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?
Want to understand more about how to suss out what’s really important in your next mate? Get your copy of In Search of King Charming: Who Do I Want to Share My Throne?