10 signs someone is worth your time.

Everyone wants their relationships with other people to be meaningful and rewarding. Whether we’re talking romantic partners, family or friends, we often have to decide who is worth our time. This is especially the case when your time is more valuable, such as when someone very attractive dates or someone with a lot of work spends time on coworkers. This guide should help you work out who adds value to your time and who is a drain on it. In no particular order, here are ten things that, all together, mean someone is worth your time.

1. You can talk without getting uncomfortably heated.

A bigger one than many people would think. It’s fine to have a debate. It’s fine to disagree. It’s fine to agree. It’s fine to have an opinion. It’s fine to get a little passionate now and again. But if you find that this person escalates arguments to levels of emotional intensity that you find uncomfortable and that they do this often, they could be causing issues. Uncomfortable arguments weigh on your mind, fill your time and are often unproductive as both of you turn defensive under uncomfortable levels of passion. If someone offers no conversation without a risk of explosion, then they may be a drain on your time.

2. You respect them as a person.

It is impossible to maintain a healthy relationship with someone you can’t respect. It’s actually possible to benefit from relationships where the other party doesn’t respect you, although you have to know that they disrespect you for it to work and these relationships wouldn’t be considered healthy. But you need to be able to respect someone as a person to make them worth your time. The amount of trouble and drama and resentment that is born of when people disappoint you or leave you is too great. You need to see them as a human with their own needs, wants and ability to move.

3. You both know what you want from each other.

This one has three layers. Firstly you must know what they want from you and you must make sure they know what you want from them. Secondly you must both be willing to fulfill those wants. Thirdly, where the other can’t fulfill your wants you must be willing to compromise and they must be willing to compromise the wants you cannot fulfill. If any of these layers is not met, then they will waste your time and later on disagreements and heated arguments may arise.

4. You enjoy time spent with them.

This is a very important one. So maybe they are  waste of time in every other sense. But if you like the time you spend with them and enjoy it whilst it lasts, they may not be a waste. On the other hand, if they are useful in every way but you hate spending time with them, you might want to consider replacing them.

5. You don’t feel you are getting the raw deal.

Relationships aren’t a zero sum game where someone wins and someone loses. But there will be upsides and downsides to every relationship. If you feel like you’re getting a bad deal and they’re resting on their laurels then it’s time to wonder whether they are worth the time you’re putting in. Even if on a rational level you are about even, if you resent them then the use of your time might not be wise.

6. You can do uncomfortable or difficult things together without turning against each other.

A sure sign that someone is worth the time you invest into them is when even unpleasant tasks don’t turn you against them. If you approach a difficult problem or a strange situation as a team, with the goal being to get everything sorted and over as soon as possible, then they are definitely a good use of your time.

7. You don’t bear grudges.

Bearing a grudge takes time and energy and interferes with future interactions. If you find yourself remembering matters you’d both agreed to put to bed and judging them based on these matters, maybe even bringing them up in arguments, then your time is being used poorly. However, if you find it easy or simply worthwhile to fight the urge to bear a grudge, then they are clearly adding a lot to your life.

8. You have the time to give.

A huge one. If there isn’t the time, there simply isn’t the time. No matter how much you like someone and how useful or pleasant they are, if you can’t find the required time then they aren’t worth your time. If they were worth your time you would make some.

9. Nobody else fits their place better.

Another important one. Is there someone with relationship seniority, who meets more of these criteria or who is just nicer to be around who can do their job just as well as they can? Too many cooks spoil the broth and too many people competing for the same places in your life means you’re putting so many times more energy and time than you need to.

10. Nothing else would fit your time better.

Finally: is there anything more productive or useful you could be doing with this time? If they add a little to your life but learning a language, developing a skill or traveling would add ten times as much, then you shouldn’t spend time developing a relationship that you will resent as you struggle in other areas of life. It’s better to not start relationships like that at all.

And those are ten solid indicators that someone is a productive use of your time. Depending on how social you are you might think anyone who meets five or more with worthwhile or you might decide that someone needs to meet ten to make them worth the time, but I wouldn’t encourage relationships with anyone who meets less than five of these criteria.

How do you make sure you’re using your social time well?

TTFN and Happy Hunting!

5 thoughts on “10 signs someone is worth your time.

    • I think there’s just not enough time to try and accommodate everyone. We have on average 657 000 hours to live. Of which 438 000 are adulthood. Of which 187 200 are free for socializing. There are 7 000 000 000 000+ people on this planet. To give every one of them time, they would need to receive exactly 2.5e-8 (that is 0.000000025) hours each. Not even enough time to say “Hi”.

      The statistics on how many people we meet in a lifetime are nebulous, but 10,000-20,000 is a commonly given figure. So using just the people we meet, if we gave them all equal time out of our free time, they would receive 12.5 hours of our time.

      Theoretically speaking, every person potentially needs you to help them. Every person potentially wants you as a friend, family surrogate or romantic partner. Every person could potentially benefit you. And theoretically you could spend every hour of your spare time with people, to ensure each gets 12.5 hours. Accounting for overlap you may even be able to give them quadruple or ten times that amount of time. But how many relationships would you maintain if you gave every person a maximum of 125 hours of your time, in shared company to save time? Who would stick around?

      Liked by 1 person

      • I see you’ve spent more time thinking about this than I have! All really great points. I wasn’t including passing strangers and brief interactions with people in the line at Starbucks. I was thinking more along the lines of people we see everyday and have at least an hour’s interaction with already anyway (such as coworkers, club members, sports team members, etc). All those can be given some time – not always more than a few minutes of time. Some people are great for 3 hour interactions, others are great for the daily 5 minute interaction. As someone who doesn’t go out of her way to meet people, I don’t find myself giving much time to passing strangers. But the people I see on a regular basis as part of my routine? They’re worth at least a couple minutes of my time, even if it’s just talking about the weather 🙂

        That being said, I really like the calculations in your reply!


  1. most time, in real life, most women won’t *shut up* long enough to even get to know me! yak, yak, yak! But i use that to my advantage… (that is someone in which I WILL NOT want as a friend)….funny enough, when i do find someone that usually yaks THAT much, they are usually just trying to use me making themselves the important focus of the whole relationship and they usually have problems else where too. I have seen this in four women over my lifetime. situation is different, but the patterns are the same. They are like emotional vampires! give very little or nothing back…. :o( YOU have to maintain the relationship.

    Rare is the bird that gives and takes in a female relationship.( I am thinking of my beautiful Indian friend, Hersey) I don’t mind listening, but please… if you want to know me, ask me questions for a change! (cause usually, I say and offer nothing)


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