Is he up to something?

That phrase can have two interpretations — one bad and one good. “He’s up to something” can mean something bad, like “He’s up to no good.”

The other interpretation is less common, meaning he’s working toward (or is) making an impact. This is the interpretation I’d like us to focus on.

A few years ago, I decided one of the key attributes I’m looking for in a man is that he needs to be up to something — making an impact in his company, community, country or world. I don’t want to be with someone who’s only interested in pursing his own interests (e.g., sports, hobbies), but instead working to make something better — beyond himself.

Don’t get me wrong — I have nothing against self-improvement. In fact, I admire it and strive for it myself. However, too many people are self-focused and don’t have aspirations of helping others or making an impact on something beyond themselves.

I’m not requiring that he be working to solve world hunger, or stopping the the polar caps from melting, or curing cancer, although any of those would be fabulous. It could be serving on a non-profit board, regularly participating in Habitat for Humanity, or spearheading a community beautification project.

So when I start to get to know a man, I ask what he’s passionate about. If he can’t come up with anything I ask what he does in his spare time. If it’s only self-focused, I won’t cut him off, but I do notice.

How about you — are you in need of someone working to make a difference? If so, how much weight do you put on that when making a decision to keep dating someone? Or is it irrelevant to you?


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5 responses to “Is he up to something?”

  1. Brenda Avatar

    DG, I agree that this is very important! I met numerous men in my dating days who were all about themselves- oil painting or sculpting or rock climbing ad infinitum, and ultimately I did not end up marrying those men. Instead my hubby has many passions, most of which involve doing things for others less fortunate, i.e. serving others, and it makes our relationship so much better. And it makes us more grateful for what we have.

  2. Yama Avatar

    Hmm your idea about passionate is brilliant to test them.

  3. Teresa Avatar

    Yes this is something very important to me. Alas it does not seem to be important to the majority of men at least in my age group (over 50)

  4. darcy Avatar

    I understand how you must feel about wanting the type of man that has passion for the things that matter in life. Too often people absorb themselves in the mundane things in life, and their obituary reads: great fisherman, hunter, car enthusiast. Not much can be said about him being a great husband or father. Conversely, You don’t want to end up with a worthless loafer. Ultimately,finding the kind that shares your passions would be key to a successful relationship!

  5. dani Avatar

    this is interesting and very true. any man who’s working on something greater than himself is usually more attractive because their brain/body or whatever needs to create more charisma to carry through with the objective.

    However i feel you should only demand this of a man if you are working towards something greater as well