Dating can be tricky. It can be a tiring guessing game of "Does he/she like me?" and most importantly--- "Is he/she a jowa (long-term relationship) material?"
There's no sure formula but there are plenty of signs that can help you determine if your date is indeed jowa material:
1. You feel comfortable with him.
You're ok to smell each other's farts. You're not afraid to tell him your deepest darkest secrets. You can open up about almost anything. You're ok to go out with him even with your ugliest no-makeup-no-japorms-no-filter-state. You can share your shallow and stupid thoughts with each other. His presence does not intimidate you. You are your self even if he makes your heart flutter. You don't have to pretend that you're someone else or put your best foot forward just to please him
2. He goes out of his way to make you happy. And you're willing to do the same for him.
He makes time for you. He makes an effort to meet you. He can sacrifice even the things he loves just to make you happy. AND YOU'RE WILLING TO DO THE SAME FOR HIM because you also want to make him happy.
3. He looks at you in the eye.
He has this indescribable loving smize and stare whenever you talk. (Not in a creepy way) Yep, sometimes Hollywood films will ruin your concept of love.
4. He pays attention.
He remembers not just general information about you but also tiny details about you. You mentioned your latest favorite cheesecake, the book that you're reading, the new album of Bon Iver that you're digging right now, your view about democracy, the news that got you frustrated, how you want to spend your next weekend.-- He will bear these things in his mind.
5. He’s your #1 fan and supporter.
He acts like he's your #1 fan. He likes almost all of your social media posts. You find it cute when he backtracks your posts and likes your ancient photos. He's also your #1 supporter in life. He supports your decisions and calls you out whenever he feels that you made a mistake.
6. You find the getting to know you phase not boring at all.
If you've been dating for a long time, the getting to know phase can be dragging and tiring. But he's the exception. He wants to get to know you. And you want to get to know him too. You suddenly find his love for things (that were previously boring for you) like golf, obscure documentaries, Kendrick Lamar, cat breeds, Renaissance paintings, whiskey, or binge watching Tour de France AMUSING.
7. You can talk for hours. And you’re ok with each other's silence.
You can talk for hours and hours about anything under the sun with zero awkwardness-- from serious and philosophical topics to crazy, weird, and shallow stuff. At the same time, you also enjoy your quiet moments without the need for pressing for a conversation-- sitting side by side in a sports bar, reading a book, or just chilling at the beach. In short, you enjoy his company and his presence doesn't bore you.
8. You both try to be better for each other.
You both motivate and inspire each other-- in life, work, fitness, health, etc.
9. He is vocal about his feelings. And there’s no doubt in your mind that he likes you 100%.
He lets you know that he likes you without hesitations and IFs. He expresses his feelings for you and he lets you know that you're the ONLY girl he's exclusively dating. He doesn't want anyone else to steal you away and he never gives you any doubt that you are the bae for him.
10. He is willing to compromise. And you're willing to compromise for him.
Humans aren't wired the same way so relationships require a lot of tweaking and adjusting. A potential jowa will be willing to change some things in his life-- routines, boys' night outs, weekend habits, pub crawl patterns, food choices, movie decisions, etc. BUT he's not the only one ready to make sacrifices. You are also game to disrupt your comfort zone. You're open to watch his basketball games, join his annoying relatives from time to time, wake up earlier to jog with him, spend your Friday night watching a sci-fi film instead of a rom-com, listen to rock metal, etc. You're both eager to learn each other's interests. You will embrace everything about him because these things will always be part of him.
11. He doesn’t run away when something goes wrong.
Through thick or thin. Through sunny days or rough weeks. Through happy sweet times or hormonal moods. A boyfie material will not disappear when it gets difficult. He will not abandon you even when you're 'possessed' with your mood swing.
12. He gives you space and he respects your "me time"
We need our "me time" from time to time and a potential long-term partner will let you have it without any hesitations and pa-guilty remarks. He trusts you and he understands that you have a life too. Men who are too clingy can have controlling tendencies.
13. He has goals in life.
You do not want to be with a slacker tambay who is still dependent on his parents' allowance. A boyfie material has clear goals and ambitions in life.
14. He includes you in his plans.
He takes you out on dates. He thinks of how you'll be spending more time together tomorrow, next weekend, next month, or next year. He plans on your first rowing session, third horror movie night, future travels, your next food crawl, your next Netflix date, your next race, your next concert together, etc. It's always forward-looking for both of you.
15. You imagine yourself having a long-term relationship with him.
Some dudes are only good enough for a 1-week date. They're fun to be with but you don't imagine yourself being with them for a longgggg time. The thought of calling him boyfriend gives you the chills (the bad kind). But if you could imagine calling someone 'boyfriend' and you actually smile when you think of this long-shot idea of spending your life with this person, then maybe he's the one.
16. He's not ashamed of introducing you to his family and friends. You feel the same way too.
If you've been dating for a long time and the guy is making up all excuses for you not to meet his friends and family, then maybe he's 1) ashamed of you 2) you're just one of his girls 3) you're just his secret OR 3) he doesn't see a serious relationship with you. If a guy wants to introduce you to his world, you'd know that he's proud of you and he's not hiding anything from you. On the other hand, if your fear (about your date not being good enough for your family/friends) is dominating your eagerness to introduce him, then maybe he's not the bae for you.
17. You have physical connection.
He doesn't just tell you how beautiful you are or how classy your dress looks like. He gives you small gestures like gently putting his hand on your back when he opens the door for you, wrapping his arms around you when you feel cold, giving you a warm hug when you feel down, or holding your hand when you cross the road. He makes you feel that he wants you (in a non-maniac way).
18. He admires you.
He always makes you feel that he looks up to you. He is attracted not just for your physical looks/body but also to your intelligence, witty remarks, values, opinions, etc. He cherishes you for who you are as a person.
19. You're attracted to him.
Love isn't just a feeling but it also needs some attraction. Sure, he's far from your celebrity crush but he's charming enough to make you giggle and feel like a high school girl.
20. You're ok with his flaws.
Nobody's perfect but some flaws are big no-nos. If his positive side outweighs his flaws, then you're ready to accept him. You see beyond his irritating habit, his grammatical errors, his penchant for everything colored neon orange, his incapacity to solve mathematical problems, his stand on death penalty, or his dry elbows. He is who he is and you love him for that.
21. You consider him as your best friend.
As cliché as it may sound, relationships work when you're good friends, not just lovers. You're a team and you complement each other.
22. He is ready for a monogamous and committed relationship and you're ready to share a relationship with him.
If he always gives you the vibes that he's not the commitment type, then he's not the jowa type. Move on if he tells you that he's not ready for a monogamous committed relationship.
BUT.... In reality, can you still find a jowa material showing all the right signs? Finding the right partner can be hard, but always remember to balance your heart and mind. "100% Feelings+0 Brain" will make you blind. On the other hand, if you use too much of your brain, it's impossible to find it. Do not aim to find the perfect one but never settle with just anyone. Hard, eh? Never ever give up 'coz love can be a great thing.
Good luck finding your bae, your jowa, your boyfie, your girlfriend, your inspiration <3
*Of course, wish your Tita more luck as she continues to look for her jowakels ;-)
And if we fail to find the loves of our lives, put a smile on your face. Carry on.
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