he can do anything for you.

I know, I know. I can just hear it now. Somebody will come on here and chime in with “A college degree doesn’t make you a better person”, “All a degree is, is just a piece of paper.”, “I know a lot of educated fools.”, “College is not for everybody.”, “Some of the best men I know, don’t have formal educations.”….I can’t disagree with any of that, but, there was one thing that was true then, and continues to be true to this day. And that is; America does not reward you for a high school diploma. Don’t achieve any amount of degree, training, certificate…after high school, and see where you end up.

One of the best tests of character of an individual is what are they doing or have done for themselves.
I’d rather not ruffle any feathers on this, and this is my opinion, and mine alone, but a man that will not go the extra mile to solidify a chance at a descent future for himself is not worth dating. Just a sign of his character. Da hell he wants to date you (or anyone) for, when he has done nothing for himself?

Leggs

January 7th, 2014
9:47 am

Reio ~ I get your reference to college or a degree. You’re not speaking solely on the degree itself but more on the fact that he’s striving for something, completion of school, has a goal ahead of him. If your child is looking toward her future, she should pick a mate that potentially is looking toward his and striving to achieve. Simply put, you’re telling your daughters to seek someone who is evenly yoked with her aspirations and desires in life.

SlimNu

January 7th, 2014
9:50 am

Reio – I see your point on that as well and there is nothing wrong with telling your daughters that.

MsAtl

January 7th, 2014
9:56 am

Morning All!

Yes, definitely a deal breaker if someone’s words and actions are consistently inconsistent! Also, see how they treat someone who can’t do anything for them. See how they handle setbacks. If something happens- is it a bad day or did something bad just happen that day? Some folks will let one small thing ruin an otherwise good day and will be surly the entire rest of the day. To me, that is an indication that you can’t deal with life’s issues.

Reio, I largely agree with you. If a man does not have any drive, determination, or work ethic, then he is just looking to be taken care of.

Celisea

January 7th, 2014
9:58 am

Leggs – As I stated, when it comes to character, you don’t have to look for it.

Don’t achieve any amount of degree, training, certificate…after high school, and see where you end up.

Well, I’ll beg to differ. As I’ve said on here before, God is in control and there’s not a place he can’t cause you to excel. Matter of fact, all my counterparts are degreed and I think I do okay holding my own. Annnd, I believe my paygrade is no less. IJS Faith and obedience to God far exceeds anything man can accomplish. Where is the degree when they shut down an entire department and only keep three (me being one)? Nothing better than favor from God. Man HAVE to act on your behalf, move for you cause the Almighty is steering the wheel. I’m not knocking degrees but I won’t tell anybody they’re limited as long as they’re serving the Almighty. As the good book says, his ways are past finding out. He’s limitless and not to be likened to a piece of paper.

Reio

January 7th, 2014
10:00 am

SlimNu – I told them that one thing they need not do is somehow see men without ‘after high school’ training as less than them. For this would be a mistake as well. Only to view them as individuals that have taken a different road in their lives, wish them well, and move on.

Celisea

January 7th, 2014
10:00 am

And for the record, I’m not knocking degrees. I too think everyone should aspire for secondary eduction. If you didn’t though, it ain’t the end of the world. You can go as far as your faith can reach. And if you can believe beyond limits and impossibilities, then you’ll far exceed what folks say can’t be done.

SlimNu

January 7th, 2014
10:06 am

Reio – Exactly, but at the same time, your job is to protect and look out for your family. Surely you would not want your daughters striving for more, then end up with some dude who can hardly keep a job, driving their cars, spending their money, eating their food, screwing their girl friends and then picking them up late for work. lol So I totally get it…

YesSheIsCute

January 7th, 2014
10:14 am

Reio I totally agree with what you are saying.

Leggs the respect for the mom thing is not necessarily an indicator. I had a friend that was married to a man who pretty much worshipped the ground his mother walked on and have a lot of respect for his mom but beat the crap out of his wife until she divorced him, mom felt that her little mama’s boy could do no wrong so she never questioned his choice to beat his women. I come from a family of dysfunction so the way people deal with certain family members is not necessarily a predictor of bad/poor character per se.

When a special case question of character comes up you deal with it on a case by case basis. If the run of the mill question of character comes up you deal with it on an across the board level. The problem is most people give run of the mill characters the case by case/benefit of the doubt. Realize a general problem situation for what it is.

Leggs

January 7th, 2014
10:20 am

Celisea ~ when it comes to YOU, you don’t have to check for it.

YSIC ~ I understand the twist, but coming out the gate if you know he doesn’t respect his mother, how do you think he’ll respect you? If it happens, I think it’s rare. To not respect or like your mother is deep seated issues and more than likely will rear its ugly head somewhere down the line in the relationship. Now, to love your mother and beat the crap out of your woman also rests on deep seated issues, but you didn’t see it right out the gate. The former is front and center and easier to recognize, I would think.

Button

January 7th, 2014
10:27 am

There are many qualities I look for in a mate, one being does he cheat, and I’m not talking only about schex but cheat period, on taxes, cheat people out of their money, cheat while playing something simple as a card game. Like the saying says if you cheat you will lie and if you lie you will kill ( kill your spirit).

I

Reio

January 7th, 2014
10:27 am

SlimNu – Exactly. Couldn’t have said it better my self. Some of their childhood friends, several of whom, I’ve known since they themselves were toddlers running around the house with my girls, aren’t doing so well. Got caught up with young fellas that had no future and no ambition beyond playing the field and being irresponsible. Bad character. No law breakers, or drug dealers mind you…just young men that have made bad choices in life and have brought several of these young women down with them. I’m just glad mine appear to have listened to me and made better choices base on the character of the young men they chose to date over the years. Character is everything.
If one can find a person of good character, the relationship may or may not last, but at least you will know, from the outset, that he seems to care enough about himself to make good decisions, and as a result, could quite possibly extend to them, the respect, and potentially, the lifestyle, they both deserve.

Miss Moni

January 7th, 2014
10:29 am

GOOD Tuesday Morning MIA!!! *It’s COLDER than a polar bear’s toenails!*

I actually think Mother Wise Diva is definitely on to something with the character checks. I always say, just WATCH and SEE. If you’re around a person long enough and pay attention, you’ll find out everything you need to know.

Celisea

January 7th, 2014
10:34 am

Leggs – I posted my post. So yeah, I’m posting FOR ME. You asked, I answered. Again, miss me with the go along just to get along…that you do oooo so well. I ain’t gotta agree with you. Who else would I be speaking for?? I’on think I need permission nor to explain HOW I FEEL…

Button

January 7th, 2014
10:39 am

Reio- Having a college degree means does not exempt one from being a jackass or having a bad character.

Button

January 7th, 2014
10:41 am

well alrighty then!

Leggs

January 7th, 2014
10:44 am

Celisea ~ I don’t go along to get along. I am my own person. If I happen to agree with someone, I will state that. If I don’t I’ll state that too. Your post indeed is your post, but the sentiment doesn’t always come across that way. Like the one above it’s matter of fact of that’s the way it is and that’s why I said it’s that way for YOU. No, you don’t have to agree with me, but you don’t have to always come across as this is the way it is and that’s that. If you don’t think so, re-read!

Good grief, everything is not an attack.

MsAtl

January 7th, 2014
10:46 am

Button- Exactly! Although I believe that people should go beyond a high school diploma, I also know some damn fools with several college degrees. Having a degree does not mean you are not a jackass, it means that you believe you can go further with a degree and you can stick to something and achieve something.

SlimNu

January 7th, 2014
10:47 am

Mrs. SexyCool

January 7th, 2014
10:50 am

YesSheIsCute

January 7th, 2014
10:51 am

I think what Reio is saying is that a good yardstick to go by is have a fella meet you where you are. Not saying that guys who have less education than you or less cultured than you aren’t good guys. But when you are looking for a needle in a haystack you really don’t have time to fool around considering the time you are already spending sifting for it. I guess that rule of thumb seems to act as a good sifter for when you are looking for the needle in that haystack. At least that’s what I got from the post.

Mrs. SexyCool

January 7th, 2014
10:55 am

Character Check #1 – If he has kids, is he taking care of them? Does he pay child support? Does he complain about paying child support? How does he talk about the mother of his child/children? Is he involved with the raising of the children to any degree? Does he seem concerned if the relationship with the mother has deteriorated to a point that she attempts to block his access to his child/children? What is he doing about if if she is?

Character Check #2 (If marriage is your goal) – How does he talk about the idea of marriage? How does he talk about commitment? Does he possess problem solving skills? How does he react in stressful situation/in a crisis?

SlimNu

January 7th, 2014
10:57 am

Yes – That’s what I got from his post…

Button

January 7th, 2014
10:59 am

MsAtl – Having a degree does not mean you are not a jackass–no, but there are many jackasses with college degrees! and yes there are jackasses smart enough to know that they need a degree to earn more money, ambitious enough to take that extra step in doing so.

Exiled

January 7th, 2014
11:00 am

good morning!

If a dude sticks it good,the character check will be forgotten fo a minute…

Reio

January 7th, 2014
11:01 am

Button – How true, how true. But as an outside observer, pursuing or achieving some type of “after high school” education goes a long way, in my opinion, in giving the observer some insight into one’s psyche, in that, it becomes obvious and readily apparent, that perhaps this individual has recognized and understands that a good future will require some sacrifice and the investment of energy to increase the likelihood of success. This, alone, can in no way, be substituted for good character. One needs to pursue the relationship and make a more accurate judgment down the road. I will say this however, I can tell a bit more about one’s character if they have recognized and acted upon the belief that education, of any form, is significantly more beneficial to them, than otherwise. And it’s the “to them” that is most revealing. Looking out for “themselves” tells me a whole lot about one’s character.

Mrs. SexyCool

January 7th, 2014
11:05 am

Life is an “after high school” education…IF…you learn its lessons.

Miss Moni

January 7th, 2014
11:06 am

-Mrs. SexyCool Your 10:55am is on point!!!

Reio

January 7th, 2014
11:07 am

Leggs – With respect to “the mom thing”, while I can certainly appreciate your post and agree in principle, I’m going to have to side with YSIC a bit on this. I don’t know how many times I have seen situations online, on TV, newspapers and a couple in real life, where a criminal gets caught at something, including murder and others will say of him “He was wrong for that. He really loved his mother and now he does this.”, or “His mom struggled to do the best she could and then he goes and does this.”, or “He would do anything for his mom, he told her he was turning his life around…” One can love mom with all your heart and soul, but how you treat yourself, in my opinion, is much more revealing. Much, much more revealing indeed. Besides, one of the best ways to show love for mom is to be all that one can be and not give in to the easy way out, and poor decision making.

Exiled

January 7th, 2014
11:15 am

All criminals were born by some mother and most love their moms…even pimps,hos,strippers etc,they all love their parents for the most part..give their parents money even.

so……in fact,when parents have habitual criminals,prostitutes etc as kids,the parents get acquantainted to their kids’ ways. It becomes kinda acceptable.

Leggs

January 7th, 2014
11:21 am

Reio ~ yes, it can go both ways, love mother and do right, love mother and act a fool and stay in trouble. It does boil down to how you treat yourself. You represent yourself, not your mother. Great point.

Single and Happy

January 7th, 2014
11:24 am

I for one never use how a person treats their parents as a measuring stick because I don’t know the whole story. Everyone’s home wasn’t like the Cleavers. It’s all about how they treat me that counts.

DuShawn

January 7th, 2014
11:29 am

“Does he complain about paying child support? How does he talk about the mother of his child/children?” Imma have to throw a flag on that one. I know several men of outstanding character that complain about the amount of child support awarded and the trifling behavior of the mothers of their children…….. deservedly so. Do they pay it and honor the women they despise in the presence of their children….yes. Do they like it…..hell no! So when given the opportunity, they may vent a little about it. That’s not a character flaw, it’s human nature. For the record, poor decisions are not always indicative of one’s character. What you do afterwards is.

SlimNu

January 7th, 2014
11:36 am

For the record, poor decisions are not always indicative of one’s character. What you do afterwards is

And I’ll add, whether or not you KEEP making poor decisions. A great example, I know a chick that had a kid when she was young. She’s a little off in the head (our own diagnosis)…but anyway, she was not a good mother at all. She just didn’t have the patience or maternal instinct that it takes. Kid would be in a dirty diaper all day, crying, not fed etc…anyway, her mother ended up adopting the child. The father of the child was in and out of jail, never held a job for very long blah blah blah. Fast forward about 16yrs…her and the father end up back together, after one of his jail terms…he’s now an alcoholic and doesn’t have a job. Shes doing everything for him, paying all the bills and supplying this fool with the dranky drank…She purposely tries to get pregnant….so found out yesterday she’s finally pregnant. Why would you get pregnant intentionally to a jobless alcoholic???!!!!

kimmie

January 7th, 2014
11:36 am

Morning All!!

Leggs, while I totally agree with the concept of checking out how a man treats his mom, I have only witnessed one black man in my lifetime that mistreated his mother. And that was the husband of a friend of mine. Every man I’ve dated loved their mothers dearly, a few of them seemed to worship the ground they walked on. They also loved their fathers, siblings, grandparents, cousins. But it did not stop any of them for being a jerk to me if they were so inclined! Just sayin’.

My biggest character checks are 1) is he a man of his word? Does he follow thru with what he said he is going to do? If he can’t follow thru, does he offer some kind of explanation or substitute or alternative? 2) is he responsible? Does he handle his business? Does he take care of things that need to be done, like pay his bills, get the car serviced, file his taxes, etc. Does he handle these things like a man or does he constantly need to be reminded of things like a little kid? Does he plan for a rainy day? 3) How does he react to stress or a crisis? Is he cool and calm and reassuring that “he’s got this” or does he trip, gets in bad mood, has an attitude with everyone, gets destructive(turns to drugs, alcohol, etc), gets a bad temper, screams, yells or gives you and others the silent treatment?

Those are the things I came up with off the top of my head.

Mrs. SexyCool

January 7th, 2014
11:42 am

Du – I can appreciate your point – as a single point. However, I was really going for more of a combination of all of the points that I was making more so than breaking them down one by one.

It is *MY* experience that a man that does not take responsibility and/or is not involved with his child/children is usually lacking in other areas that makes him a desirable mate.

SlimNu

January 7th, 2014
11:47 am

kimmie – That’s actually a pretty good list ;-)

Leggs

January 7th, 2014
11:47 am

kimmie ~ keeping your word is tantamount and speaks volumes. If I can’t trust you to do what you say, we have a problem. How you handle adversity certainly speaks on your character. Don’t get me wrong, didn’t mean to imply THE #1 thing is how you treat your mother, but it is one of the things I check/observe.

DuShawn

January 7th, 2014
11:49 am

SlimNu – “Why would you get pregnant intentionally” I’m embarassed to admit that I’m familiar with that mentality. Another baby equals more checks (SSI, WIC, ect.). The investment stategy is “if I get $500 a month for one, I could get two grand a month for four.” At least it’s not difficult to evalualte their character.

Single and Happy

January 7th, 2014
11:50 am

Reio, or all your friends, does any of their child support break them.