Welcome back to Margarita Monday! Each week, we’ll be publishing a story about dating by Lauren Levine and/or Ali Washburn to go along with the latest episode of “The Margarita Confessionals,” a podcast for the jaded dater. You can find it on Soundcloud or iTunes.
There’s a spectrum when it comes to having your sh*t together. While it’s not fair to expect total perfection from someone you’re dating, it’s reasonable to want that person to fare pretty well on the highly evolved continuum. If you’re looking to verify that your significant other is doing okay at this whole adulting thing, here are some signs to look for:
They know what they like
Whether it’s their go-to cocktail or a favorite meal, they aren’t shy about their preferences. At the same time, they’re also willing to try new things. At this stage in the game, you don’t want to be with someone who only eats chicken fingers and slams Diet Mountain Dew.
They own a pet
When they’re able to care for another living being, it’s a good indicator that they have their sh*t together. They’re not afraid of responsibility, plus then that means you get to play with their dog and that’s awesome. Cats? Eh, to each their own.
Their car doesn’t look like a war zone
We all have days when our cars are more like storage units, but there’s a difference between “I should probably bring some of this stuff inside” and seriously disgusting.
They have a headboard and real bedding
This shows that they’re willing to invest money to create a space that is relaxing instead of blowing any and all extra cash on pizza and beer. Gone are the days of dudes with mismatched comforters and flannel sheets. You want someone who knows the value of generating a little Zen in their home.
They’ve picked out artwork that doesn’t include a Pink Floyd poster slapped on the wall
You know the one that’s a bunch of backs and butts painted in various Pink Floyd album covers? Totally chic when you were 19. Not as cool when you’re 33. If you can pick out art that means something to you and then take the time to get it framed, you probably have your sh*t together.
They have good manners
From tipping servers to the ability to make polite conversation at your work cocktail party that you dragged them to, a person who has basic manners is on the mature end of the spectrum. If your date is still showing up late to everything and texting furiously instead of talking to your friends, it’s time to reconsider some things.
Strong shoe and sock game
If you put thought into your shoes and socks, you’re a real, live adult. I fell in love briefly at the airport with a man who had on an understated yet stylish pair of dress shoes and socks depicting a crossword puzzle. You have a real career and you do the New York Times puzzle? Sold.
Dating in college is a rite of passage. You have to deal with sketchy people and even sketchier apartment bathroom situations. But since you made it through these experiences and out the other side, it’s time to let yourself start dating people who have successfully morphed into actual grownups. Trust us, you deserve it.