1. There’s a real possibility that his best friend is man’s best friend.

It’s true that you might be competing for his affection, but that’s only because his dog has gone with him everywhere since it was old enough to stand. Lakes, forest, and fields — Alabama has it all, and they’ve been through it together. That’s not likely to change anytime soon.

2. He’s got a strong moral compass, and he might be a little strong-minded about it.

Most Alabama boys have a strong sense of good and bad. I’m not saying that they’ll never tell a lie, but don’t be surprised if they call you out on something that doesn’t sit right with them. You might find it difficult to change his mind about what’s right and what’s wrong when it’s finally made up.

3. He’s got hard opinions on traditional family values, even in a nontraditional world.

Don’t be surprised if his opinions on family values are a little more traditional. It’s not that he doesn’t want women to work or that he’s a control freak! It’s that he wants to be able to take care of the people and things that he cares about.

He gets that things don’t work they way they used to and that life isn’t the same as when he was growing up, but it’s not a far stretch to think that he turned out okay the way his momma raised him. It can’t be all bad, right?

4. You might come second (or third) on Sunday.

He’s heard it preached in many a Sunday sermon: God first, then family, then everything else. This is true the majority of the time — except during football season. You can’t expect him to head out to a fancy dinner when the Iron Bowl is on!

5. He’ll take you to the great outdoors.

The phrase “Gone Fishin’” has a very literal meaning in Alabama. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself half-asleep in a pickup truck, headed out to the lake at 5AM to get on the water before dawn. If you ask, though, he’ll buy you some pink camo and a fishing rod.

6. He’s just too polite.

Don’t be surprised by that old-fashioned, southern hospitality. Whether he’s treating his elders with respect or handing out compliments, that politeness was ingrained in his upbringing. He’ll go out of his way to make your day a little easier by grabbing the heavy grocery bags or holding the door open.

7. He’s probably sticking around when things get rough.

He’s got a particular stubborn streak when it comes to bad weather. Was there a mandatory hurricane evacuation for everything south of I-10? Was there a flood warning across half the state? He’ll probably head to the grocery store for some bread, milk, charcoal for the grill, and some ground beef and chicken breast. He’s been through this kind of weather before, and no matter how bad it gets, he’s not leaving because of a little storm.

8. His family is right down the road.

If you haven’t met his family, don’t worry. You will. They’re right down the road. Whether it’s a ten minute drive or a ten hour drive, don’t be surprised if he’s talking about headed home to see his folks and make sure they’re doing okay. Even if they’re on the other side of the state, it’s just a day trip down I-85 to pop in and check everything out.

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