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How to Tell He’s a Boy, Not a Man

Because you need a man, not a boy.

Tesia Blake
Sep 1, 2020 · 5 min read

You’re looking for a partner. Someone you can look up to and proudly call “your man.”

You’re not new to this. This isn’t your first rodeo, but somewhere along the way the lines seemed to have gotten blurred; the rules, unclear.

Or perhaps it’s true what they say: after a certain age, all of “the good ones” are already taken.

So you meet slightly younger men, baby faced and clueless about the basics of interacting with a woman like a man, not a college student.

They still live with their parents, which is somewhat understandable these days , but even with the break of not having to pay rent, their entry-level jobs still don’t afford them enough financial freedom — when they don’t overspend on video games, that is.

So you go for the men over 40, charming with their beards streaked with grey and still fit from visiting the gym 3 to 4 times a week, their favorite hunting ground.

But they all have an ex-wife somewhere whom they call crazy, and leave the children with last minute even thought it was supposed to be “daddy’s weekend”.

No, thank you — you think, as you sober up from their intoxicating charm.

You decide to aim for the men who are past the 3–0 threshold, but aren’t yet 35. You feel that’s where you were supposed to find your sweet spot. Mature enough, with the face of a man in a body not yet ruined by too much beer; not yet jaded by a string of failed relationships, but having learned a thing or two over the years; with a somewhat decent or at least promising job and living by themselves.

At least that’s the hope.

It was my hope, until I found a few thirty somethings that were not quite up to the mark.

Joe was in his mid-thirties, and seemed, from a distance, to have his stuff figured out.

He was fairly successful at his job. He talked about traveling abroad, about how passionate he was for his work as a chef, and about plans to expand his business.

But once I became close to him, I noticed just how heavily he relied on money as a measure of success. When he spoke about traveling abroad, he didn’t emphasize the experience of getting to know a different culture and new people, but about how fancy his hotel was, and which expensive restaurants he dined at.

When he spoke about his business, he emphasized just how much his new project was going to cost. He spoke of the new car he was planning on buying, and what were his favorite clothing brands.

“And they say women like to spend — haha”

I had a really hard time not rolling my eyes in front of him.

Joe, like me, had also been through a major breakup. I thought that that might be something we could both bond over — boy, was I wrong.

First, he had no real interest on my insights about relationships, or what my experience had been like. All he wanted to do was vent about his own issues.

His ex? He hated her guts. The girl was crazy. He told me about some of their screaming matches, until then, I didn’t believe couples actually fought like that, with so much hate towards each other.

The unravelling of their relationship had not been his fault. She was the one who was spoiled, immature, and ungrateful for everything he had done for her.

While anger is part of the mourning process after a breakup, if you can’t get past it and move on, you have no business being in the dating scene. Bringing up your ex in every conversation is a big turn off, and not a sign of emotional maturity at all.

As Joe touched my arm to punctuate every other sentence, I leaned further back on my chair. L

Like the weak idiot that I am, I didn’t want to hurt his feelings, so I perked up again, even though my instinct was to back away and stay there.

It wasn’t great that I was incapable of answering honestly when he asked “am I making you uncomfortable?”

And that’s when a lot of men get a lot of things wrong, because even though women want to scream “yes, you are!”, we don’t want to be seen as rude, impolite, or that bitch, so we say “no, of course not.”

No, of course not.

We say “no” and we continue to internally cringe every time you touch us.

That’s what I did that night.

Big mistake.

And when he decided touching my forearm wasn’t enough, he found and excuse to touch my hand. I laughed my fake “please-let-this-be-over” laugh and pulled my hand back to myself as early as I could.

But here’s the thing: emotionally mature men can read body language. Watch out for that.

All through the night, Joe insisted I wasn’t drinking enough.

Have another beer. Just one more.

Don’t get me wrong, I drink. But that night I was driving. I didn’t fancy causing an accident, getting a DUI ,nor having any kind of hangover the next morning.

He made his insistence on me having another drink sound like “let’s just be drunk buddies together”, but I could tell he wanted to be drunk buddies together somewhere else. Like in his bedroom.

As we decided to call it a night, he bought some gum. As if I wouldn’t notice. As if I wouldn’t know what it meant.

And sure enough, he tried to get a bit closer than usual when saying goodbye. If he had been reading my body language all night long he would have known just how not into him I was.

The next day, he texted me something about needing to have a talk with his ex. I texted back that I hope everything is ok, but I don’t hear back from him.


Who knows, I may have gone from friend to honorary member of the “those bitches that don’t appreciate him” list. I’m sure that, despite him being clearly emotionally immature, he still thinks he’s quite a catch.

All I know is I don’t want to date him, and you wouldn’t either.

Mariposa Magazine

A platform for those who have been through major life…

Tesia Blake

Written by

Names have been changed to protect both the innocent and the guilty.

Mariposa Magazine

A platform for those who have been through major life transformations, through vonluntary or unvoluntary change.

Tesia Blake

Written by

Names have been changed to protect both the innocent and the guilty.

Mariposa Magazine

A platform for those who have been through major life transformations, through vonluntary or unvoluntary change.

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