I won’t lie to you: When I was in my late teens, early 20s, I didn’t exactly have the highest standards when it came to the men I dated or was interested in. Pretty much any douchebag in a backwards hat that played a sport did it for me. I’m not proud of it, but it is what it is.
I’ve realized now, at 32, that something happens when you get older. Your priorities shift, and the things you never used to care about when seeking out a significant other all of a sudden become SUPER-important. Things that you used to tolerate (or didn’t even notice) when dating in your youth are now deal-breakers.
Not sure what I mean? Here are a few traits us chicks with standards look for in a guy:
1. Someone who doesn’t drink excessively and/or brag about their drinking habits.
“Duuuuuude, I got so wrecked last night,” OR “I don’t even remember seeing you, I was blacked out.” = NOPE. Sorry boys, but the boozebag shtick is a total turn-off. Sure, it was funny and sort-of expected back in college, but you no longer live in a frat. Don’t be a sloppy drunk or gloat about your alcoholism. Grow the hell up.
2. Someone who has emotional intelligence.
As we get older, we realize we’re no longer living in a world (read: high school) where being smart equals being a nerd. Being intelligent and having the ability to have an intellectual conversation with someone becomes so important to us as we mature because we realize there’s more to life than spending time with some good-looking nitwit. We want to be able to have stimulating adult conversations and healthy debates and if there’s nothing going on upstairs, well, that’s really difficult to accomplish.
3. Someone who genuinely cares about their family.
If you’re rude to your mother? BYE. If you don’t have any sort of relationship with your family (immediate, extended, whoever) that’s a huge red flag, epspecially to someone who’s very family-oriented. Sure, when you’re younger you tend to go through a phase where you don’t find your own family “cool” and you’d rather hang out with your friends. That’s normal. But when you meet a guy later in life and family doesn’t seem to be a priority to him at all, it may give you a not-so-great glimpse into your future.
4. Someone who has basic, proper phone etiquette.
Texting is totally fine — it’s the 21st Century, we all do it. But you want a guy who actually bites the bullet and makes plans with you instead of just texting sporadically. You want someone who’s responsive and gives you more than just a one-word answer or worse, the dreaded emoji response. He doesn’t drunk-dial or hit you up at 2am — we all know what that means — instead, he picks up the freakin’ phone and dials your number to speak to you. (I know, I know, what is this, 1998?)
5. Someone who truly respects women.
He doesn’t use the word “bitch” or “ho” when describing other women (or you). He doesn’t follow an abundance of porn accounts on social media (hello, we can SEE you.) He is chivalrous and kind and polite. He treats you with respect and doesn’t talk down to you or berate you. This is crucial.
As I wrote this, I couldn’t help but think about the younger women in my life — cousins, coworkers, etc. And even though a lot of the aforementioned things didn’t matter to me when I was their age, you know what? It should have.
So ladies: whether you’re 22 or 52, these are the traits you should be looking for in a man.
Anything else is just a dumb brosef in a backwards hat.