Finding a man, you think you’d like to get to know better is one thing. Determining whether he’s dating material is another. Like everyone, the men you meet and find yourself attracted to have a game face they present to the rest of the world in the interest of making a good impression on new people.

And although the real guy underneath may genuinely have some of those qualities that made you look his way in the first place, there’s always more to the story. Finding out as much as you can about someone before giving him more of your valuable time is a smart move. Here are some tips for precisely doing that.

Look him up online.

Although some people maintain more of an online presence than others, most people have at least a few social media accounts to their credit. So don’t feel like you have to fight the urge to Google the guy and get a better read on what he’s like. Everyone does it, and with good reason. You can tell a lot about someone by what they post online.

Where does he maintain accounts, and what are his feeds like? What do his posts reveal about his personality, interests, and priorities? What type of image is he trying to cultivate? Make sure to look through the conversations he has with followers in his comment sections, as well. Naturally, what you find will be a carefully curated highlight reel, rather than the cold hard truth of the guy’s life, but it will still be an informative experience.

Pay attention to first impressions.

If you’re like most women, you can probably remember many instances where you didn’t trust your gut about a guy you just met and lived to regret it. Even these days, women are still expected to be accommodating and give people a chance. And while there’s nothing wrong with being patient when people deserve it, you don’t want to ignore a poor first impression.

First impressions aren’t just about sizing someone up based solely on superficial characteristics. They’re also about giving your gut a chance to speak up, as it’s rarely wrong. When you met up with the guy for the first time, did he groom himself well and dress appropriately? Did the conversation flow easily, or was it stilted and awkward? People reveal more about themselves than they think they do, but you need to pay attention.

Ask the right questions.

Whether you’re out on an in-person date or still just chatting over text and instant message, don’t sit idly back and wait for him to tell you who he is. You know yourself best. You know what you want and need in your next relationship, as well as what you never want to experience again. So, find out whether this guy fits into that picture by asking him questions that tell you what you want to know.

Where is he from? What are his goals, dreams, and interests? Is he a social animal who likes to be out on the town, or is he more of a stay-home-and-chill kind of guy? What is he looking for in a relationship or potential connection? Pay attention to the answers and how forthcoming he seems to be with them. You can learn a lot.

Compare his words to his actions.

Even when you’re still in the initial stages of getting to know someone, it’s easy to tell how consistent a person is if you pay attention. One of the biggest giveaways is whether their actions align with what they say. You’d be surprised how many people don’t realize they not only don’t do what they say they’ll do but that other people notice.

Does he call, text, and otherwise respond to you when he says he will, or does he constantly leave you hanging? Does he describe himself as a true gentleman but fail to show it by picking up the check, holding the door for you, or otherwise treating you like the lady you are? Is he someone who not only says he knows how to treat other people but shows it, as well? Actions speak louder than words.

Address something if it bothers you.

If you spot anything bothersome about your guy but aren’t sure whether it’s genuinely a red flag, don’t just ignore it and hope for the best. Do your best to get to the bottom of things. Talk to him about it directly, or if you have mutual acquaintances, try asking them what it’s all about.

At the end of the day, it’s better to be safe than sorry. If there’s something critical you don’t know or that you feel he’s hiding, walk away. Although it may not always feel that way, there are plenty of high-quality guys out there who don’t come with all the red flags, and life’s too short to waste it on the wrong people.